Watch ID Help: James Dean's LeCoutre from the 1950's

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jamesdean78
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:07 am

Watch ID Help: James Dean's LeCoutre from the 1950's

Postby jamesdean78 » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:12 am

Hello! I hope you guys don't mind, as I am a newbie, trying to sort out a watch model. I'm a big fan of James Dean and have been trying to figure out which model LeCoutre watch he wore in the mid 1950's. I was recently at the Fairmount Historical Museum in his hometown, and they had the watch on display. Based on the angle I snapped two photos, albeit not great ones. The best I could do though. I was hoping someone on here may be able to help recognize it? He would have purchased it between 1953-1955, but most likely closer to 1955. Perhaps someone has a catalog which shows it, or maybe just has some information. This is proving harder to find than I thought. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks! :-)

zafbasha
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Re: Watch ID Help: James Dean's LeCoutre from the 1950's

Postby zafbasha » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:43 pm

You might want to post its photo. Thanks.

jamesdean78
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Re: Watch ID Help: James Dean's LeCoutre from the 1950's

Postby jamesdean78 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:27 am

I tried. but it keeps saying "the board attachment quota has been reached" :-(

zafbasha
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Re: Watch ID Help: James Dean's LeCoutre from the 1950's

Postby zafbasha » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:33 am

Let me check on that.

zafbasha
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Re: Watch ID Help: James Dean's LeCoutre from the 1950's

Postby zafbasha » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:37 am

Try it now, I removed the limitation in theory.

jamesdean78
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:07 am

Re: Watch ID Help: James Dean's LeCoutre from the 1950's

Postby jamesdean78 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:46 pm

Here are the two (albeit bad) photos I have. Thanks!
Attachments
11984488_10155970587365005_2119077241_o.jpg
12002208_763319437124664_6440634172185836292_n.jpg

BerryKean
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:11 pm

Re: Watch ID Help: James Dean's LeCoutre from the 1950's

Postby BerryKean » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:20 pm

Has anyone on the Jaeger-LeCoultre vintage Forum found out what make and model this James Dean owned LeCoultre watch is.

Come on, someone here must know this information.

I also have searched for years to find out the answer to this simple question...but no one in the collecting field knows.

Please help me to find this out, so I can rest at night. :)

Thank you

Berry Kean

Blacky004
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2022 2:57 am

Re: Watch ID Help: James Dean's LeCoutre from the 1950's

Postby Blacky004 » Tue Apr 12, 2022 4:06 am

Hi I have just registered so I can put a post on about this after finding this thread. Recently found out more information on the James Dean LeCoultre. About 4 years back I bought one from my Dealer. As I am a junkie on USA cased JLC/Longines from this era I bought it before he listed it on his site however he listed it as Sold and then received interest from collectors one of which wanted to buy it from me and another actually informed my dealer about the James Dean connection. In Feb this year Rhonda Riche wrote an article in Watchonista about the James Dean watch which confirmed to me that people still do not know much about it however there are collectors who obviously do know about it. So I did some digging on the internet and found a thread on Time Zone. A member from Italy had posted pics of his watch which is identical to mine and the Museum watch. So I posted on the Forum and he got back to me by my first name; he knew all about me. He was the Italian collector who tried to buy it off me through my dealer. After an exchange of posts I found out that in this Italian chaps opinion there are 6 known watches left including mine; and he is quite definite about this. This means he knows where the others are. He also posted that he inherited his from his Granddad who bought it from New York when he was a Theatre Manager there in the early 50s and that all 6 models are in 18ct Gold. I know that not only 18ct Gold but Green Gold (AU 75, AG 15, CU 6, CD 4) from a highly prized (by Jewelers) block used up in the early 50s as Cadmium in Gold was banned in the 30s due to toxicity in manufacture. So there would not have been many made as this stuff really is Rocking Horse Shit. It seems they were all sold from a shop in the Broadway theatre district, not a Watch Shop, a high end Jewellers. Can anyone tell me how this Italian Collector knows about the 3 missing watches?

gatorcpa
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Watch ID Help: James Dean's LeCoutre from the 1950's

Postby gatorcpa » Mon Apr 25, 2022 5:25 pm

Thank you for letting us know about that Watchonista article. I had not seen it before. Here is the link:

https://www.watchonista.com/articles/hi ... -lecoultre

Some points about James Dean watch:

1. It has been called a "Powermatic" in some web publications and forums. While it is true that it looks somewhat like some of the black-dialed Powermatic models, it does not have a power reserve indicator. It is also not an automatic watch. All Powermatics were automatics. The James Dean watch almost certainly has a manual wind cal. 480, which was LeCoultre's workhorse manual wind movement and one of their best.

2. LeCoultre Division (of Longines-Wittnauer) made a number of models in 18K gold with US made cases. Most were made during the late 1940's to early 1950's. Not all were featured in advertising of the time. So it is possible that this model had no formal name, except in a L-W jeweler's catalog that may no longer exist.

3. It is certainly possible that some versions of this watch were made in green gold. However, not all green gold has cadmium content. Please refer to this article:

https://www.thoughtco.com/composition-o ... oys-608016

So I don't necessarily buy the story about these watches being made from "old" pre-1940 gold. That being said, I haven't seen many watches made after 1935 in green gold at all. Could have been a style thing, or it could be because of the cadmium content.

4. The Watchonista article has some very detailed pictures of the dial of this LeCoultre that I have not seen before. Very fancy guilloche work on the dial. I think I've seen a few of these with white or two-tone dials, although I'm not sure if those had 18K yellow gold cases like the James Dean watch. I've not seen one of these in black before. Although among all the Swiss watch companies, LeCoultre seems to have made the most dress-style watches with black dials during the 1950's. I own several of them.

Hope this helps,
gatorcpa

gatorcpa
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Watch ID Help: James Dean's LeCoutre from the 1950's

Postby gatorcpa » Mon Apr 25, 2022 5:40 pm

Here is an example of a two-tone dial LeCoultre in a even fancier 18K yellow gold case:

Image

https://omegaforums.net/threads/vintage ... tre.35989/

Take care,
gatorcpa


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