JLC and Favre Leuba were the same group from 1969 to 1978

Oct 20, 2010,06:34 AM

A little bit of looking back in the mirror:

Historically speaking, the two Jaeger and LeCoultre entities were consolidated in 1927 under a holding company called SAPIC (Société Anonyme de Participations Industrielles et Commerciales), HQ'd in Lausanne.
In 1934, SAPIC bought SH (Spécialités Horlogères, the distribution company that was selling the Jaeger and LeCoultre products since 1931 - the year of the REVERSO, SH being renamed 'Jaeger-LeCoultre' in 1938).
Therefore, as of 1934, SAPIC was a holding controlling both production and distribution subsidiaries of Jaeger LeCoultre watches.
HQ'd in Geneve at that time
In 1938, SAPIC bought a significant shareholding in both Vacheron & Constantin and Audemars Piguet  (hence the massive use of JLC calibres in V&C and AP watches from that day onwards).
So, from 1938, SAPIC was JLC +share of V&C +share of AP   (6 years earlier, LeCoultre has had a go at buying a financially distressed PP - which ultimately was bought by the Sterns, so this 'group' logic was not something new).
in 1964, V&C exited the SAPIC group.
in 1969, Favre Leuba (Georges Favre) bought Jaeger LeCoultre / SAPIC, renaming it SAPHIR Group, HQ'd in Zoug  (Société Anonyme de Participations Horlogères et Industrielles Réunies).
Georges Favre took the reins of the group. Therefore, in 1969, Jaeger LeCoultre and Favre Leuba actually became sister companies, owned by George Favre / Favre Leuba.

This is evidenced by shared distribution, as illustrated below on this store display:


and again in this brochure from 1973 showing both JLC and FL 'extreme' watches  (the Bathy 50 is afairly unique watch and a very rare bird indeed) 



This was also the time when Favre Leuba did use some of JLC trademark concepts (which it owned the rights to market obviously), such as the first recreation of the Reverso under the Favre Leuba name  (model name: sandow), years before the Reverso was actually reborn under its Jaeger LeCoultre name in the late 1980's:


or a true 70's memovox, dubbed Memoraider, housing an evolution of the JLC calibre 916  (exclusive to Favre Leuba: JLC 917):




in 1978, George Favre sold Jaeger LeCoultre to the VDO group, later becoming Mannesmann then Vodaphone-VDO, which in turn sold its horology division (then called LMH -Les Manufactures Horlogers) to Richemont in 2000.

And the rest is history....

So, as you can see, the history of Favre Leuba and Jaeger LeCOultre is very intricate from 1969 to at least 1978  (not mentioning also the 1930's when Favre Leuba was a retailer of the original reverso, especially in India where FL was a prominent distributor of horology and jewellery).

It is therefore not abnormal to see the 2 names associated with the servicing of this Polaris in the early 1970's (since the 2 brands shared a common structure for sales and after-sales)

More posts: CalibresJaeger LeCoultreMemovox

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Jaeger-LeCoultre - Memovox exhibition at Artcuria Auction House in Paris on November 24, 2010

 By: AnthonyTsai : October 19th, 2010-12:52
To mark the 60 th anniversary of the Memovox, Jaeger-LeCoultre is associating with a major collector to present 40 historical Memovox watches. This exceptional exhibition will be held at Artcurial Auction House during the first appraisal days preceding th...  

What a teaser with the Polaris and it's accesories. :)

 By: patrickmaniac : October 20th, 2010-02:02
Thanks Anthony. cheers PAt

Open to the "normal" JLC - enthusiast ?

 By: hs111 : October 20th, 2010-04:34
Gentlemen - - I have read with interest of this featured, and apparently very promising exhibition. - Is there a chance for a just "regular & normal" JLC - lover ( & owner of some..) - and appreciative reader of your posts - to attend it ? - What's the pr... 

From what I understood, everybody can go and attend the exhibition.

 By: amanico : October 20th, 2010-04:57
Will ask for some more concrete informations, but there is no reason you can't visit this exhibition. In case of any problem, just let me know. Best, Nicolas.

A nice "To Do" , then ..

 By: hs111 : October 20th, 2010-05:08
Great, Nicolas - sounds good ! ( Also again thnx for this quick response & the kind offer for "vis-a-tergo"/support, if needed). - Next I just will try for more specific info about the location etc. And then - well, simply get on a plane to Paris for a da... 

Udpate on the acces to the event...

 By: amanico : October 20th, 2010-05:28
I've just been told that the best moment to go to this event is from Thursay, 25 the of November to the 27th, included. Free access, and booking is not necessary. Best, Nicolas

Thnx again - Happily expecting access..

 By: hs111 : October 20th, 2010-06:03
Nicolas, Kind thank you for making the further effort to even provide the "best days to come". BTW - I had "googled" ARTCURIAL - Artcurial | Briest - Poulain - F. Tajan ( Auction House) Hôtel Marcel Dassault, 7 rond-point des Champs Elysées, 75008 Paris, ... 

My pleasure HS... See you there, then. [nt]

 By: amanico : October 20th, 2010-06:04
No message body

AFAIK, and for the moment, no.

 By: amanico : October 20th, 2010-06:52
But who knows? Next year will be an important year for JLC, as there are AT LEAST 2 events to celebrate: The Reverso Anniversary. The Auction entirely dedicated to Vintage JLCs. Best, Nicolas

Memovox - JLC and Favre Leuba

 By: SFO : October 20th, 2010-05:14
I wish I had the opportunity to go - it will undoubtedly be a fascinating experience. I saw that on the booklet for Service Mundial JLC was mentioned together with Favre Leuba - was there a connection between the two companies at one point in time ? It in... 

JLC and Favre Leuba were the same group from 1969 to 1978

 By: Clavi : October 20th, 2010-06:34
A little bit of looking back in the mirror: Historically speaking, the two Jaeger and LeCoultre entities were consolidated in 1927 under a holding company called SAPIC (Société Anonyme de Participations Industrielles et Commerciales), HQ'd in Lausanne. In...  

Thanks for the history lesson

 By: respo : October 21st, 2010-06:08
I learn so much from you Clavi. Thank you, this is really interesting stuff. Best, respo

from 1938, SAPIC was JLC +share of V&C +share of AP

 By: : August 13th, 2021-19:53
Dear Clavi, Hope you are still active on this blog? Is was wondering where the info came from about the topic "JLC and Favre Leuba were the same group from 1969 to 1978". I would like to know how long SAPIC kept their shares in Audemars Piguet? From 1938 ... 

This would indeed create a "need"

 By: DaMctosh : November 1st, 2010-09:59
to be in Paris end of the month! Thanks for the info and Clavi for the lookback in time with the Memo and FB. Nicolas, you finally letting them show your collection?!