From the 25th to the 28th of November, was held in Paris, at the famous auction house Artcurial ( 7, Rond Point des Champs Elysées ) one of the most impressive - if not THE most impressive - exhibition of Vintage Memovoxes.
A collector - a friend - accepted to share some of his most interesting pieces for that occasion.
All the Memovoxes which were made from 1950 to the early 80ies were not present, but an exhaustive collection of this iconic watch from our beloved Manufacture seems an impossible task to achieve.
But the big merit of this exhibition is that the current authentic models, side by side with some very rare and almost never seen treasures are gathered in 5 display windows, for our intense and biggest pleasure:
1/ The Manual wind Memovox.
2/ The Automatic Memovox.
3/ The Memovox from the 70ies.
4/ The special series.
5/ The Alarm clocks and documents.
I'm not happy at all with the pictures taken during this exhibition - Was it because of the bad light conditions, the excellent Champagne, or both? - but I managed to get a private photography session with the owner of these marvels, which I will post later.
Anyway, at least you'll have a first sight of this important event, here and now.
The event started with an interesting speech made by Yves Meylan and Romain Réa about the History and the importance of this model.
Romain ( owner of the watch shop " Romain Réa " and watch expert for Artcurial ), on your left, Yves ( Ex Director for JLC French Market ) on your right:
As expected, a lot of people came to the inauguration cocktail, friends, old and new, all sharing the Memovox fever:
Follow the guide...
1/ The manual wind Memovoxes.
The References 3150, 3151, 3154, 3155, E 850, E 851, E 852, and E 858 are the members of this family, housing the Cal 489, 601, and 814.
There was also another manual wind movement, the Cal 911 ( Date version of the Cal 910 ), but we'll mention it later.
All these watches have a 33 mm to 35 mm case, and as things are never easy, there were some variations in the color and style of the dial.
A general view on the display window:
The down part of the display window, showing the Memovoxes with classic ( straight or teardrop ) lugs:
And, above, the Memovoxes which came with the tubular lugs ( Ref 3150 only ) :
2/ The " Automatic " Memovoxes from the Sixties:
Here, only 2 references, the E 853, housing the Cal 815, and the E 855 ( Cal 825 ).
The Cal 815 and 825 are exacty the same at the unique exception of the Date ( Cal 825 only ).
The E 853 was indeed the first automatic Memovox, which appeared as soon as 1956.
It is a kind of milestone in the Horological History, since this is the first Automatic Alarm watch!
The E 855 came in 1959 / 1960 and is certainly the most popular Memovox Reference, the most produced, too ( 10 years ), and the model which received the most evolutions regarding its dial.
The down part of the display window is dedicated to the E 855...
This message has been edited by amanico on 2010-12-01 02:37:47 This message has been edited by amanico on 2010-12-03 05:27:03
... And 3 Alarm movements ( Cal 489, and 814, which are manual, while the CAl 825 is Automatic ) :
While the upper part is showing two different E 853 ( left side of your screen ) :
3/ The Memovoxes from the Seventies:
The reign of Madness, excess, crazy and strong shapes, most of the time, and the introduction of a modern alarm movement, the Cal 916, which is not a bumper anymore.
A general view on this era:
Located at the bottom, the TV screen, the cushion, and the " round ovale " cases E 871 / E 872 / E 861 ( using the Cal 825, but the same watchexisted with the cal 916 under the Ref E 873 ) :
While, above, some more conventionally shaped Memovoxes found their place:
4/ The " Special Memovoxes ".
Here are gathered some rare ( sometimes, very rare ) birds, very well known from us, but sometimes, pure and delightful discoveries.
These Treasures went through time, from the mid Fifties, globally, to the end of the sixties.
The name are " Parking ", " Polaris ", " Deep Sea Alarm ", " Jubilé ", well, name you already heard about or read here.
Some less known references, such as the E 11 005, which housed gthe Cal 911 ( manual wind ), the 3159 in Rose Gold, or THE Memovox reference, the E 855, but with a gorgeous and very rare brown dial, were the true stars of the show.
A focus on the Diving Stars, the Polaris and the Deep Sea Alarm, on their JB Champion ( DSA ) or Gay Freres ( Polaris ) bracelets:
I was totally under the charm of the Ref 3159 ( Jubilé Rose Gold Memovox ), and what to say about this fabulous E 855 brown dial ( 14 Kt Gold, stainless steel case back ) ?
At the bottom, on the Brown E 855, a revelation for me, the E 11005, which came in 150 pieces in 80 micron Gold plated, or in 500 pieces in stainless steel, or this 3154 which has a very interesting historical background, as it belonged to the Colonel Ayersman, but we'll say more about it later...
At the top of the display window, the famous Memovox Parking, in two references, 3161 ( with some applied numbers ), and E 858 ( without applied numbers ) :
5/ The Alarms clocks and various documents about the Memovox in general:
The genius of " La Grande Maison " was not limited to wrist watches, but also to Alarm Clocks: Pocket watches, Key Ring, Table clocks, the imagination of our Manufacture seems to know no limits!
The Alarm Clocks were produced from the Mid Fifties ( somewhere between 1956 ) to 1978.
A view on the spectacular display window dedicated to this thema reveals some interesting documents, too:
Aren't they lovely?
Now, a view on some very interesting documents.
Some look familiar to you, I'm sure, such as this one: " your Memory's memory ".
You will also see with interest the gold version of the Memovox E 855 with these large and short indexes ( which I personally never saw... )
A nice trio of Memovox from the Seventies, accompanied with a funny illustration:
The diversity of the Seventies, featuring 4 different Memovox References...
... Or in the company of its contemporanean " sisters ":
For our German Friends:
And, to end as we started... A nice 3150, on a document featuring a Ref 3151...
Same dial, different lugs and references... All the Memovox problematic!
It was also the perfect opportunity to meet a lot of people, who are not always involved in the " Net Life ", but who are true connoisseurs, avid collectors, and watch passionate guys.
We lived a superb moment!
Thanks to the Collector, JLC and Artcurial for the perfect organisation, and to have made such an event possible.
Best to All.
PS: As previously announced, I will, each Monday, post a dedicated topic about these Memovoxes, with some of the pictures I managed to take during the private session, so stay tuned!
This message has been edited by amanico on 2010-12-01 01:00:58
With that kind of history, I hope that JLC will develop new Memovox models for us who don't have access to the historical models. I am very excited to see if we will be introduced something new again next January.
Regards from the freezing Tallinn! Kari
I too am impatient to see what JLC will release in January...
Just can't wait.
As for the Memovoxes to come, I'm pretty sure we'll have some nice surprises...
To be followed.
Nicolas, also freezing a lot.
But the new reversos - I hope that something which will make the dreams come true will be introduced.
Just saw from CNN that you have -9 degrees in Paris. Not much better here but at least we know how to warm up the buildings. Furthermore, people here know that enough vodka is keeping the freeze away. so perhaps you could try that.
I think that I had enough alcohol yesterday, afterr the VC dinner!
So, water or coca only for me.
I just died a little bit!
How stupid am I for not have taken the trip to Paris?!
Will revisit this post and study it more carefully tonight!
Thank you, Vlad for sharing this with us!
And thank you to the collector for sharing your marvels with us here!
PS. My day is ruined… (In a good way)
I already prepared a lot of posts on this matter.
Will post them each monday, and I think I have enough " material " to post till January.
I knew it was the kind of stuff you'd appreciate.
All the best, my friend, and ... Enjoy!
Now I know that each Monday for the rest of the year I will suffer!
I can only imagine the feeling to walk among these marvels…
Oh, it will be hard to sleep tonight…
Thank you, my friend
Come on, Blomman, there might be a possibility for you to see these beauties, but you'll have to come here...
I am totally speechless…
Stupid, stupid Blomman for not going!
Any Memo to add in your collection?
I lost all notion of Time, during this exhibition, even if I know most of these pieces.
This Collector should be thanked, for sure.
It was a bit Xmas before Xmas.
Always love reading your posts and look forward to reading the next instalments.
And forget I have something for you!
And for the fear...
Santa klaus may be a jocker...too.
... sharing photos and information on this exceptional event with us!
After the resurrection of the Memovox as Master Control Memovox
these photos make my E 855 feel like being part of an culturological heritage.
I am really looking forward to your further posts on the Memovox topic.
Our Beloved Vintage Memos are all part of this History.
As well as the latest Master Memovox, in some years.
Happy to see you back here, Christian.
Stay tuned, and don't go too far!
That is a lot to take in, Vlad. That must have been a very special moment in a collector's life to see all of those Memos in one space.
I am really loving those desk alarm clocks/pocket watches.
Were there none of the 8-day lamp post desk alarms? Or are these not in the memovox category?
Seeing the bracelets on the Deep Sea and the Polaris, it makes me wish for JLC to offer a nice bracelet for the Polas, although I suspect that we are in too small numbers to justify the creation of a special bracelet. I like the look of that one on the Deep Sea a lot, however. Oh heck, I like the look of the Deep Sea altogether!
Thanks for this great post and sharing the exhibition with us. Marvelous!
As I said, I don't know a lot about them, my friend.
But I will try to dig out the topic, to see where it will lead me and us!
As for the bracelet on the Polaris, you pointed out the reason of the lack of the bracelet.
When you know the price of a spare bracelet, it is easy to get why it wasn't released for the Polaris.
I see that you have some interest on the Deep Sea Alarm, now?
Honestly, they are really awesome.
We'll come back to them, this month.
I can't start with the Deep Sea...I am too fixated on the NSA Incursion -- I know, I know...I am always late to the party ;-)
But that vintage Deep Sea is quite something.
With the Deep Sea Alarm, the thing is that it is a difficult watch to find.
So, yes, the NSA BH Boutique may be a solution, but not an alternative.
The NSA and the DSA are different watches that can happily cumulated, if you know what I mean...