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.
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.