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Heritage Wonders: Lucky 13 & Polaris Memodate

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Throughout its history, Jaeger‑LeCoultre has been driven by the spirit of inventiveness, its expertise rewarded with more than 400 patents, and its watchmakers’ technical skills and creative imagination embodied in more than 1,200 different calibres.

As these two rare watches from the mid-20th Century demonstrate, every decade has brought fresh ideas and solutions, reflecting the spirit of the times. Among the many changes brought by the 1950s and 60s – represented by each of these watches – were, on one hand, tremendous advances in technology and aerospace, and on the other, the transformation of diving from a challenging pursuit to a widely practised leisure activity.

A rare LeCoultre Polaris Memodate (1967): to be sold at Phillips Geneva, November 2019:

In 1950, Jaeger‑LeCoultre introduced its first wristwatch featuring an alarm and called it the Memovox (‘voice of memory’). As the model become one of the most desirable and reliable on the market, the company introduced different variations, including a date display, a self-winding version and even an alarm designed to time parking meters.

In 1959, noting that diving had begun evolving from a specialist pursuit into a recreational sport enjoyed by thousands, Jaeger‑LeCoultre decided to adapt the Memovox to the sea. The company realised that it could offer both a visual timer (on the inner bezel) and an auditory alarm (which also caused vibration against the case) for ultimate diver safety.

To do so, Jaeger‑LeCoultre created a patented, multi-layer case-back that optimised the alarm’s sound transmission under water. The outer case, with its 16 holes, allowed for the alarm tone to be heard and also felt on the wrist, while the inner case sealed and protected the movement.

Known in the United States as the Polaris, and in Europe as the ‘Montre de plongeur E859’, the reference E859 featured three crowns, each with the cross-hatch pattern characteristic of SuperCompressor watches. The first crown is for time setting, the second rotates the inner bezel for dive timing, and the third rotates the central disc to align the arrow with the alarm time.

The example being offered by Phillips was made in 1967 for the American market and stands out from other models thanks to its very rare dial markings. While most of the dials were stamped Memovox or bore no inscription other than the LeCoultre name, this watch is stamped Memodate.

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the Memodate Polaris is its combination of two apparently opposite aspects of watchmaking: the tradition of delicate aural complications and the needs of a practical sporting timepiece. In this respect, it epitomises the open-minded spirit of inventiveness that has created such a rich patrimony at Jaeger‑LeCoultre and continues to drive the Maison to this day.

The unique LeCoultre “Lucky 13” (1962): to be sold at Phillips New York, December 2019

The LeCoultre “Lucky 13” is a truly remarkable and unique watch presented by the Chicago Anti-Superstition Society alongside 13 U.S. Senators to an original Mercury Seven U.S. astronaut to commemorate his historic achievement of becoming the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.

Featuring the number 13 at every hour marker, the watch celebrated the Friendship 7 spacecraft capsule used for the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission. Friendship 7 was the 13th space capsule produced by McDonnell Aircraft Corp, and the 13s on the dial were used to illustrate the society’s rejection of the number 13 as unlucky.

The ceremony, taking place on Friday, April 13th, 1962, was entered in the House Congressional Record on October 13th, 1962. The consignor intends to donate a portion of the proceeds of the sale of this watch to The John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.

As well as demonstrating Jaeger‑LeCoultre’s technical expertise, the deep meaning and personal connections behind the story of these unique timepieces remind us that watches have always had social and emotional significance – which sometimes even overrides their practical purpose.

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Start your days with a better morning routine

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Your morning sets the tone for the day to come. By starting the day with intent you’ll find yourself in a much more productive groove for the rest of the day. Below, we explore how you can improve your morning routine.

Maintain a fixed bedtime and waking time

Your body works better with consistent sleep. Ideally, you’ll sleep at broadly the same time each evening and wake up at roughly the same time. This way, you can enjoy a more restful sleep and feel more energised when it’s time to get going in the morning.

Get out of bed

It can be difficult when you wake up comfily in bed. There’s not much incentive to leave the warmth and start your day! However, by wearing a ladies dressing gown you can take this cosy feeling with you as you make your breakfast and begin your day.  

Avoid your phone

Scrolling through your news feed is a passive activity that can harm your productivity in the morning. It can be tempting to spend a little longer in bed looking at your phone, but this sort of procrastination can result in a slow day. Instead, try leaving your phone in another room to get going quickly.

Focus Your Positive Energy

Try taking a moment to yourself to start the day. By meditating or at least doing deep breathing exercises, you can calm your mind and escape negative thoughts. By focusing your positive energy like this, you can have more clarity throughout the day and avoid stress.

Try self-affirmation

Positive affirmations such as “I am strong, smart, capable and kind” can put you in an excellent mindset to start the day. By being kind to yourself, you can boost your confidence, improve your relationships and put yourself in a great mood to start the day.

Take a Walk

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the day ahead, a walk can help you clear your mind and prepare for the day. Ideally, you’ll walk around calming trees and greenery to give you a sense of tranquillity before you begin the day.

Choose healthy breakfast options

A healthy breakfast can get your day off to the right start. Whole, unprocessed food is an excellent option – particularly ones containing protein and fibre. Try cooking yourself for eggs, or maybe go for porridge with fruit to begin your day with nutrition.

The way you start your day is crucial. If you begin in an organised, positive way you can set yourself up to have a productive day. It can feel tempting to spend a little longer in bed but being proactive will benefit you in the long run.

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6 Tips on Dressing the Best This Holiday Season

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Dressing your best doesn’t always have to be reserved for the holiday season. However, it is nice to put a little bit more effort into your outfits when you have something to celebrate and look forward to. So, here are some tips to help you pick out some killer outfits this Christmas. You’ll have everyone at the work Christmas party asking, where did she get that from?

Avoid tacky Christmas jumpers

Christmas jumpers may seem like a good idea at the time, but do you really want to look back on your Christmas holiday photos and think, what on earth was I wearing? Saying that, there are a lot of Christmas jumpers out there that are a bit less in-your-face and are more subtle. A simple grey or white Christmas jumper with a minimalist design can be a good way to get in the festive mood, without coming across as too garish.

Layer up

Every year the cold months come upon us, and every year all you hear is ‘it’s got really cold all of a sudden.’ This year is no exception, the cold months are most definitely here. The best way to combat this is to make sure you’re wrapped up and are wearing proper layers to keep you cosy. To ensure that your entire body stays warm, keep your feet warm by wearing two pairs of socks or fluffy socks. Then, when putting your Christmas outfits together, put a vest top underneath your normal t-shirt, or wear a long sleeve top underneath a t-shirt. Layering doesn’t always have to be unfashionable, there are some really simple things you can do to make sure you don’t get too cold this holiday season.

A festive pop of colour can work well

An all-black outfit can be made to look more festive with a simple pop of colour, say a red bag and shoes. Adding an item of colour into an otherwise simple look is a great way to draw attention to your look, as everyone’s eyes are guaranteed to go to your new red luxury bag. Basic black and white outfits look best when adding colour to your accessories, so keep this in mind when styling your Christmas looks. Although it can be tempting to buy a new black bag as this is the safe option, try something new, and invest in a bag with a little bit more colour. It doesn’t have to be super bright, a dark navy or green can look elegant too.

Shimmer looks great at this time of year

It’s usually at this time of year that you see all the sparkly tops, dresses and jumpers come back into fashion stores. This year is no exception. Darker colours, like burgundy and green, can look really festive without the need for a Christmas jumper. If you do want to stand out at your work Christmas party, then opt for an item of clothing with a little bit of shimmer in it, like a glittery top or dress.

Know your crowd

Getting it right at the work Christmas party is a sport. The theme might be ‘smart casual’, what does this really mean? Is a dress too formal, but are jeans too casual? When deciding on what you should wear, think about the kind of people who will also be there, and what they are likely to wear too. For example, you might not want to wear a super revealing dress to a work event, you might be better saving this dress for New Year’s Eve instead. To prevent any fashion faux pas, send a simple ‘what are you wearing tonight?’ text to someone else is going, this way you won’t be over or underdressed.

Just be yourself

It’s the festive season, after all, so don’t worry too much about what you’re wearing and instead concentrate on the things that matter – like spending time with your family and friends. Don’t worry too much about trying to impress other people with your on-trend outfits, and instead refine your own sense of personal style over the Christmas period. This time can be a great excuse for you to experiment with your current wardrobe and accessories, so enjoy it and stay honest with yourself.

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6 Tricks for Decorating Your Living Room on a Budget

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A well-designed living room is a place where you can feel most yourself. Fortunately, you do not need to spend a fortune to freshen up your home. Discover 10 simple but effective tricks that can be used with any budget.

1.      Add Bright Accents

Colors are the easiest way to make a neutral design less bland. For example, you could bring the room to life with a green sofa. If you do not want to make massive changes, opt for small but charming elements. For example, you could stick some colorful stained glass feathers onto the window or style your coffee table with some vases with garden cuttings.

2.      Make the Rug a Centerpiece

A stylish geometric rug will not cost a fortune, but it will pull your room together, completing the interior design. To maximize the effect, arrange the furniture items around it. Throw some matching pillows on the sofa to make the room look even chicer.

The rug should not be too small or too big. In the first case, you may not be able to show off your wooden floor. In the second case, the rug may look suspended in space.

3.      Decorate with Darker Colors

If you want to create a cozy, cocoon-like atmosphere and designer feel, opt for dramatic shades. Even budget brands of wall paint offer rich dark colors. You could use wallpaper instead — for example, navy blue or indigo with interesting patterns like feathers. Even black or slate gray will look great. Remember to add some bright details like a lamp, a ceiling light, or a stained glass table.

4.      Mix Textures

Combine different materials to create a sophisticated but subtle effect. This is particularly effective for neutral color palettes. For example, you could add some metal, tweed, leather, velvet, wool elements, feathers, stained glass, or sheepskin throws.

5.      Change the Layout

Try rearranging the furniture and items to display what you own and create more space. For example, if you have a fireplace, you could place your stained glass lamps and vases symmetrically on both sides to create a more sophisticated look.

6.      Introduce Long Drapes

Order floor-length curtains on demand if you want to evoke the grandeur of stately homes. The curtains do not have to be plain — if you choose a patterned material, they will be more eye-catching. At the same time, they may still be affordable, depending on the fabric. To boost the vibe, add a beautiful chandelier and some stained glass feathers.

Final Words

As you can see, you can freshen up your living room without significant investment. Rearrange the items, add some bright accents like feathers, and play with textures and colors to express a new authentic vision. If you have any vintage items, show them off, too!

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