Gyrotourbillons are shining beacons of horological excellence. It takes remarkable skill and precision to craft a multi-axis tourbillon, which makes it an absolute novelty in the world of watchmaking. Over the years, Jaeger-LeCoultre has made a name for itself by mastering this art and early this year, it unveiled their fifth multi-axis tourbillon, the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel. This time, the spherical tourbillon cage comes in a reduced size, allowing it to share space with some other exquisite complications.
It was in 2004 that Jaeger-LeCoultre began its journey with multi-axis tourbillons – it started with the Master Gyrotourbillon 1, and was followed by the Reverso Gyrotourbillon, a timepiece way ahead of its time, where the mechanism was integrated into the watchmaker’s flagship Reverso line. However, the latest multi-axis tourbillon is undoubtedly at the forefront of the brand’s offering not only in this genre, but overall as well.
- The fifth multi-axis tourbillon from the watchmaker, there is a size reduction in the redesigned tourbillon component to create a more wearable watch. This is in itself a feat, with miniaturising a mechanism also creating room for affecting precision timekeeping. The timepiece also features a Westminster Perpétuel, a perpetual calendar, chime, and of-course, a minute repeater, thus holding some of modern watchmaking’s most admired and tough-to-create complications.
- The semi-skeletal aesthetic on the dial and caseback puts the entire mechanism on display. On the front you’ll see the minute repeater hammers and patented crystal gongs that play Westminster carillon (the familiar melody made famous by the clocktower housing Big Ben at London’s Westminster Palace) – four sets that create the chime to indicate the quarters when the minute repeater is activated. In order to create a clear sound, the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel has a silence-reduction function, which 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.
As you turn the watch over, the caseback is equally extravagant, giving you a rear perspective of the multi-axis tourbillon and the minute repeater. This is the first multi-axis tourbillon with a constant-force mechanism, something visible in the caseback. You see the one-minute, constant-force mechanism supplying energy to the multi-axis tourbillon. This specific mechanism is known as the remontoir d’egalite, and it is periodically re-armed by the mainspring in order to ensure the timekeeping mechanism receives uniform impulses of energy. This in turn results in a precisely jumping minute hand and a more precise minute repeater mechanism. Another novelty in this Jaeger-LeCoultre masterpiece.
- Finally, there is the perpetual calendar mechanism with indications for the day, the date, the month and the year, which even takes into account leap years.
- The Master Grande is powered by a JLC 184 calibre that comes with upto 52 hours of unattended run-time and is manually wound. While strapped in blue alligator leather and cased in white gold, the dial comes in two variants – a contrasting silver grained dial or a blue grand feu enamel to match the strap.
Both variants have been priced at €8,00,000 and the two-piece capsule has been limited to just 18 crafts.
Reference: Q52534E1, Q5253420
All images: Courtesy brand