LeJour Chronograph
$ 2,200.00

LeJour Chronograph

LeJour, a small French distributor, is best known as a European retailer of Heuer-made chronographs. Working under a private label arrangement starting in the 1980, Heuer manufactured an array of watches, in some cases, such as the Heuer Pasadena and LeJour model 7203, used the exact same cases. (Read more about that, HERE.)  But prior to 1980, LeJour operated as the U.S. distributor for another well-known/no-name brand, Yema. 

A relatively young brand, Yema was founded in France in 1948, quickly becoming popular in its home country. The brand is credited with creating the first automatic chronometers entirely manufactured in France. Perhaps best known for its line of regatta timers, the Yachtingraf, Yema also produced other chronographs - under their own brand name or under their distributor, LeJour - that deserve serious consideration. 

Lately, we've been getting inquiries from collectors about what to look for in a vintage chronograph. We present this offering from LeJour as an example of just what we're after:

From the outside in, this LeJour epitomizes sturdy, dependable construction; the 38mm stainless steel with gently tapered lugs is reminiscent of straight-lug "Ed White" Omega Speedmasters (Reference 105.003-64) and is topped with a rotating MH bezel, the hallmark of the Heuer Autavia. The attractive glossy black dial has three registers that provide a lovely balance and counterpoint to the circular luminous hour plots and red 'lollipop' sweep hand.   

However, an attractive design isn't enough to make a chronograph great, no matter how much it pops. It's what beats inside the watch can make or break its value. This LeJour Chronograph, like the fabled Rolex Daytona, is powered by a Valjoux drivetrain, a caliber 7736, that is a accurate as it is reliable. 

All of these factors make this "no-name" chronograph a strong value proposition, not to mention a stunning historical example of the chronograph's Golden Era, the kind of example that is becoming increasingly hard to find...  

Details

SKU: TT01123

Stainless steel case is approximately 38mm (excluding the crown). Valjoux 7736 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1970s.

Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with sharp lugs. Case does have some signs of wear, including some dings and scratches on the sides of the case and on the lugs. Bezel is in very good condition with some signs of wear, particularly between the 35 and 40 minute markers. Dial is in very good condition with crisp printing. Luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands have gained a fine even patina over time. Unsigned crown. Case back has some scratches and tool marks but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes one 19mm black leather rally style strap with red contrast stitching.

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