This is a British market Jaeger Le-Coultre Futurematic from early 1950s, the case is 9 carat gold and hallmarked for 1954. British market cases were made for Jaeger Le-Coultre De Trevars who were the British importers and case-makers for JLC during the 1950s and 1960s, this is the reason the case is marked DTE.
This watch is distinct for a number of reasons - most obviously because it has no winding crown. This was because the winding of the watch was entirely from the automatic ‘bumper’ weight in the movement. The hands are set using a small wheel on the back of the case - sliding it towards the centre puts the watch into hand-set mode and also stops the watch, allowing it to be set to the second.
The watch has a power-reserve indicator on the left of the dial. This shows the state of the mainspring and roughly how many hours the watch will run for. The dial on the right shows the seconds. The case at 36mm is quite a generous size for a watch from this period. The case has lovely subtle details that locate it in the 50s - there’s something of the flying saucer about it!
The movement has a number of unique features and technical innovations: the automatic weight has a mechanism that stops it moving when the watch has reached a full state of wind. The mechanism releases the weight when the mainspring has run out a bit of power. The mainspring itself has a small amount of setup power - this means that it is basically pre-tensioned, so only a very small amount of movement is needed to start the watch running at a good rate.
The Futurematic was one of JLC’s flagship models in the post war period. The watch is relatively rare in European market form (signed “Jaeger Le-Coultre” as it is here). Europe in the 1950s was quote an austere place and I guess people didn’t have the money to splash on crazy futuristic watches! Rare within the European market models are those from the British Commonwealth, of which this is a superb example: the dial especially is wonderfully clean and clear and the watch has a lovely prescence on the wrist.
The movement has been fully serviced and the timekeeping is excellent. The case has been ultrasonically cleaned, but as with all out vintage watches we have left it unpolished. The crystal has been replaced and the watch has been fitted with a new leather strap. The watch comes with our standard 12 month guarantee.
Case diameter: 36mm
Case material: 9 carat gold, hallmarked in London for 1954
Strap width: 18mm
Time keeping: grade A