A gentlemans' Jaeger LeCoultre Powermatic, power reserve, 14 carat solid gold watch wristwatch dating to 1951 in excellent original 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. I have only managed to come across a handful of solid gold Powermatics over the fourteen ten years so I was therefore delighted to acquire this 14 carat solid gold example in pretty amazing condition. 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 in the red to zero when the watch is unwound. This model presents very well indeed and having been serviced a few months ago it is running perfectly and keeping time. It is signed in three places, on the dial, case and movement.
Case: 14 carat solid gold, in very good condition, measuring approximately 35 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: factory original, finished in satin silver and signed "LeCoultre Automatic Swiss". The hours are marked by applied gold coloured batons with an Arabic quarter number twelve. The power reserve indicator is located just under the 12 o'clock position. The gold coloured hands are in good shape with some light tarnishing and the crystal is clean and clear. The dial is showing light patina but given the age of the watch the condition is amazing and rarely seen in such fine condition.
Movement: high quality cal. 481, 17 jewel automatic bumper movement signed “LeCoultre Co Automatic”, running strongly and keeping time. It was serviced earlier this year. A service to a vintage automatic starts at around £200 and will not need its next service for some five years or so depending on use, so do please factor this in when considering the competitive price I am asking for the watch. 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 1951.
Strap: fitted with a new very good quality Hirsch "Rainbow" strap which fitted to the watch measures approximately 216 mm from buckle tip to last hole.