Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Blue: Synergy In Design With Diamonds
by Martin Green
For a watch aficionado, being a watch journalist is often filled with blessings; with the exception of 2020, we usually have the pleasure of visiting the big watch fairs and handling one new watch after another. It sometimes feels a bit Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, but the pace is intense and after a week I need my photos to remind me of what I saw.
Lots of amazing watches, sure, but we can’t always examine them as intimately as we’d like as there are too many watches and too little time. Which means that discovering an exquisite watch in peace and quiet with plenty of time is a luxury I appreciate and relish.
Even more so when the location is a quiet, comfortable salon on the first floor of the Jaeger-LeCoultre boutique at Place Vendôme in the middle of Paris, and the watch is the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Blue.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Blue: it’s not about the big spenders
At first glance, many may dismiss this Sphérotourbillon variation as a complicated bauble for the rich. But it’s not about the price tag, nor the 20-plus carats’ worth of diamonds, or even its animated tourbillon escapement.
The JLC Duomètre Sphérotourbillon is about pushing the boundaries of different crafts and uniting them into a single creation. Although perfectly capable of flaunting its precious nature, it is the path to its creation that makes this watch so exceptional.
The movement consists of an incredible 460 individual components, combining an unusual array of complications. In essence, the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Blue is a travel watch with an easily adjustable hour and minute hand and a subdial showing a 24-hour reference time zone.
The Duomètre Sphérotourbillon is intended to be a very precise travel watch, which is why Jaeger-LeCoultre fitted it with both its proprietary Sphérotourbillon and also gave the small seconds a “flyback” function, allowing the wearer to set the time to the precise second. Although not developed for this purpose, it can also function as a 60-second chronograph.
The unique Sphérotourbillon is stunning to see in action. This biaxial tourbillon consists of 105 parts and has a generous diameter of 11.5 mm, which makes it all the more attractive as it commands a prominent presence.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s goal was to have the tourbillon make a significant contribution to the precision of the watch. To achieve this, the brand’s technicians crafted the carriage in grade 5 titanium to make it as light as possible. Placed at a 20-degree inclination, the cage does a fast 30-second rotation, but it also rolls around a second axis, almost like a top ready to fall over.
This makes it “dance” unlike any other tourbillon, and Jaeger-LeCoultre made sure that the mechanism is on full display in the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Blue.
The unique movement features a dual-wing concept with two separate gear trains: one to power the displays and complications and one to power the regulating organ (the biaxial tourbillon). As a result, the timekeeping is not affected when the complications are active, ensuring complete accuracy of the watch.
Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Blue is also pretty thanks to great design (and diamonds)
You could easily argue that this mechanical excellence is more than enough for the watch to shine like a diamond, so why does it need the extra gemstones? This is a bit like saying that we’ve got a great engine in the car, so why bother with the bodywork or the interior?
The diamonds add to the beauty of the watch. Jaeger-LeCoultre opted to use the more subdued baguette-cut over brilliant-cut diamonds, which outline the shape of the case, lugs, and crown but also add even more depth to the dial.
The diamonds frame, in an almost subtle way, the stepped “wings” surrounding the Sphérotourbillon. The beauty of the diamonds and the white gold of the case contrast nicely with the blue aventurine in the subdials of the 24-hour reference time and small seconds.
The sparkling, dark glass material plays off the diamonds and ties the design together in such a way that all the materials and complications obtain a synergy. This is what makes the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Blue even more a work of art than its non-gem-set siblings.
For more information, please visit www.jaeger-lecoultre.com/eu/en/watches/duometre/duometre-spherotourbillon.
Quick Facts Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Blue
Case: 44 x 14.35 mm, white gold, fitted with a sapphire crystal window on the side of the case to view the tourbillon mechanism, set with 294 diamonds (20.5 ct) on the dial, case, bezel, lugs, and crown
Movement: manually wound Caliber 382HJ with dual-wing architecture and biaxial one-minute tourbillon inclined 20 degrees, two mainspring barrels, 50-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, flyback seconds; 24-hour display, dual power reserve indications
Price: upon request