A gentlemans' 10 carat gold filled Futurematic wrist watch made by Jaeger LeCoultre, dating to 1950, in very good overall condition. The case and dial present very well and the freshly oiled and adjusted movement is running strongly and keeping time. A new hand made alligator calf strap has just been fitted and the crystal was replaced recently so this watch is ready to wear.
The Futurematic is one of the most collectible and innovative models manufactured by this famous company and probably second only to the Reverso in their vintage model range . Even today it looks futuristic and when I list one for sale, it always attracts considerable interest. The watch displays a chronograph style dial with two registers, a power reserve indicator and a seconds dial. The case houses an automatic “bumper” movement, especially designed for the Futurematic model. Jaeger LeCoultre was so confident about the quality of this new movement that the company decided not to spoil the aesthetics of the watch by adding a crown. Instead it has a disc on the back cover which slides inwards to set the time.
This watch will most certainly be noticed when worn. Look at the photographs, showing off the elegant haunched lugs and two tone dial. The power reserve is fully functional. The complicated movement also has a function which automatically stops the watch from winding when it is fully wound to reduce wear to the mechanism. And when the watch is nearly run down and is not being worn, it will hold a small power reserve so that when it is picked up it will run for a few hours without further winding.
A watch with a “bumper” movement is always in demand from collectors. If you look at the photographs you can see that the rotor does not turn continuously through 360 degrees but bounces back and forth through around 300 degrees. Older Omega watches also had this type of movement. These two companies probably manufactured more bumper watches than any other watchmaker. This watch is correctly signed by the manufacturer in three places, on the dial, case and movement.
Dial: finished in two tone satin silver and signed “LeCoultre Futurematic Swiss". It has an outer minutes chapter with the power reserve indicator located at the 9
Case: 10K gold filled with a stainless steel back in good condition, measuring approximately 35 mm across and 44 mm from lug to lug. The inside of the case is signed LeCoultre". There are the expected signs of use over the years but no signs of abuse, dents, scratches of any significance that I could see to highlight.
Movement: high quality cal. 497 17 jewel automatic bumper movement, signed “LeCoultre Co”, freshly oiled and adjusted by Richard my watchmaker running perfectly and keeping time. The bumper unit is an early automatic movement, first seen in watches in the late 1940's, with many Jaeger LeCoultre and Omega watches housing them up to the mid 1950's. Unlike the modern rotors which sit on top of the mechanism and rotate through 360 degrees, the bumper rotor rotates through a little over 300 degrees, hits a sprung stop which cushions the impact of the hammer action and helps sends the rotor to swing back to a stop on the other side of the movement. It should be "kick started" when first used by shaking the watch back and forth gently for a few minutes. You will see the power reserve indicator moving out of the red as the watch winds. When it is fully wound the watch will automatically stop winding. Older automatics are not as efficient as modern day mechanisms, (and we tend to lead more sedentary lives than 68 years ago). Therefore, depending on how much use and movement the watch receives when worn, it may need manual winding from time to time by shaking the watch back and forth it for a couple of minutes or so .
Strap: fitted with a new hand made brown alligator calf strap which fitted to the watch measures approximately 208 mm from buckle tip to last hole.