SIHH 2015 Photo Essay: Jaeger-LeCoultre
The moon and its astronomical implications was the overriding theme for Jaeger-LeCoultre at the 2015 edition of the SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) in Geneva.
And there was no better way to illustrate this than to introduce new variations on some of the Le Sentier-based brand’s most complicated timepieces.
In 2009, Jaeger-LeCoultre began paying tribute to its heritage with a new line called the Master Grande Tradition, which is generally distinguished by a combination of two high complications and a very high level of fine finishing.
The Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication – though not a grand complication according to the accepted definition, which states it should contain at least a chronograph, a perpetual calendar and a repeater (remember that a tourbillon is by definition not a complication) – is a perfect example of what the company means by this: manually wound Caliber 945 boasts a minute repeater with the brand’s own crystalline sounding cathedral gongs and trebuchet hammers for a loud, clear chime.
But it also alludes to astronomy with its sky chart, indication of month, 24-hour mean time display, and zodiac. An orbital flying tourbillon whizzes around the dial displaying sidereal time against the backdrop of the heavens.
One great focus of the Master Grande Tradition line is the meticulous craftsmanship in the art of decoration, which extends from the contrasting polishes of the case, lugs, and bezel, and the finely fluted crown through to the movement, whose untreated German silver surfaces boast several types of decorative polishing and hand-beveling. Swiss-style chatons and blued screws round out the classic look of these movements. The silicon escapement is an interesting modern, contrasting touch.
The Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Moon is derived from 2012’s Duomètre à Sphérotourbillon. As compared with that timepiece, the Moon version seems cleaner, more minimalistic. The lapis lazuli moon phase accurate for 3,887 years found within the time display subdial of course forms the second focal point after the double-axis tourbillon that charmingly performs its infinite kinetic pirouette within the large sapphire crystal recess that has captured it.
Rotating at a much faster rate than a usual one-minute tourbillon, the 105 components comprising the Sphérotourbillon are encased in an 11.5 mm cage of titanium inclined at 20 degrees. It takes 30 seconds for the entire tourbillon to complete one revolution, while the inclined carriage within makes an entire revolution in a speedy 15-second time frame.
The beating heart of this tourbillon is made up of a cylindrical balance spring provided by Richemont sister brand A. Lange & Söhne that boasts two terminal curves, lending it the ability to breathe in both directions.
The Duomètre concept is based on the dual-wing movement, which was inspired by a Jaeger-LeCoultre pocket watch from 1881. It incorporates two movements combined into one. One side, complete with its own gear train, is for the watch’s functions, while the other side – also outfitted with its own gear train for the regulator – is intended to only serve accuracy. For all practical purposes, the Duomètre calibers boast two independent mechanisms connected by one regulating organ.
When the Duomètre à Sphérotourbillon’s crown is pulled out and the flyback button at 2 o’clock on the case is pushed, the second hand resets – but the balance wheel and tourbillon continue along their usual paths, meaning there is no loss of amplitude or precision.
The Master Calendar is striking not only in its deceptive simplicity, but also its unique meteorite dial. This dial comprises one single block and comes from a meteorite discovered in Sweden.
The Rendez-Vous line launched during the 2012 film festival season. Brand ambassador Diane Kruger, the “face” of this rebooted line that once enjoyed popularity in the early 1990s, helped to publicly reintroduce the watch whose name is derived from the special dial element that allows the owner to set a time to be remembered: the “rendez-vous time.”
One of the reasons that I adore the Rendez-Vous Celestial is that it is both deliciously complicated and visually stunning at the same time. Indeed, its overtly feminine style is perfectly suited to the smaller wrist of the female enthusiast in a 37.5 mm gold case.
For me, diamonds are not a necessary addition to the feminine timepiece (I personally rarely wear them on my own watches), but I do understand the attraction: combining their fierce sparkle with the deep red of the rare (but natural) bordeaux-colored aventurine dial and alligator-skin strap makes this timepiece a unique visual treat indeed.
The Rendez-Vous Celestial was launched two years ago in a blue edition. To compare and contrast with the red, please read Serious Horology For Women: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Celestial.
We reported on the Geophysic 1958 just after its arrival on the U.S. market in late 2014. For the full, hands-on rundown on this beautiful timepiece, please read Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Geophysic 1958: Appealingly Adventurous On The Wrist.
For more information, please visit www.jaeger-lecoultre.com.
You may also enjoy our further SIHH 2015 coverage including:
SIHH 2015 Photo Essay: Richard Mille
SIHH 2015 Photo Essay: Greubel Forsey
Give Me Five! Tourbillons From SIHH 2015
BOOM! Montblanc’s Explorer-Inspired Heritage Chronométrie Collection
SIHH 2015 Photo Essay Sunday: De Bethune, Urwerk, Laurent Ferrier, Revelation, Christophe Claret, Speake-Marin
SIHH 2015 Photo Essay Monday: Ralph Lauren, Richard Mille, And Montblanc
Celebrating 25 Years Of SIHH
Quick Facts Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication
Movement: manually wound Caliber 945 with orbital flying tourbillon and silicon escapement; 4 Hz/28,800 vph, 40-hour power reserve
Functions: hours minutes shown in sidereal time (not mean time); rotating sky chart with zodiac indication, month and 24-hour (mean time) display; minute repeater
Case: 45 x 15.8 mm, 18-karat pink gold
Price: only upon request
Quick Facts Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Moon
Movement: manually wound Caliber 389, dual-wing movement with two spring barrels for 45 hours of power reserve and a double-axis tourbillon inclined at 20 degrees
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds with zero-reset; two power reserve indicators (one for regulating organ and one for the functions), moon phase indication, 24-hour indication (second time zone)
Case: 42 x 14.3 mm, platinum
Price: only upon request
Quick Facts Master Calendar
Movement: automatic Caliber 866
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; day, date, month, moon phase (complete calendar)
Dial: genuine meteorite
Case: 39 x 10.6 mm, pink gold or stainless steel
Price: pink gold $23,900 or stainless steel $12,400
Quick Facts Rendez-Vous Celestial Bordeaux
Movement: automatic Caliber 809/1
Functions: hours minutes; rotating sky chart with zodiac constellation indication (driven by an annual calendar); “rendez-vous” hand to indicate a personal date (moved via second crown)
Dial: one part bordeaux-colored aventurine and one part hand-guilloché metal coated with red lacquer
Case: 37.5 mm, 18-karat pink gold
Diamond setting: 139 brilliant-cut diamonds (total 1.94 ct) on bezel, case band, and crowns