In 1833 Antoine LeCoultre (1803-1881) founded a small workshop, which was to become the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre.[1]


[edit] The micrometer
In 1844, LeCoultre measured the micron (μ) for the first time; he created the world's most precise measuring instrument, the millionometer (a device capable of measuring to the nearest thousandths of a millimeter).[2]


[edit] The keyless works
In 1847, LeCoultre created a revolutionary system that eliminated the need for keys to rewind and set watches. A push-piece activated a lever to change from one function to another.[3]


[edit] Early awards & recognition
In 1851 at the first Universal Exhibition in London, LeCoultre was awarded a gold medal in recognition of his collective works in the fields of precision and mechanization.[4]


[edit] The Founding of the Manufacture
Elie LeCoultre, Antoine's son understood that it was necessary to control all the different stages of manufacturing and assembly. In 1866 he transformed his workshop into a 'Manufacture'. Under one roof, his employees were to pool their know-how, enabling them to meet the most incredible challenges. In 1870 LeCoultre & Cie manufactured the components of complicated movements using mechanized processes. Within 30 years, thanks to the marriage of hand and machine, the Manufacture created more than 350 different calibers of which 128 were equipped with chronograph functions and 99 with repeater mechanisms.[5]