Jaeger Lecoultre Futurematic Custom
The Cloister Jaeger-LeCoultre Futurematic began its life in Europe between 1953 and 1958. Each Futurematic manufactured between those years was sold at a loss due to the complexity of manufacturing an automatic watch so efficient that it required no crown and never necessitated winding.
Of the roughly 10,000 Futurematics made between those years, the vast majority were destined for the United States market, where they were cased in 10 karat gold filled cases, and stamped with the shortened “LeCoultre” moniker due to an obscure trademark dispute.
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 a six-month search for a stainless example of the Futurematic. Once one was located, 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 throughout the 1950s. The word “automatic” was deleted, and replaced with “Futurematic” in the United States-spec font. Placement of the name was lowered to balance the dial. The power reserve indicators were reimagined in a bolder blue/ red scheme.
Finally, a simple powder-blue was mixed for the dial color, with the addition of some metallic silver to add a note of complexity. The dial was finished with a subtle sun-ray effect and accented with white text. Dial design and execution required another six months of labor.
Once completed and reassembled, the watch was fitted with a custom-made cordovan leather strap and a modern Jaeger-LeCoultre stainless steel tang buckle for its new owner. Ultimately, 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. Only one will ever exist.