Jaeger LeCoultre Futurematic "Porthole" 10K gold filled wrist watch, a rare model, dating to 1956. The Futurematic is an iconic watch, one of the most collectable and innovative models manufactured by this famous company and probably second only in their vintage model range to the Reverso; even today it looks futuristic. The "Porthole" variant is hardly ever seen. Not only is the dial a completely different style to the standard model but it has a different movement as well, a cal 817 mechanism as opposed to the cal. 497. This watch is only the second "Porthole" I have owned. It is in original un-restored condition with a beautiful chronograph style dial, showing gentle patina and displaying a power reserve indicator and subsidiary seconds dial. The case houses an automatic “bumper” movement, especially designed for the Futurematic model. Serviced just a few months ago, in March 2016, the movement is running strongly and keeping time. The power reserve is fully functional. The watch will store power when the watch has not been worn for a day or more, so when it is picked up it will run for several hours without the need for any further winding. Jaeger LeCoultre were so confident about the quality of their movement, especially designed for the Futurematic, that they 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.
Dial: original factory finish, signed “Le Coultre Futurematic Swiss” with an outer minutes chapter and gold coloured Arabic numerals and batons marking the hours. The hands are in good shape. The power reserve "porthole" aperture located at the 9 o'clock position shows fully red when the power unit is discharged and white when it is fully wound. A seconds "porthole" is located at 3 o'clock with a black seconds arrow. The crystal is clean and clear. The dial shows light patina but it presents so well that I decided not to spoil the originality of this watch by undertaking any restoration.
Case: 10 carat gold filled, measuring approximately 34 mm across and 40 mm from lug to lug. The inside of the case is hallmarked as 10 carat gold filled and is signed LeCoultre. In very good condition, the case shows the expected signs of careful use over the years but nothing of any significance that I could see to draw to your attention.
Movement: high quality cal. 817/1 17 jewel automatic bumper movement, signed “Le Coultre Co”. Having just been professionally serviced (March 2016) and hardly used since, it is running perfectly and keeping time. A service to a high end automatic movement costs £250 upwards so please factor in the work that has been done to this watch when considering my competitive asking price. The bumper unit is an early automatic movement which was first seen in watches in the late 1940's, with many Jaeger LeCoultre and Omega watches housing them during the early 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 stop and then bounces back and forth with a hammer or bumper action. Springs cushion the impact of the hammer action and send the rotor swinging back to the stop on the other side of the movement. It should be "kick started" when first used by shaking the watch back and forth gently. 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. As older automatics are not quite as efficient as modern day mechanisms, (and we tend to lead more sedentary lives than 50/60 years ago) depending on how much use and movement it receives when worn to wind it, the watch may, need manual winding from time to time by shaking back and forth it for a minute or so .
Strap: fitted with an unused generic standard size black leather crocodile grain strap which attached to the watch measures approximately 217 mm from buckle tip to last hole..
This is a rare opportunity to purchase a stunning, highly collectable Futurematic "Porthole" watch, manufactured by one of the most prestigious watchmakers in the world. It is in fully working condition and ready to wear. Do not miss the opportunity to buy this fabulous watch as you are unlikely to come across this particular model for a long while.