Talking about automatic or self-winding watches…
One of the classic vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre watches with self-winding movement is the reference E 373 “Powerwind” or a.k.a. the “Powermatic”.
What is very interesting with this watch is that it was one of the first if not the first watch with automatic movement and a power-reserve indicator!
Here is the “jumbo” size – 37 mm in diameter French stainless steel version -“Fabriqué en Suisse” both on dial and movement.
The power-reserve is displayed in a window on the dial at twelve with indications from zero- to forty hours, of which the first thirteen are marked in red.
The Powerwind was made in several different sizes and with many different hands and dial versions.
According to several sources, the large size waterproof version is reference E 163 – but I do not agree here.
Looking at this scan from the early 1950’s – the correct reference would be E 373:
This document clearly state the 37 mm waterproof version to be reference E 373.
While the reference E 163 is an entire different watch without the power-reserve indicator:
“E” in the reference stands for “Étanche”, waterproof in French and the “B” at the end stands for chromium finished case.
Problem here to identify the reference since it is not stamped on inside the case back as on later references…
But based on the size and the fact that my watch have the screw-down case back, I would put my money on reference E 373!
Inside is the Calibre 481 which is based on the Calibre 476. The Calibre 476 I showed you earlier – Jaeger-LeCoultre Automatic Calibre 476.
Here is the movement specification for the Calibre 481 showing the power/reserve disk and additional parts:
Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the Powerwind in 1948 and together with the Zodiac “Autographic” was among the very first to have a self-winding movement with a power-reserve indicator!
Here is an article from 1949 about this achievement, stating these T.W.O watches as the very first once:
In my next report about this watch we will look into this article more…