LeCoultre Futurematic

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REF 199
Manual-winding
35 MM
– Show less
SKU AS04105
Article Number 40990120
ref 199
case size 35 MM
movement Manual-winding
approximate age 1950s
dial color Silver
material Gold Filled
style Dress
category Vintage
bracelet Leather
lug width 18 MM
Includes Analog:Shift Murdock red calf leather strap with gold plated pin buckle. Also includes inner box, books, and guarantee papers.
material Calf
overall condition Case is in excellent condition overall showing normal signs of wear consistent with age and use with no breaching of gold fill. Satin silver dial with applied indices and radial subsidiary registers is in equally excellent condition with matching 'dauphine' handset. Unsigned caseback crown.
REF 199
Manual-winding
35 MM
– Show less
SKU AS04105
Article Number 40990120
ref 199
case size 35 MM
movement Manual-winding
approximate age 1950s
dial color Silver
material Gold Filled
style Dress
category Vintage
bracelet Leather
lug width 18 MM
Includes Analog:Shift Murdock red calf leather strap with gold plated pin buckle. Also includes inner box, books, and guarantee papers.
material Calf
overall condition Case is in excellent condition overall showing normal signs of wear consistent with age and use with no breaching of gold fill. Satin silver dial with applied indices and radial subsidiary registers is in equally excellent condition with matching 'dauphine' handset. Unsigned caseback crown.

Why We Love it

Compared to Blancpain and Rolex, JLC came late to producing automatic movements. 

The Calibre 476 arrived in 1946, twenty years after Blancpain debuted their first automatic, and fifteen after Rolex did the same. However, while Blancpain's and Rolex's movements had low power reserves, JLC's Calibre 476 had a power reserve of 40 hours; additionally, the movement was accurate enough to achieve chronometer certification twelve years after its introduction. 

In 1953, JLC broke the mold — both literally and figuratively — with the Futurematic. After the devastation wrought during six years of total war, the world turned its eyes to the future. Manufacturers both horological and otherwise designed products in innovative shapes and colors that aesthetically embodied the future the world aspired to.

The Futurematic was powered by the Calibre 497, which, thanks to its larger balance, was even more accurate than the Calibre 476. Like many early automatic movements produced by Universal Genève, for example, the Calibre 497 was a bumper wind movement. But in the Calibre 497, the oscillating weight was locked into place by a little hook, preventing it from overwinding and breaking the mainspring, which was a problem that plagued many early automatic calibers. 

The Calibre 497 is also notable for its hacking mechanism. A feature of many military watches that JLC carried over into the construction of this watch, the hacking mechanism — which was unusual in automatic watches of the time — allowed for unparalleled accuracy. JLC also included a revolutionary six-hour power reserve (indicated by the sub-dial at 9:00) that stops the movement from running when there's six hours of power left. 

Perhaps the most noticeable design quirk is the lack of a conventional crown at 3:00. With the Calibre 497, JLC created a unique hand-setting wheel that is engaged by sliding — not lifting — the coin-shaped crown on the back of the case inward toward the center of the watch, which also engages the hack lever. To set the hands, the wearer simply rotates the crown clockwise; to get the hands going again, one slides the crown toward the outside of the case.

This particular Futurematic from the late 1950s is housed in a 35mm gold-filled case with long, straight lugs, an acrylic crystal, and the distinctive Futurematic sliding crown on the caseback. It features a multi-tone silver dial with applied indices and a matching ‘dauphine’ handset, a power reserve indicator at 9:00, and a running seconds indicator at 3:00 - both of which possess radial finishing. Of course, it’s powered by the famed Calibre 497 movement from Universal Genève.

With distinctive looks and an innovative construction, the Futurematic is emblematic of an era, a classic of mid-century horology that deserves appreciation.

Brand Story

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Few watchmaking concerns are as storied as Jaeger-LeCoultre. Though the maison is not technically a member of the “Holy Trinity” of Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin, one could easily make the argument that it should be: After all, it was JLC that supplied movements to Patek from the beginning of the 20th century through the early 30s.

Founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoutlre in Le Sentier, Switzerland, the firm became the Jaeger-LeCoultre we know today when it merged with Parisian watchmaker Edmond Jaeger’s business in 1937. The two horological concerns collaborated on numerous projects before cementing their partnership, the most important of which was no doubt the Reverso. A sport watch with a reversible case, this ingenious timepiece was designed to offer protection to the watch dial — when engaged in sport or otherwise dangerous activity, the wearer would simply flip the case over, exposing its back to the world, rather than the vulnerable crystal.

But the Reverso is far from the only significant timepiece brought to market by JLC: The firm also produced the world’s thinnest pocket watch in 1907, powered by the Caliber 145. In 1929, the maison released the Caliber 101, still today the smallest mechanical movement. (Queen Elizabeth II wore a Caliber 101-equipped wristwatch to her coronation in 1953.) And perhaps no other watchmaker is world-renowned for their production of a clock in the way that JLC is famous for the Atmos. Invented by Jean-Léon Reutter, it’s powered by miniscule changes in atmospheric pressure — Edmon Jaeger acquired the patent and licensed it beginning in 1936. The Atmos is still produced in numerous forms today, and remains the Swiss government’s foremost diplomatic gift.

From classic, near-centuries old designs like the Reverso and the Atmos to modern über-complications such as the brilliant Master Gyrotourbillon, Jaeger-LeCoultre remains on the cutting edge of horological technology nearly two centuries after its founding.

A:S Guarantee

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Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.

Condition

Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.

Warranty

We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns

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All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

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LeCoultre Futurematic

LeCoultre Futurematic

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LeCoultre Futurematic

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