LeCoultre Bumper P812
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  1. #1
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    LeCoultre Bumper P812

    I can't properly express how much I like this watch, which it has astonished me for keeping exceptionally accurate time (+45' per week), even before being serviced. I am confident that it will be regulated to even better standards.

    Cutting to the chase:

    Brand: LeCoultre, between 1955-1958, in a monoblock 14K gold case. The 35mm case is engraved "Cased and Timed in USA by LeCoultre"



    The movement is a hammer automatic, commonly called bumper, in this case is the 17j p812 which is not so well documented. It was the second bumper movement from JLC and it beats at a rare 19.800A/h. The bumper movement which was eventually abandoned for the full rotor, makes a worrying noise in the case, like if something is loose in the movement, and it can be felt bumping on the spring.





    When I bought it, the dial showed some deep stains which in the beginning felt like dial scratches. However, patience with (several) slightly wet cotton bud, strength and dedication left a clean dial. The crystal which was also scratched got like new with just toothpaste and a polishing cloth, by hand.

    And here it is in my wrist, where I proudly put it in the mornings on the way to work.






    It is just a great watch. Its historic value, accuracy and chronologic milestone of a bumper, makes it even more lovable to me. I will take good care of it.

  2. #2
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    Re: LeCoultre Bumper P812

    That is one amazing Jaeger-LeCoultre! Superb work on the dial too, it more or less looks brand new! My Jaeger-LeCoultre says hello (https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/i-c...85-912865.html)!

    By the way, I think you are spot on regarding the age of the watch. The movement serial number of mine is 1232652 and the watch is from 1957. Perhaps yours is from 1958 considering the movement serial number of 1273667?

    Lastly, I am slightly curious about the shock protection system used. I am fairly sure that the P in the caliber number of the movement used in my watch (P478/C) stands for "pare-choc", as I have seen another implementation of the 478 movement with a K in front using the KIF flector shock protection system. Is the same true regarding the shock protection system of the movement of your watch? Is this another implementation of the pare-choc system?

  3. #3
    Member Tony C.'s Avatar
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    Re: LeCoultre Bumper P812

    Very nice! Those JLC bumper movements were among the best of the day. Here's mine, with the same movement...

    Name:  P812d.jpg
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  5. #4
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    Re: LeCoultre Bumper P812

    Quote Originally Posted by Warwian View Post
    That is one amazing Jaeger-LeCoultre! Superb work on the dial too, it more or less looks brand new! My Jaeger-LeCoultre says hello (https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/i-c...85-912865.html)!

    By the way, I think you are spot on regarding the age of the watch. The movement serial number of mine is 1232652 and the watch is from 1957. Perhaps yours is from 1958 considering the movement serial number of 1273667?

    Lastly, I am slightly curious about the shock protection system used. I am fairly sure that the P in the caliber number of the movement used in my watch (P478/C) stands for "pare-choc", as I have seen another implementation of the 478 movement with a K in front using the KIF flector shock protection system. Is the same true regarding the shock protection system of the movement of your watch? Is this another implementation of the pare-choc system?
    Thank you Warwian. Your comment had me doing a deeper investigation. It's difficult to age the JLC watches, but in this case I had to estimate according to the movement, used from 1955 to 1958/59. Seeing your dating, mine is probably 1959...
    The dial cleaning was a real surprise. Me and the person who sold it (it was bought in an antiquities shop, under the magnifying glass...) were convinced that it was permanent dial damage. However, when I was just trying to clean it from regular dust, I saw that some stains got weaker when the cotton brushed hard enough. So patience and no chemicals, 2 days work got it like that.

    Your movement comment had me investigating... You are right that the P in the movement is for parachoc, which was the implementation of the Superchoc system developped by JLC, particularly in your caliber, the 478. However, mine is a Kif "by the book". I have been looking around and it seems that although all parachoc (supershock) movements were PXXX, Kif protected movements would come either with PXXX or KXXX. That is a mistery that some JLC historian could unwrap for us one day...


    Finally, congrats on yours. As I was reading about the Para-Schock, your movement came in the way as example of a fine movement used also by Vacheron Constantin.

    I reproduce a NAWCC diagram on the shock absorbers which I think identifies mine as Kif.


  6. #5
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: LeCoultre Bumper P812

    Good stuff.

    BTW, an even fuller list can be found here: http://www.info-uhren.de/technik/techn/stosskurz.pdf

    This link was posted by mike184 and can be found in our Links and Articles sub-forum.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

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    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

  7. #6
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    Re: LeCoultre Bumper P812

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony C. View Post
    Very nice! Those JLC bumper movements were among the best of the day. Here's mine, with the same movement...

    Name:  P812d.jpg
Views: 2723
Size:  243.4 KB
    I have learnt an interesting thing from your watch...

    When I was reading about vintage hand-winding Longines, which was and is my primary interest in Vintages, one of the rules to spot a redial or, at least, a poorly made one, was to see carefully the font for "Automatic". The word should be in cursive, with an Spencerian "A" and a big C that ends below the line of the word... I was surprised to see my Lecoultre with similar font and then I thought it was standard for the time, until I saw yours. That brought me the idea that yours, or mine, would be a redial...
    However, I have seen that it is actually a Wittnauer (lazy) feature. Wittnauer was, as we know, the importer of Longines, JLC and others into USA, and for tax reasons would bring "unadjusted" and "Uncased" watches. They were also responsible to drop out the name "Jaeger" from the JLC watches. I have just realized that they used the same font for "Automatic" in all their imported watches, regardless of the brand...

    You have mine up there, and here would be another example:

    and then you have this Longines, like most of the time with really similar font:



    And they all obey to the fact that this way of printing "Automatic", was the one used by Wittnauer in all their watches!





    However, in Europe the name stayed "Jaeger LeCoultre", and the font was regular and capitals, like yours, or the examples from the JLC page...



    There are excemptions to this rule particularly with LeCoultre, as the memovox and the futurematic were especial dials that I believe came directly from JLC and were not under Wittnauer's influence. But from this, I would recheck for a possible redial from a Jaeger LeCoultre with cursive "Automatic" or from a plain LeCoultre dial cased in USA with a Capitalized "Automatic".

  8. #7
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    Re: LeCoultre Bumper P812

    Quote Originally Posted by Marrick View Post
    Good stuff.

    BTW, an even fuller list can be found here: http://www.info-uhren.de/technik/techn/stosskurz.pdf

    This link was posted by mike184 and can be found in our Links and Articles sub-forum.
    Great! I was looking for something like that!

  9. #8
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    Re: LeCoultre Bumper P812



    Here is my mid 50s LeCoultre Powermatic. I just love this watch, I'm wearing it almost everyday - JLC is a great choice of a vintage watch.

  10. #9
    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
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    Re: LeCoultre Bumper P812

    congrats on a nice jlc
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  11. #10
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    Here is my P812 bumper in 9ct, serial number 1228968. I have it on an ostrich strap with deployant clasp. Don't you just love the way you can feel and hear the bumper working?
    Attached Images Attached Images



    busmatt likes this.

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