by Kyle Stults on July 22, 2014
This eye-catching new grand comp from Jaeger-LeCoultre incorporates three complications: a minute repeater, a flying tourbillon and a zodiacal calendar. The Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication will be produced in an 8-piece white gold limited edition, honoring the exclusivity of the movement (JLC Cal. 945 which first debuted in 2010) and the intricate gem-set case (19.8 carats / 294 total diamonds). It will premiere at (increasingly popular) Watches & Wonders in Hong Kong from September 30th to October 2nd, 2014.
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Here’s the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1948 (Ref Q278852J), available exclusively in JLC boutiques at a price tag of $9,450. Cased in steel with a beautiful color-set on the dial, this piece is a boutique exclusive that is sure to please JLC enthusiasts. The Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1948 measures 46.8mm x 27.4mm and is a svelte 7.2mm thick. This is largely thanks to the manual wind JLC Cal 822/2 which is itself a mere 2.94mm thin (45 hour power reserve).
Jaeger-LeCoultre unveils twelve unique and precious timepieces epitomizing the horological excellence of the Grande Maison. This special collection builds on the fascination generated by grand complication watches and by the Hybris Mechanica collection that the Manufacture in the Vallée de Joux has been developing over the years. Behold!!!
Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3
Cased in tantalum, the spirit of this timepiece with is bluish-hue is edgy and avant-garde, accentuated by the black dial for the hours and minutes, the anthracite dial of the chronograph counter, and the ruthenium-treated movement. And of course the flying Gyrotourbillon and its spherical balance-spring as first seen in the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 unveiled in 2013 Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Céleste
Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Céleste
The orbital flying tourbillon does not indicate the passage of civil time, but instead sidereal time, which is nearly four minutes shorter in duration than solar time. Thus, the passage of Sirus – the reference star – at the zenith marks the celestial meridian. The starry sky stretches above in the shape of a hemispherical arch bounded by the horizon. The dial is made of royal blue aventurine. The area of the dial representing the months is guilloché and covered in translucent lacquer which recreates the effect of the depth of the cosmos. The hour-markers march around the inner bezel ring (or flange) to mark the rhythm of time. The flange itself is guilloché and filled with lacquer to blend in. Replacing the bezel, the domed crystal of the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Céleste is placed directly on the caseback, which provides a greater sense of openness and visibility of the orbital tourbillon.
Master Gyrotourbillon 1
The dial is made from a completely skeletonised aventurine plate, retaining in the end only openwork stone encrusted with sparkling flecks.
Duomètre à Grande Sonnerie
The Hybris Artistica version consists of a dial made of rock crystal that reveals the horological movement from the back of this watch that is protected by ten patents. Also known as “solidified light” of celestial origin, rock crystal has given rise to many myths and beliefs on several continents and in different cultures. Rock crystal can be veined, but it is an absolutely transparent
variety that was selected for the dial of the Duomètre à Grande Sonnerie Hybris Artistica.
In this Hybris Artistica version, the Manufacture created a water-resistant case composed of two sapphire crystal domes featuring lugs in 18-carat white gold. It showcases the dial, chiselled using a hand engraving technique that consists of removing material – 18-carat white gold – with a special chisel using multidirectional strokes to obtain a stunning surface, both finely grained and glossy. To accentuate the dramatic effect of the timepiece, a staircase is located in the opening that houses the tourbillon. With its finely chiselled steps, it frames and highlights the Sphérotourbillon whose transparent bridge is crafted from sapphire crystal. The elegant dials of the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon are crafted from white Grand Feu enamel with numerals fired with the enamel in a traditional technique followed to the letter.
Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Enamel
In this Hybris Artistica version, the dial is made of blue paillonné enamel that gives the watch face a dreamlike quality. The artisan shaves tiny motifs or chips from a block of silver, called paillons. These tiny chips are volatile and can easily scatter. Only with the expertise accumulated over time can the artisan distribute them harmoniously on the enamel. After the dial comes out of the kiln, with the inherent risks of firing at 800°, the artisan begins the difficult task of polishing the enamel. This involves revealing the metal elements flush with the dial without scratching the surface with specks of dust from the precious metal. the bezel is decorated with a border of enamel in an elegant reiteration of the overall harmony. The side of the case is engraved with a design inspired by the Doge’s Palace in Venice. For this purpose, openings are pierced all around the case, then filled with enamel and polished to reveal the beauty of the design. Also, the movement itself had to be redesigned and reworked. Steps were added – in gold so they could be enamelled – to remain in harmony with the rest of the dial. This staircase forms a spectacular amphitheatre that showcases the exuberant actor of this timepiece, the multi-axis tourbillon with a transparent sapphire bridge.
Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Pocket Watch
The Duomètre Sphérotourbillon pocket watch is openly inspired by a masterfully crafted timepiece, a grand complication pocket watch from 1928. It is a first, and what a first: a Sphérotourbillon included in a pocket watch. The architecture developed by the designers ensures that it is clearly visible through the notched opening at 6 o’clock. It is crowned by the hand-chiselled dial that gives it a unique appearance, both roughhewn due to the grained effect, and timelessly elegant. Also, the side of the case and the bezel are enamelled. On these curved and difficult to access surfaces, the enamel must be applied flush, then delicately polished to reveal the gold that adorns the bezel indicating the hours.
Grande Reverso Tourbillon Squelette
Entirely openworked, with its hand-decorated plate and bridges.
Reverso Cordonnet Neva
For this Hybris Artistica version, the upper dial of the watch, featuring the hour arc stylised by the iconic stretching numerals, is fully paved with baguette diamonds using the Rock-Setting® technique. The mystery of this setting technique is a heavily guarded secret at the Manufacture, and is characterised by the absence of visible metal between the stones. The twelve signs of the Zodiac were painted by hand on the rotating dial made of lapis lazuli.
For its Hybris Artistica version, the artisans considered how to fully pave the Rendez-Vous Tourbillon with diamonds, while maintaining the extremely expressive and distinctive features of the model.
Atmos or the dream of infinite movement. Thanks to its virtually perpetual movement, Atmos draws its energy solely from variations in temperature. It seems to live on air alone, the slightest degree Celsius giving it a power reserve of 48 hours. The design of the clock, with its disc of aerial dials and exquisitely balanced movement, exudes an extraordinary lightness, as if to proclaim that a breath of genius gave life to this work of wonder that is the Atmos. It contrasts with the sophisticated ornamentation of the lateral wooden doors – crafted from Indian rosewood and horse chestnut – featuring splendid handmade marquetry. Framed by these noble wood panels, two enamel miniatures reproduce paintings by Alphonse Mucha, Spring and Autumn.
partial text by JLC
Jaeger-LeCoultre pays tribute to an important piece from its past with the new Geophysic® 1958. The Geophysic 1958 will be offered in steel (limited 800 pieces – $9,800) and pink gold (limited 300 pieces – $20,800). As shown above, a (slightly different dialed) platinum model, limited 58 pieces, will also be offered exclusively in JLC boutiques at price tag of $32,000 on blue alligator strap. There’s a lot to like here and I’ll break it all down below.