A gentlemans' Jaeger LeCoultre Master Mariner Powermatic, power reserve, stainless automatic wristwatch dating to 1956 and in great original condition. First introduced in 1948 and with only 100,000 models produced, this watch is an iconic much sought after vintage timepiece. The Master Mariner version of the Powermatic is rarely seen. And it is even more difficult to find a stainless steel version, so much so that they often sell for more than a solid gold Powermatic. I was therefore delighted to acquire this example.
The "Powermatic" is an automatic bumper 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 to zero when the watch is unwound. This model has an attrative classic case and a lovely factory original dial showing only light patina. Freshly oiled and adjusted by my watchmaker, the watch is running perfectly and keeping time. It is signed in four places, on the dial, case, crown and movement. I have consistently received excellent feedback and many repeat buyers.
I will always do my best to help. Please scroll down to see more photographs and attributes of this watch. Stainless steel with a screw back cover, in very good condition, measuring approximately 34 mm across, excluding the signed crown and 41 mm from lug to lug.The inside of the case is signed "LeCoultre Co Swiss". It shows the inevitable signs of careful user over the last 64 years but no dents or scratches of any significance to see that I could find to point out to you. Dial : factory original, finished in satin silver and signed "LeCoultre Automatic Master Mariner Swiss". It has an inner minutes track and hours marked by silver coloured Arabic numerals and batons.
The power reserve indicator is located just under the 12 o'clock position. The hands are in good shape. The dial is showing light patina but the condition is much to good to contemplate any restoration which would only serve to devalue this watch. 481, 17 jewel automatic bumper movement, signed LeCoultre Co Automatic, running well and keeping time. 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 early 1950's.
Unlike the modern rotors which sit on top of the mechanism and rotate through 360 degrees, the bumper mechanism rotates through some 200 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. You will hear and feel the bumper rotor as it moves back and forth when shaken. 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 show a 40 hour charge.
As older automatics are not as efficient as modern day mechanisms, the watch may need manual winding from time to time to keep the power unit charged, depending on how much use and movement it receives when worn. Strap : fitted with a good quality Hadley-Roma black leather strap which fitted to the watch measures approximately 206 mm from buckle tip to last hole. 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 MASTER MARINER POWERMATIC Automatic Gents Vintage Watch 1956" 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 East Sussex. This item can be shipped worldwide.