SIHH 2019: Jaeger-LeCoultre's Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel Lives Up To Its Name
Will the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel strike the right notes with collectors?
Not content with just four multi-axis tourbillons in its movement arsenal, Jaeger-LeCoultre has outdone itself once again with the new Master Grande Tradition Westminster Perpetuel. The watch not only features Jaeger's new smaller-sized tourbillon and a perpetual calendar, it's equipped with a minute repeater that chimes the melody of the Big Ben clock in London.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has been making repeaters since 1870, and the brand's 150 years of experience in making chiming mechanisms certainly shows in the exquisite new repeater in the Master Grande Tradition Westminster Perpetuel. Four sets of gongs made of sapphire crystal take advantage of crystal's high-quality sound transmission, with the striking hammers achieving a maximum area of contact with the specially square-shaped gongs. A silence-reduction function ensures that the chiming flows without interruption.
The chimes can be seen in action through the open worked dial. In addition, the mechanism that controls the minute strike follows a one-minute jumping system, which eliminates the chiming error that can occur when the repeater is activated between minutes. The minute constant force mechanism that provides consistent energy to the sensitive tourbillon results in a jumping minute hand and a super-precise minute repeater.
Jaeger-LeCoultre added a new user-friendly feature to the Master Grande Tradition's perpetual calendar mechanism. Unlike most other perpetual calendars that can only be adjusted forward, the date can be adjusted both forwards and backwards without causung damage to the movement. The tourbillon's aperture overlaps the watch's dial at six o'clock, and Jaeger engineered the pointer style date indicator to "jump" over the tourbillon between the dates of 16 and 17.
The Gyrotourbillon's movement is visually hypnotic: the way this tourbillon moves is a vision to behold. The tourbillon is smaller in size than its four predecessors, conserving valuable space and increasing wearability. The Gyroturbillon builds on the innovations of the four previous multi-axis touorbillons: the 2004 Master Gyrotourbillon 1, the 2008 Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2, the 2013 Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee and the 2016 Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon.
NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC
The watch's 18K gold case evokes the profile of the Master Grand Tradition. And the time-honored arts of guilloche, hand hammering (martelage) and the deep grand feu enamel of the blue dial version (there is also a silvered grey version) speak to the manufactures’ Metiers Rares atelier. This timepiece offers a sleek, sophisticated design (although at 43 mm it still has a lot of wrist presence). With just 18 watches available worldwide, collectors will need to act quickly to acquire Jaeger-LeCoultre's newest masterpiece.