Jaeger-LeCoultre may be well-known for its minimalistic, Artwork Deco watch, the Reverso, or for its elegant Grasp assortment however this is able to be a reductive appraisal contemplating the whole lot else the Grande Maison can obtain: métiers d’artwork, advanced actions, very good designs. This 12 months, on the SIHH, the model launched an unimaginable masterpiece, the Grasp Grande Custom Gyrotourbillon Westminster, in addition to a brand new design for its high-end Grasp watches. Combining these two, the model has introduced one other spectacular piece with an revolutionary chiming mechanism – and extra. Right here’s the Jaeger-LeCoultre Grasp Grande Custom Repetition Minutes Perpetuelle.
A fancy chime
The primary hanging side (pun meant) of this new Grasp Grande Custom is its chiming mechanism. We already knew that JLC was one of the crucial educated manufactures on the subject of minute repeaters: it’s the solely model on this planet to have over 200 chiming watch calibres in its historic and trendy stock, together with the revolutionary Grasp Minute Repeater with gongs positioned towards the crystal.
With the brand new Grasp Grande Custom Repetition Minutes Perpetuelle, Jaeger-LeCoultre goals at combining power administration, musicality and the ability of the sound. This was achieved by creating a wholly novel gong configuration, not like every other. As an alternative of mendacity flat in overlapping coils like these generally seen on minute repeater gongs, the gongs of this watch depart radically from conference by incorporating unprecedented top and area.
Two gongs – seen in blue on the photographs – welded collectively at their base, journey in the identical route across the periphery of the motion, making one nearly full tour earlier than dramatically arching upwards, traversing the whole top of the motion. They then diverge and take a terminal semi-arc across the different facet of the motion, stopping simply earlier than their ends meet, across the periphery of the dial the place they are often seen by means of the dial-side sapphire crystal.
By maximising the area occupied by the factor that creates sound vibrations – the gongs – the Calibre 950 boosts its capability for sound transmission. The proximity of the gongs to a bigger proportion of the watch case, which serves as a sound resonator, will increase the sound even additional. Signature chime improvements of Jaeger-LeCoultre, such because the sq. gong cross sections and the articulated “trebuchet” hammers, be sure that the gongs are struck with the best attainable influence and the least interference from hammer recoil.
Greater than only a minute repeater
Lowering the brand new Jaeger-LeCoultre Grasp Grande Custom Repetition Minutes Perpetuelle to a minute repeater wouldn’t be truthful, as this watch has far more to supply than “simply” its chiming mechanism.
On prime of the bottom motion and mixed with the minute repeater module is one other spectacular complication, essentially the most superior kind of calendar, a perpetual calendar module. The one discovered on this Grasp Grande Custom is hallmark Jaeger-LeCoultre. Able to displaying right calendar data – making an allowance for the various lengths of the months, even throughout leap years – it additionally integrates a full-year indication on four digits. The indications are separated over three sub-dials, with the date at three o’clock, the month at 6 o’clock, the day of the week and moon section at 9 o’clock, and naturally, the hours and minutes within the centre.
One of many predominant points with perpetual calendars comes with changes, which might solely be carried out when the motion isn’t present process a change of date – this is able to trigger extreme injury to the mechanical components. As typically with JLC’s QPs, the Grasp Grande Custom Repetition Minutes Perpetuelle is supplied with a safety zone that seems in an aperture on the dial close to the axis of the hour and minute arms. This means when adjusting the time or calendar just isn’t suggested resulting from the opportunity of stressing and even damaging the motion.
What’s much more spectacular is that this watch options an automated winding mechanism, one thing uncommon on the subject of minute repeater watches. However don’t be scared, there’s no semicircular rotor to cover the view of the motion… On this mannequin, the winding rotor of the calibre 950 is hidden inside the motion, positioned between the perpetual calendar and minute repeater mechanisms, allowing a full view of the mechanism on the reverse facet of the watch.
As you’ll count on from a watch with a motion of this complexity, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Grasp Grande Custom Repetition Minutes Perpetuelle isn’t a small, ultra-thin piece. Its white gold case, which exhibits polished and sandblasted recessed surfaces, measures 43mm in diameter. Nevertheless, JLC has managed to comprise the peak and the watch has a good profile of 13.72mm – not dangerous for an automated repeater QP. The case alone contains over 80 separate hand-finished components.
Following the pattern of the brand new watches launched at SIHH 2019 – together with the brand new Grasp watches and the Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpetuel – the brand new Grasp Grande Custom is available in two flavours. The primary is a standard tackle the watch, with a silver-grained dial and rhodium-plated utilized indexes and arms.
The second model contains a extra advanced dial. The stable white gold base is first embellished with guillochage and the perpetual calendar counters are then precision laser-welded onto the dial. The remaining areas are full of translucent enamel in one other multi-stage course of. The enamel is then polished, ensuing within the last dial combining depth and a shiny, translucent floor. Each variations of the watch are worn on a blue alligator leather-based strap.
Worth and availability
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Grasp Grande Custom Repetition Minutes Perpetuelle will probably be a restricted version of 30 items with silver-grained dial (ref. Q5233420) and 30 items with blue enamel guilloché dial (ref. Q52334E1). The value hasn’t been revealed but, however don’t count on this watch to come back low-cost.
Extra particulars at www.jaeger-lecoultre.com.