JAEGER-LECOULTRE PRACTICES THE ART OF PRECISION WITH THE NEW MASTER GRANDE TRADITION GYROTOURBILLON WESTMINSTER PERPÉTUEL
Jaeger-LeCoultre was founded in 1833 in the Vallée de Joux, the cradle of complicated Swiss watchmaking. Since then, it has relentlessly pursued innovation in aid of precision timekeeping. One of the first inventions of founder Antoine LeCoultre was the millionometer, the first instrument able to measure the micron. Ambitious and industry-defining innovation, combined with haut-de-gamme finishing and artistry, are honoured traditions at Jaeger-LeCoultre, which has created more than 1,200 watch calibres to date, counts 180 different watchmaking and watch-related skills as part of its in-house expertise, has over 400 registered patents and has revived age-old decorative techniques such as guillochage and grand feu enamelling in its inhouse Métiers Rares atelier. The 2019 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie will see La Grande Maison present the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel, the first multi-axis tourbillon with a constant-force mechanism, Westminster chime and perpetual calendar.
Key points of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel
- The fifth multi-axis tourbillon from Jaeger-LeCoultre, with a size reduction in the redesigned tourbillon component to create a more wearable watch
- A Westminster carillon minute repeater that replicates the chime of the famed Big Ben clock tower in London, with a silence-reduction mechanism to optimise melody cadence
- Incorporates a one-minute constant-force mechanism to provide consistent energy to the sensitive tourbillon, resulting in a precisely jumping minute hand and a more precise minute repeater mechanism
- A sleek new contemporary aesthetic that pairs traditional haut-de-gamme finishing with modern, wearable watches at the top of the mechanical watchmaking hierarchy
JANUARY 2019 — The Jaeger-Lecoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel is the latest generation of multi-axis tourbillon to emerge from Jaeger-LeCoultre, following the 2004 Master Gyrotourbillon 1, the 2008 Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2, the 2013 Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee and the 2016 Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon.
Precision tourbillons are a noted speciality of Jaeger-LeCoultre, as proven by the 2009 Concours International de Chronométrie timing competition, in which the top two prizes were awarded to Jaeger-LeCoultre. The strength in creating high-precision tourbillons goes hand-inhand with the mastery required to engineer the visually spectacular Gyrotourbillon watches. Even with the considerable energy demands of the large multi-axis tourbillon, chronometric performance must not be affected. Reconciling the needs of the Gyrotourbillon with impeccable chronometric requirements is a balancing feat that can only be accomplished with the experience and skill of a 186-year-old watchmaking manufacture.
Further advancing the art of multi-axis tourbillons, the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel features a tourbillon that is significantly smaller than those in the preceding Gyrotourbillon timepieces. As a rule, reducing the size of a mechanism also reduces its error tolerance, which is why successful miniaturisation efforts are so highly valued and complex. In creating a smaller tourbillon, Jaeger-LeCoultre has created a truly wearable Gyrotourbillon, bringing high complication out of the watch safe and onto the wrist for everyday enjoyment.
The Westminster chime is familiar to everyone as the famous melody of the Big Ben clock at the Palace of Westminster in London. Its four-phrase melody is composed of four notes played in different sequences and different quantities at each quarter of the hour. The Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel uses four sets of gongs and hammers to create the Westminster chime to indicate the quarters when the minute repeater is activated, incorporating a complex mechanism that places it at the most prestigious tier of chiming watches.
The most beautiful chime can be marred by interruptions and gaps of silence between the strikes. In order to create a chime of unmatched euphony, the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel has a silence-reduction function built into its chiming mechanism. This ensures that even when the full set of Westminster quarters is not struck, there is no time delay corresponding to the missing quarters before the minutes are struck. In every instance of the chime when the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel is activated, the hour strikes, quarter strikes and minute strikes are seamlessly joined.
Precision lies at the heart of the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel, with a one-minute constant-force mechanism that provides a consistent level of power for the energy-hungry tourbillon without affecting its chronometric ability. The constant-force
mechanism consists of a spring, known classically as a remontoir d’égalité, that is periodically re-armed by the mainspring and acts as a secondary power source to protect the regulating organ of the movement.