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Le-Coultre Futurematic


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I have a love of bumper automatics, and have a few from different manufacturers in my collection. The Holy Grail that has eluded me for a long time is the Le Coultre Futurematic. This has now been put right by my latest acquisition from Germany.



This Futurematic has a complicated, but very well made calibre 497 movement and is keeping excellent time, about +3 seconds a day on the wrist. It also produced a nice clean graph with no beat error on my Timegrapher. I will service it sometime in the future and post an article about it. The only thing I have done to it is re-finish the original crystal and give the slightly worn gold finish a light polish and fit a new strap. I'll do a proper job later when I service it.

Unusual features are:-



The watch has no visible crown, it is hidden on the back of the case in the form of a flat serrated button. To set the watch, slide the button towards the middle of the watch then rotate it to set the time. There is a built in hacking lever so it is possible to set the time to the exact second.

The watch cannot be wound by the button, just set the time give the watch a couple of shakes and wear it.


Manual type mainspring that has no facility to let it slip when fully wound like other automatic watches. When fully wound, a latch comes into play and locks the bumper rotor preventing it from moving. When the spring unwinds slightly, the latch releases and allows the rotor to swing again. The good thing about this system is the rotor only moves when required and cuts down on bearing wear.

Another strange feature of the spring setup is it is pre-tensioned with one and half turns of preload when run down. This ensures an immediate start up as soon as the rotor moves, negating the need to give the watch a good shake before wearing it.


There is a power reserve indicator at the three o’clock position on the dial that rotates clockwise when winding. When fully wound, the indicator just touches the bottom of the gold quadrant, and when run down, the hand is in the vertical position at the beginning of the red quadrant. Power reserve is 27 hours.

Just as an aside, when re-casing the movement the matt black dial was a sod to clean properly. After using the puffer I noticed that there were still some tiny specks on the surface. They are easily removed with the lightest touch of the Jewel Picker Upper!

I hope you found this interesting.

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Great looking movement   from the photo the hairspring looks strange?   is it just the angle?   Just wondering I have not serviced that particular JL movement yet




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I see what you mean Jim. It is probably is just an aberration due to the lens and the angle the photo was taken. The watch starts easily and is holding excellent time, so I don't think anything is amiss. When I strip I get around to servicing it, I'll have a closer look.

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