Jaeger-LeCoultre revives Memovox alarm watch – complete with mechanical ringing bell

New sapphire case back lets you view the hammer and gong in action

Jaeger-LeCoultre revives Memovox alarm watch – complete with mechanical ringing bell
(Image credit: Jaeger-LeCoultre)

One of the most common functions of a digital watch – the audible alarm – is among the rarest mechanical watch complications. To help bring some attention to this often-forgotten feature, Jaeger-LeCoultre has announced a revival of its Master Control Memovox.

Described as an alarm watch, the timepiece features a small hammer and gong which operate to produce the sound you would expect from a miniature school bell, right on your wrist.

Dating back to the 1940s, the Memovox began life as a wrist worn signal of optimism, keeping businessmen on time as they kickstarted the postwar economy.

Now, of course, we all have a far more complex alarm and timer function on our smartphones or watches. But there is a certain curiosity to a mechanical watch with an audible alarm.

(Image credit: Jaeger-LeCoultre)

For the first time with a Jaeger-LeCoultre Momovox, the self-winding movement – in this case a calibre 956 – can be seen through a sapphire case back. On previous models the alarm was heard thanks to a hammer striking a gong fitted to the steel case back, but for the new model the complication has been relocated.

As well as being able to set the alarm to go off at a set time, the wearer can instead use an all-new timer function. Here, they set the number of hours to pass before the alarm is heard.

As well as the alarm and countdown complication at its centre, the two-tone blue dial features a date complication at three o’clock, and dual crowns for setting the time and alarm at two and four o’clock.

The stainless steel case measures a fairly modest 40mm, and is water-resistant to 5atm (approximately 50 metres), while the front and back are protected by sapphire crystal. Power reserve from the self-winding mechanism is a claimed 45 hours, and the watch comes with a matching blue calfskin strap.

This watch is limited to 250 pieces and is available now for £13,900 / $15,600.

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Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.