A gentlemans' 10 carat gold filled Futurematic wrist watch made by Jaeger LeCoultre, dating to 1952 and in great overall condition. The case and dial present very well indeed and the movement is running strongly and keeping time. The Futurematic is one of the most collectable and innovative models manufactured by Jaeger LeCoultre 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. This model is, in my opinion the most visually stunning Futurematic with its elegant long curved lugs, highly sought after by collectors. This watch will most certainly be noticed when worn. Look at the photographs, showing off the elegant curved lugs and the attractive 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. It also has a hack mechanism, sliding the button toward the centre of the case stops the watch and also enables the time setting function. The dial 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.
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 Omegas’ had this type of movement. These two companies 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.
This watch will most certainly be noticed when worn. Look at the photographs, showing off the elegant 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.
Dial: finished in two tone satin silver and signed “LeCoultre Futurematic". It has an outer minutes chapter with the power reserve indicator located at the 9 o'clock position, partially edged in red. The subsidiary seconds dial is located at 3 o'clock. Gold coloured batons and pyramid dots mark the hours and the gold coloured hands are in very good shape. The crystal is clean and clear. I am not absolutely sure but I think the dial may have been professionally restored at some time. If so it has been very well done.
Case: in good condition , measuring approximately 35 mm across and 47 mm from lug to lug. The inside of the case is hallmarked as 10 carat gold filled and signed LeCoultre. There are the expected signs of responsible use over the years but absolutely no signs of abuse, dents, scratches of any significance that I could see to highlight. All that I could see is a small blemish on the back of the case which looks as if it has been the result of opening the back cover and some tiny areas of brassing to the underneath of the lug tips, a feature of the model as the lugs are slender.
Movement: high quality cal. 497 17 jewel automatic bumper movement, signed “LeCoultre Co”, running 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 65 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 generic black leather strap which fitted to the watch measures approximately 210 mm from buckle tip to last hole.