Translating from French to “The Day”, LeJour was best known as a retailer of watches manufactured by Heuer and as the brand for Yema watches in the United States. While odd today, the idea of a major company like Heuer making watches for a private label was very common in the watch world up until the quartz crisis. In fact, LeJour was not the only brand to benefit from this relationship with Heuer and a whole subset of so-called ‘poor man Heuers’ exist today that were created under these pretenses. When the partnership between LeJour and Heuer formed in the late 1970’s Heuer was pushing automatic chronographs on the world. Some guess that this led them to sell their older manual wind chronograph movements and cases on the cheap to these private labels. This could explain the difference in style between these watches and the contemporary Heuer models which featured mostly cushion-shaped cases.
LeJour went the way of so many other brands in the late ’70s and early ’80s as a result of the quartz crisis. Following this initial shutdown, the brand name was bought and sold numerous times until 2017 when the brand was resurrected once again. The modern LeJour focuses on the heritage of the brand and uses past models as inspiration for their current lineup.
This particular LeJour watch comes from the 1960s which would have been before their partnership with Heuer began. With little information available on the various watches that LeJour was making at the time, the movement provides the best insight. The Landeron calibre 189 that powers this piece was produced in the 1960s. Landeron is a movement producer best known for its chronographs, including the caliber 48 which would remain in production for over 30 years and total production topped 3.5 million. You can definitely say that they were chronograph experts.
The 37mm nickel-plated case with a stainless steel case back is in fair condition. The biggest issue with the case is the degradation of the nickel plating which has worn significantly in areas resulting in the base brass showing through. Additionally, we believe that the chronograph pushers are later replacements.
The Dial and Hands
The watch features a silvered dial with baton hour markers, Arabic numeral six, subsidiary recorder dials to three and nine, and a date aperture to twelve. The overall dial is in good condition with only small defects and fading. The lume plots and lumed hands appear to have been replaced.
The watch is powered by a manual wind Landeron calibre 189. The watch is running with all functions of the chronograph functioning properly. The service history is unknown.
|Movement||Manual, Landeron calibre 189|
|Case Material||Nickel plated brass|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|