An attractive and highly sought after Jaeger LeCoultre gentleman’s bumper automatic watch dating to 1946, in great overall condition. This watch houses the first automatic movement manufactured by Jaeger LeCoultre. Introduced 73 years ago in 1946, the date this watch was manufactured, the cal. 12A is a bumper movement with a rotor which rocks back and forth to wind the watch. Modern automatics have a rotor that will turn a full 360 degrees. The later iteration of this mechanism was the cal. 487 mainly used in Powermatics which have a power reserve indicator on the dial. This watch has a stainless steel case which together with the dial present very well. The the freshly oiled and adjusted movement is running strongly and keeping time. The watch is triple signed, on the case, dial and movement.
I have studied forum discussion on the net about whether the cal. 476 or the cal. 12A was first automatic Jaeger LeCoultre movement. Have read the discussions and researched the USA National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors website, the answer appears to be that the 12A and 476 are one and the same mechanism. There has been discussion about whether one was stamped 12A for the USA market and 476 for the European market but I have seen the 12A stamped on watches intended for both markets.
Case: stainless steel, in good condition, measuring approximately 33 mm across, excluding the crown and 42 mm from lug to lug. It is signed "LeCoultre Co. Swiss" on the inside of the snap on back cover. The case shows the expected light marks, inevitable from use over 73 years but no signs of abuse, dents or scratches of any significance that I could see to draw to your attention.
Dial: signed "LeCoultre Automatic Swiss", with a satin silver finish and gold coloured dots and Arabic numerals marking the hours. The blued steel hands are in very good shape and the crystal is clean and clear. The dial has just been returned from professional restoration to a high standard back to as it looked when new.
Movement: cal. 12A automatic movement, signed LeCoultre with 17 jewels. Freshly oiled and adjusted, the mechanism ran strongly on a 24 hour test and kept time.
Strap: fitted with a black leather strap, which attached to the watch measures approximately 215 mm from buckle tip to last hole.