Jaeger-LeCoultre Futurematic Automatic Cal.497 14ct c1955

£3,950

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed

A Lightly Used & Completely Original Example

Large Size 35mm Diameter Case, with Fancy Straight Lugs

Very High Grade JLC Cal. 497, Bumper Automatic Movement

Original, Unrestored and Untouched Dial in Unique Condition

Rare Jaeger-LeCoultre Futurmatic Powermatic in Tip-Top Condition

Wonderful Jaeger-LeCoultre 14ct Yellow Gold Case with Hidden Crown

All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition

High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included

Brown Lizard Strap with Plain Gold Plated Buckle

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: JLC1585
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Jaeger-LeCoultre

Since the founding of Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1833, the company has had a very inventive history, developing over 1,249 mechanical calibres, registering over 400 Patents and playing a tremendous role in the development of the industry as a whole. Whether it is the keyless watch, the calibre 101 or the iconic Reverso, it would be difficult to imagine a historical account of watchmaking without the mention of Jaeger-LeCoultre.

It is not so well known, that in addition to producing movements for its own watches, Jaeger-LeCoultre has always produced a great many movements for a number of famous watch houses including Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, IWC, and Cartier. Indeed for most of the 20th Century, Jaeger-LeCoultre even supplied bare movements to the great firm of Patek Philippe. For example, in 1967 when Patek Phillippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin needed an ultra-thin automatic movement, it was to Jaeger-LeCoultre they turned. The exquisite Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 920, is still in production and in use today by both Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet.

Description

Here we have a truly remarkable, completely original, unrestored and untouched Jaeger-LeCoultre Futurematic. The Futurematic is a self-winding wrist watch without a crown. It was manufactured between 1951 and 1959 by the Swiss watch manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre. The Futurematic was the world’s first watch without a crown for winding the mainspring, having a flat crown on the back that was used solely for setting the time. The Futurematic was produced with two different watch dials. Both dials have a central time indicator for hours and minutes. The earlier dial has a small second indication and a power reserve indicator and was used in model E501. The later dial version called ‘Futurematic Porthole’ had two portholes and was used in model E502.

The beautiful example you see here is all original, with a freshly serviced movement which is simply spectacular. This watch has a stunning presence when upon the wrist and truly is a conversation starter.

The Dial

Simply wonderful! Golden honey, with applied gilt mixed ‘triangular pyramid’ and ‘arrowhead’ hour indices. These are matched with the original unrestored gold ‘Dauphine’ hands which are also present in the two smaller dials which are the power reserve and the subsidiary seconds dial. We are great admirers of this dial design as it is so completely symmetrical, neat and attractive, yet it manages to convey so much!

This watch dial is completely original, unrestored and untouched, as can be seen from the photographs, this dial shows some wonderful and unique signs on ageing which really do tell us a story. This is one of the reasons we have decided to leave this dial completely alone.

This dial is simply and correctly signed with ‘LeCoultre’ and ‘Futurematic’ at the very top of the dial below 12. This watch was originally made for the American market where Jaeger-LeCoultre watches were marketed simply as ‘Le-Coultre’

As this dial is in original, unrestored condition, this has been left untouched by our restoration team due to its superb condition. Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however we decided in this case to leave it alone, due to its unusually good condition and to retain its originality and charm for those who prefer this. It also helps to contrast with almost all of the other watch dials you see on our website, which have been restored. The hands, likewise, have also been left in their original untouched condition.

Please note, studio lights, professional-grade digital cameras, and macro lenses can be very unkind to an unrestored vintage watch dial. Also the dial here measures less than 1.25 inches across, so the image you’re seeing may be between 5 – 25 times larger than the watch itself. Therefore please keep in mind you are seeing many tiny flaws which cannot be seen, or will be very hard to see with the naked eye, even under close examination. Suffice to say, on the wrist, in natural light, this dial looks much better and carries a great deal more charm than the photographs portray.

The Movement

Jaeger-LeCoultre movements are rightly held in very high regard for their accuracy and reliability and this watch carries its original, very high quality Jaeger-LeCoultre Cal.476, automatic movement which is in spectacularly clean condition.

Calibre 497 debuted with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Futurematic Ref. E 501 and was much more advanced than the earlier Cal. 476/Cal. 481. It features a larger balance for improved accuracy and hacking seconds. One unique feature is a lock that holds the swinging weight in place when the mainspring is fully wound. It also features a special 6 hour power reserve, allowing the watch to immediately function when it is put on, rather than requiring it to be wound first. The Calibre 497 featured a power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock along with small seconds dial located at the unusual position of 3 o’clock.

The calibre 476 contains a seconds hacking mechanism, which stops the watch when the crown is slid towards the centre, as well as a centrally suspended rotor for winding the mainspring and thus increasing the power reserve. The rotor swings bidirectionally through an angle of about 190°. All Futurematic calibres contain an antimagnetic and an enlarged and heavier balance wheel, as well as a regulator for the balance spring with micrometre scaling and a unique wire hook mechanism to prevent overwinding of the mainspring. A complete unwinding of the mainspring was mechanically inhibited to allow the watch to start running shortly after putting it on the wrist.

The movement is signed ‘Jaeger-LeCoultre’ and ‘Swiss’, along with the Calibre number 476. It has been fully overhauled and serviced and is in beautiful condition, running beautifully and keeping accurate time within +10 seconds per day, which is is excellent for any smaller diameter watch.  The watch also has a runtime of 40 hours when fully wound. We are therefore very happy to offer this watch with our 12-month warranty on the movement*.

*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.

The Case

The 14ct yellow gold watch case measures 35mm, making this an exceptionally large watch by the standards of its day. This is also the very rare solid yellow gold case, as the crown for this watch is hidden on the case back.

The heavy two-piece case is solid, sturdy and robust. The wonderful triangular lugs, thin bezel and ribbed case look wonderful and enhance the overall 1950s charm of this watch. This watch has obviously been very well cared for and has seen only very light use.

On the exterior of the case between the lugs at 12, this watch is clearly signed with the correct 14ct hallmark ’14K’.

The case has been professionally inspected, cleaned and very lightly hand-polished. It is in superb condition with only the most minimal signs of wear. There are no scratches, dings, dimples or other damage visible to the naked eye.

As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Strap & Buckle

A high quality brown lizard strap is fitted, along with a plain gold-plated buckle. Please note, we feel the strap matches the watch nicely, but if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin, however, we can also obtain most types and colours at short notice.

Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to c1955.

Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.

The high quality hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included.

If you would like to pay by bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.

Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.

We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.

For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and deliver your watch directly to you there.

As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.

In Conclusion

This simply amazing vintage gold Jaeger-LeCoultre watch was a particularly significant model in the evolution of Furturmatic watches and we are very proud to offer such a superb example here in incredible, original condition. However you may view it, this timepiece will make an excellent investment and heirloom piece, as well as be something to treasure and enjoy. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold watches grows ever larger, the limited supply allied to high demand means prices will inevitably climb ever higher!

A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We, therefore, consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.

Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.

We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.

If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.

Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.

Thank you.