An attractive and highly sought after Jaeger LeCoultre gentlemans bumper automatic watch dating to 1946, in great overall condition. This watch houses the first automatic movement manufactured by Jaeger LeCoultre. Introduced 74 years ago in 1946, the date this watch was manufactured, the cal. 12A is a bumper movement. With a rotor which rocks back and forth to wind the watch.
Modern automatics have a rotor that will turn a full 360 degrees. The later iteration of this mechanism was the cal.487 mainly used in Powermatics which have a power reserve indicator on the dial. This watch has a stainless steel case which together with the dial, present very well. The the freshly oiled and adjusted movement is running strongly and keeping time. The watch is triple signed, on the case, dial and movement. I have studied forum discussion on the net about whether the cal.
12A was first automatic Jaeger LeCoultre movement. There has been discussion about whether one was stamped 12A for the USA market and 476 for the European market but I have seen the 12A stamped on watches intended for both markets.
I have consistently received excellent feedback and many repeat buyers. I will always do my best to help. Lease scroll right down to see more photographs and details.Case : stainless steel, in good condition, measuring approximately 33 mm across, excluding the crown and 42 mm from lug to lug. It is signed LeCoultre Co. Swiss on the inside of the snap on back cover. The case shows the expected marks, inevitable from use over 74 years but no signs of abuse, dents or scratches of any significance that I could see to draw to your attention other than some marks on the back of the case which I think must come from a one piece military style strap fitted to the watch at some time. Easy to polish out but I lke to preserve originality as much as I can, so I leave the choice to the purchaser.
Dial : signed "LeCoultre Automatic Swiss", with an antique white finish and gold coloured dots and Arabic numerals marking the hours. The hands are in good shape and the crystal is clean and clear.
The dial shows some very ligh paina. 12A automatic movement, signed LeCoultre with 17 jewels.
Freshly oiled and adjusted, the mechanism ran strongly on a 24 hour test and kept time. Strap : fitted with a new brown leather strap, which attached to the watch measures approximately 215 mm from buckle tip to last hole. This fabulous watch is now 74 years old, in very good condition and highly collectble. Jaeger LeCoultre watches are appreciated for their quality and elegance.
This timepiece will make a very good investment but it is also a stunning watch for wear. This has much to do with the complex United States duty regulations that made it more cost effective to import Jaeger LeCoultre movements, dials, crowns and hands into the USA from Switzerland and for the cases to be manufactured in the States. The Longines Wittnauer group did not manufacture Jaeger LeCoultre watches as some people mistakenly believe, the movements were produced in the Swiss Jaeger LeCoultre factory at Le Sentier and were identical in every way to movements distributed within Europe other than the LeCoultre markings on the watch.The cases were manufactured under licence in the United States and were marked "Cased and Timed in the USA by LeCoultre". In approximately 1985 the brand name "Jaeger LeCoultre" was adopted worldwide.
Some people believe that because LeCoultre movements are signed "VXN" on the bridge (denoting Vacheron & Constantin), they were manufactured by Vacheron & Constantin. Jaeger LeCoultre supplied movements to Vacheron & Constantin, which were used in their watches but not vice versa.The only collaboration that ever took place between these two prestigious watchmakers was the "Galaxy" diamond dial model. The Galaxy was marketed by both companies; with the case marked Vacheron & Constantin - LeCoultre Inc. " and the dial signed "LeCoultre. A more comprehensive explanation of these often mis-understood issues is provided in the excellent text book Jaeger LeCoultre a Guide for the Collector by Zaf Basha. For those who are interested in the history of famous watchmakers, the Jaeger LeCoultre watch company is one of the oldest Swiss watchmakers. Antoine LeCoultre opened a small factory in Le Sentier in 1833 where current factory remains. LeCoultre quickly built a reputation for quality and precision, so much so that he became the leading supplier of movements to the watch making industry in Switzerland. In 1925 Antoines grandson, David, merged the company with that of Edmond Jaeger, which is when the current day company, Jaeger LeCoultre came into existence. It is one of the few Swiss companies still producing its own movements, cases, dials and bracelets. This gives the company total control over the quality and precision of its watches and is a contributory factor for it being one of the small number of elite watchmakers with a world wide reputation for quality and precision. Jaeger LeCoultre has been one of the most innovative watchmakers in the world, having produced a number of revolutionary inventions including the Atmos Perpetual Motion Clock (which operates by changes in air pressure) and the creation of the worlds smallest mechanical movement which weighed less than one gram.
Alternatively I will undertake any repairs that are necessary if the watch is damaged or if in any other way differs significantly from the description. If I have not stated that the watch has been serviced, you may wish to have this work done, particularly if you intend to wear the watch on a daily basis. On request, I can provide you with details of independent watchmakers to whom you can send your watch for servicing.
I provide comprehensive details of my watches, including very clear photographs taken with a high resolution macro lens which shows detail not visible to the naked eye. I also invite you to ask questions if there is anything else you need to know. Please take care to consider the dimensions of the watch case as if it is a gentlemans Art Deco rectangular vintage watch, they were made significantly smaller than contemporary watches. Please do not expect quartz accuracy from a vintage watch.
In the 1940s/1950s the accepted timekeeping tolerance for a new 17 jewel manual watch was within three minutes a day. All of my watches are professionally inspected and tested before sale and if they are not running smoothly and keeping reasonable time I have them serviced and/ or have any other work undertaken that is needed to ensure the watch is in running condition.Please also note that I provide no guarantee that my watches are waterproof. I would always strongly recommend keeping any vintage well away from moisture. Listing and template services provided by inkFrog. The item "JAEGER LECOULTRE Gents Stainless Steel Bumper Automatic Vintage Watch 1946" is in sale since Sunday, October 4, 2020. This item is in the category "Jewellery & Watches\Watches, Parts & Accessories\Watches\Wristwatches". The seller is "jackanpet" and is located in South East. This item can be shipped worldwide.