This Le Cheminant Master Mariner has 41 jewels, but that has always been contentious. Read on to find out why. With pouch.
HOW DO WE DATE THIS WATCH?
Unusually, we have had one of these before that had a case back engraving for 1961. We can not be as definite with this watch, but it is likely to have been around at the same time, especially with the court case mentioned below.
Before we discuss the 41 jewels issues, let’s look at the rest of the watch. You have a 1960’s automatic movement in a stainless steel case that was waterproof. The dial is good, with dagger hands. The semi quick set calendar has open six and nines, adding to the period character. And of course the price is excellent for a watch with all of that and an automatic movement. So what is the 41 jewels issues? The AS 1701 movement fitted to this watch has 25 functioning jewels – that is jewels that act as bearings. But it also has 16 additional jewels that serve no purpose whatsoever. There is an article in the January 1962 Horological Journal that refers to a court case that banned ‘false jewelling’, as it was deemed misleading sales practice. The punishment was two years hard labour! Le Cheminant certainly were not the only ones, and some brands had 77 or even 100 jewels adorning their movements. But if anything this adds to the 41J watch’s appeal now. The leather strap is new, and could be swapped for a different colour if preferred.
This watch will be supplied with the original presentation pouch, and our Certificate of Authenticity.
Please see the HD video for more detail. All photos and videos are part of the description and are of the actual watch unless mentioned. We do not photoshop any pictures, and the images are copyright of birthyearwatches.com and should not be used without permission.
Width with crown 36.7 mm
Width without crown 34.2 mm
Between lugs 18 mm
Lug to lug length 42.4 mm
Case Thickness 11.9 mm
All sizes are approximate.
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