This Jaeger-LeCoultre Futurematic began its life in Europe between 1953 and 1958. Each Futurematic manufactured between those years was sold at a loss by the marque due to the complexity of manufacturing an automatic watch so efficient that it possessed no traditional crown and necessitated no manual winding.
Of the roughly 10,000 Futurematics produced between those years, the vast majority were destined for the United States market, where they were cased in 10 karat gold, and stamped with the shortened “LeCoultre” moniker, due to an obscure trademark dispute of the era.
The starting point for the Cloister Futurematic was one of the roughly 500 stainless steel versions ever manufactured. Each of the stainless examples was sold in Europe with the full “Jaeger-LeCoultre” branding, however none was stamped “Futurematic.”
This project began with an extended search for a stainless example of the Futurematic. Once one was located, in France, a full mechanical restoration was completed. Only then could the work of reimagining this watch begin.
Design of this Futurematic required the amalgamation of the best elements of each iteration of the Futurematic produced by Jaeger-LeCoultre during the 1950s. The word “automatic” was deleted, and replaced with “Futurematic” in the stylized art-deco font found only on later “Porthole Futurematics. Placement of the model name was lowered to balance the dial. The power reserve indicators were reimagined in a bolder blue/ red scheme.
A slate grey hue was mixed for the dial color and rendered in a subtle metallic finish consistent with wristwatches of the era. Finally, the words“Power Reserve” traditionally printed on the lower portion of the left sub-dial were replaced with a name significant to the new owner of the piece.
Once completed and reassembled, the watch was fitted with a custom-made suede strap and a modern Jaeger-LeCoultre stainless steel tang buckle. A second custom-made strap in matte brown crocodile with a matching Jaeger-LeCoultre tang buckle was included with the watch (not pictured). This second iteration of the Cloister Futurematic represents the most subtle of departures from the original. Borne of the best elements of Jaeger-LeCoultre factory design of the era, this piece feels almost original in character, with just enough bespoke alteration to ensure it stands apart from the few hundred other steel Futurematics in existence.