We often try to find hidden jewels for collectors that might spur interest on a tight budget. This particular piece is one of those awkward watches that has a great deal of talking points and may once again flourish at auction, just not currently. The watch is circa 1950’s and was distributed in the states by Westinghouse – not unusual for the time, as some familiar brands were.
LeCoultre is the actual brand name, it’s a product from Jaegar LeCoultre but brought to America as LeCoultre. Also, Vacheron Constantin is labeled on the back, again a distribution mark and not associated with the movement which is purely Jaegar. These models were all cased and timed in USA.
Even more interesting than the confusing labels and distribution channels, is that there are no hands on the dial. Instead of the traditional format, the Mystérieuse has diamond indices and diamond discs that rotate, making it easy enough to tell the time. The case is made of 14K gold, but at just 33mm, the small size is part of the time period. Grab one of these if you can get a solid price of 2k or less. These could be even more collectable in the future, or maybe not? It’s a mystery.
The movement rundown:
- M. Caliber 480/CW, rhodium-plated
- 17 jewels
- Straight-line lever escapement
- Monometallic balance
- Shock absorber
- Selfcompensating flat balance spring