Jaeger-LeCoultre have a long tradition of making automatic wrist watch movements and it all started back in 1946 with the Calibre 476!
The calibre 476 is a 12” / 29.56 mm bumper automatic movement. A true work-horse, in use between 1946 all the way to the end of 1950’s .
The Calibre 476 can be considered as “early” automatic movement. Yes there were many other brands which offered automatic or “self-winding” watches back in the 1940’s and 1950’s, but it was not until the 1960’s that automatic movements really came in fashion.
The Calibre 476 were soon developed further into the Calibre 481 which had an additional power reserve indicator showing how much time it was left in the barrel before all the power was gone.
Here is a scan from the early 1950’s show both Calibre 476 and Calibre 481 automatic watches.
My watch is most likely the reference E 360 shown above but with a different dial and hands type.
A 33 mm in diameter stainless steel case with snap-on case back. Based on the movement number this watch is from 1948-1949.
Jaeger-LeCoultre made many watches with the Calibre 476. Versions with different dials, hands and cases.
Here, a Jaeger-LeCoultre ad from 1947, same case but with luminous hands and index.
Love the design of this ad, the lines, almost like music note lines floating through the air, symbolising the movement of your wrist…
As stated, inside is the Calibre 476. A bumper automatic movement, you can see the oscillating weight and the T.W.O springs stopping the weight, making it “bump” back and forth.
Beating at a speed of 18000 vph / 2.5 Hz, with a power reserve of 42 hours.
In the early 1950’s Jaeger-LeCoultre released two other automatic movement models, the Powermatic and the Futurematic…
Models we will look closer upon while going through the history of Jaeger-LeCoultre automatic watches… Stay tuned!