Up for grabs is a very intriguing, and possibly unique example of Jaeger LeCoultre’s diving chronograph, nicknamed the “Shark”. This example, bearing the signature of simply “LeCoultre”, was made for the American market, and is powered by the Valjoux 72 movement, which is the same movement used in the Rolex Daytona, Heuer Carrera, amongst others.
As it has been told to us by the prior owner, this Shark was purchased locally at an estate sale, with the aluminum 24-hour bezel fitted here today. Based on the prior owner’s research, he believed the bezel to be incorrect, as it is usually fitted with either a: 1) black, plastic telemeter bezel, 2) world-time bezel, or 3) “minutes” bezel. The owner sourced an “original” bezel, and took it to his watchmaker to have it fitted, only to learn that it simply would not fit, as the case is 1mm bigger than a normal Shark. The owner contacted JLC’s heritage department, in order to attempt to learn more about his watch, and the strange bezel on it. Through their dialogue, the Heritage department relayed that the silver, aluminum bezel was indeed original to the watch, and was possibly a prototype or made via special order. The owner ordered an Extract from JLC’s Archive, which confirms that the watch has a “24 hours aluminum bezel”.
The watch itself is in excellent condition. The case appears lightly polished, and the lugs are still sharp and defined. The black dial is in fantastic condition, with no noticeable marks or wear. The aluminum rotating bezel is also very sharp, with no wear. Further, the original tritium lume is still present on both dial and hands, aged to a golden yellow.
This watch is very sought after and rare, and good examples are snatched up virtually immediately when they come to market. It comes complete with original instructional manuals, an Archive of the Extract from JLC, and its original JB Champion steel bracelet (in addition to the black leather racing strap).