A gentlemans' Jaeger LeCoultre Powermatic, power reserve, 14 carat solid gold watch wristwatch dating to 1949 in great overall condition. As a Jaeger LeCoultre collector of many years, I have bought and sold hundreds of gold filled versions of the Powermatic and dozens of the stainless steel version but the solid gold Powermatic is VERY hard to find. Yet I have been lucky enough to come across two recently, both of which are listed for sale. The "Powermatic" is an automatic “bumper” vintage watch with a power reserve indicator on the dial which shows 40 hours running time when the power unit is fully charged and it runs down into the red when the watch is unwound. This model presents very well indeed and having been serviced last year, it is running perfectly and keeping time. The watch is signed in three places, on the dial, case and movement.
Case: 14 carat solid gold, in very good condition, measuring approximately 34 mm across, excluding the crown and 42 mm in overall length. The inside and outside of the case are hallmarked as "14K Gold" and the inside is signed LeCoultre. The case presents very well indeed with no signs of abuse, dents or scratches of any significance that I could see to point out to you.
Dial: finished in satin silver and signed "LeCoultre Automatic". Hours are marked by applied gold coloured batons with an Arabic number twelve. The power reserve indicator is located just under the 12 o'clock position. The gold coloured hands are in good shape and the crystal is clean and clear. The dial is showing light patina.
Movement: high quality cal. 481, 17 jewel automatic bumper movement signed “LeCoultre Co Automatic”, running strongly and keeping time. The bumper unit is an early automatic movement which was first seen in watches in the late 1940's, with many LeCoultre and Omega watches housing them during the late 1940's and early 1950's. Unlike modern automatics where the rotor which sits on top of the mechanism and rotates through 360 degrees, the bumper mechanism rotates through a little over 300 degrees, hits a stop and then bounces back and forth with a hammer action. If you look at the photograph of the movement you will see the springs which cushion the impact of the hammer action and send the rotor back over to the other side of the movement. As with most automatic watch mechanisms (the Futurematic is one exception), the movement can be hand wound. It should be "kick started" when first used by manually winding the watch. When it is fully wound the power indicator will go out of the red and show a 40 hour charge. As older automatics are not quite as efficient as modern day mechanisms, the watch may, need manual winding from time to time depending on how much use and movement it receives when worn in order to keep the power unit charged. The serial number dates the watch to 1949.
Strap: fitted with a very good quality Hirsch black leather lizard grain strap which fitted to the watch measures approximately 211 mm from buckle tip to last hole.