No Batteries Required

Life before the smart phone – when timepieces had a mind of their own.


Earlier this year Jaeger-LeCoultre released the newest version of the Polaris Memovox. The Polaris Memovox is an alarm watch that was first made in 1958. This new watch features a fully mechanical alarm, that’s right, its not battery operated.

Jaeger-LeCoutre Poloaris Memovox

Once upon a simpler time, people didn’t rely on electronics because they merely couldn’t. Before the smartphone became a vital part of our business and personal life, people had to use other methods to set reminders. Worn on the wrist, the alarm watch was the most advanced of its time. The watch could be set to go off at a scheduled time. If left on the nightstand the watch would noticeably buzz to wake the user in the morning, when worn on the wrist the watch would discretely buzz to remind the wearer of appointments throughout the day.


The first Jaeger-LeCoultre was crafted in 1958. This brilliant device contained the first self-winding alarm movement ever, the Caliber 815. The watch became known for its practicality as it was designed to ring louder while placed on a surface and most subtly while worn. Rather than the ring of an old telephone, Jaeger-LeCoultre was able to create a more melodious sound with the use of a gong that ran along the inside of the caseback. The Polaris model, debuted in 1965 with an alarm that could be worn underwater.


Amongst the most noteworthy mechanical alarm watches created, was the Cricket in 1947. Making a cricketlike sound that was amplified by a pierced caseback, the sound was able to persist for a full 20 seconds while the holes on the caseback prevented the sound from being stifled.

The Cricket received the esteemed nickname “President’s Watch” after President Harry Truman was gifted one. The Cricket also was seen on other presidents including Eishehower, Johnson and Nixon.


Glashutte Original

The modest modern mechanical wristwatch is Germany’s Glashütte Original. It is the only mechanical watch that can be set more than 30 days in advance. This model allows the user to schedule an audible reminder that has the ability to ring up to a full minute, even if the watch’s main movement has run down. This is the ultimate showing of how a classic never goes out of style. It is the perfect combination of elegance and convince, making it irreplaceable by an iPhone. No batteries, no problem. Try getting an iPhone up to that standard.


[Full Story: Bloomberg]

Minerva Arboleya


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