The Perks Of The Dual Winged Heart Of The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Sphérotourbillon
Over one thousand reasons why this superlative timepiece may be the most alluring super tourbillon on the market?
Every time we think we’ve reached peak tourbillon, brands keep coming up with interpretations of this feature that draw us back in. They are almost the ultimate indulgence in luxury watches because nobody needs a tourbillon, but hardcore collectors really, really, really want one.
And to keep buyers wanting more than just one, brands have to continuing innovation in order to increase their desirability. They usually do this by releasing limited editions, marrying tourbillons with other complications and making the materials used in the manufacture more luxurious.
Case in point is the platinum encased Duomètre Sphérotourbillon from Jaeger-LeCoultre. This marvel of watchmaking features 460 parts, and thousands of reasons to love it. Let’s break it down by the numbers.
The marriage of JLC’s Duomètre and Sphérotourbillon technology makes this a unique piece to start with. And even though it is not a limited edition, membership to this collecting club comes with a big price (approx. $291,000 USD). It is definitely an "If you have to ask, you can't afford it" timepiece. If you are into exclusivity, then this is the tourbillon for you.
Traditionally, every time you add a complication — even something as simple as a date disk —it affects the precision of the timepiece because it requires additional power to move levers and gears.
Like all Duomètre movements, the Sphérotourbillon has a "dual-wing" function, which means that the supply of power to the mechanism is independent of extra complications. For example, the tourbillon also doubles as a seconds display A push-piece at 2 o’clock lets the wearer reset the seconds to zero (via a flyback mechanism) without having to stop the regulating organ independently.
In this instance, the regulating organ is, of course, the Sphérotourbillon’s titanium bi-axial tourbillon cage. This doohickey (technical term) revolves around the axis of its carriage while also spinning around a second axis, which is inclined at a 20° angle. This combo permits two distinct and fast rotations (30 and 15 seconds per revolution respectively) to provide more protection against gravitational forces than your basic tourbillon.
If rarity is catnip to collectors, elegance and quality are irresistible to people who are looking to invest in a singular watch. The watchmakers at JLC are not new to the tourbillon rodeo. In fact, the Sphérotourbillon is one of the manufacture's most beautiful technological creations. This version packs a lot of Turbo Power into a relatively small 42mm diameter, 14.1mm thick platinum case.
It also subtly transmits a lot of information. The design includes silvered, grained dial and polished rhodium-plated appliques. Local time and date are located to the right of the large opening for the Sphérotourbillon. A small seconds subdial sits in the lower sector of the dial, while a 24-hour subdial indicating a second time zone is displayed in the upper half.
The twin power reserves of the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon each run for 50 hours when fully wound. Individual power-reserve indicators, one for the movement, one for the indications, appear near the top and bottom of the dial.
Did we mention that the mechanical manual winding Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 382 contains 460 parts? We should also note that the tourbillon cage is made of titanium and positioned in the cutaway dial at 9 o’clock. The bridges and main plate are made of German nickel silver. And that it is hand-made and decorated entirely in-house at the brand’s Swiss manufacture in the Vallée de Joux. The movement also features a cylindrical balance-spring with two terminal curves (a hallmark of the first Sphérotourbillon launched in 2012).
The Duomètre Sphérotourbillon’s mechanism moves at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Because most modern mechanical wristwatch movements beat at about 28,800 vph, this might seem a little slow. But the fluidity of Sphérotourbillon cylindrical balance-spring allows it to operate with chronometer-level precision.