Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Moon

Swiss luxury watch manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre welcomes a new astronomy inspired complication watch to its prestigious Duomètre series of extra ordinary mechanical watches based on the innovative Dual-Wing® Concept. Unveiled at SIHH 2015 luxury watch exhibition, the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Moon expresses its strength of character through the realm of calendar-type horological complications. Equipped with a moon-phase display endowed with a reliability stemming from lengthy research, it embodies the age-old wisdom of traditional astronomy as well as the inventive power of Jaeger-LeCoultre.

A classic moon phase shows a one-day discrepancy every two and a half years. For a Jaeger-LeCoultre Perpetual Calendar, that difference amounts to just one day every 122 years. The Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Moon is from a whole different galaxy, since when its moon phase is properly adjusted, it is designed to remain accurate for a full 3,887 years.
For the Grande Maison, pushing boundaries and daring to dream bigger is backed by the conviction that the fundamental nature of a watch should not be impaired by horological culture nor by technical feats. The Duomètre Sphérotourbillon is thus intended to be worn with pleasure. Its 42-millimetre diameter and its 14.3-millimetre thickness ensure a definite sense of comfort, while hinting at the wealth of talent lavished on accommodating such a masterfully accurate mechanism within such a modest space.

Each planet in the solar system spins around an axis that is never perpendicular to the orbital plane.The angle formed by the earth’s axis is around 23°. This natural tilt explains the successive seasons and it is to this posture that we owe the alternating weather patterns. This penchant is shared by the additional rotation axis that gives the Sphérotourbillon its true magic. As well as performing a full turn around the axis of its titanium carriage, the Sphérotourbillon also spins around a second axis inclined at a 20° angle – a nod to the inclination of the earth that follows an imaginary line stretching to Ursae Minoris, the polestar.

One of the Duomètre collection’s most captivating aspects lies in the fact that technical performance does not override aesthetic appeal. While undeniably eloquent in horological terms, it is endowed with an elegance revealing considerable creative force.

Part of the strength of the design characterising the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Moon, reworked to ensure even greater readability, lies in the symmetrically choreographed dance of the functions displayed on the finely grained dial. A shrewd observer will doubtless note that the moon phase appears at 3 o’clock, whereas Jaeger-LeCoultre generally places it at 6 o’clock.
A tribute to astronomy, this disc is made of lapis lazuli, a rock that looks as if it has landed there down from the sky chart. It features a dusting of stars echoing the moon, hands and hour markers, creating a two-tone ambiance also differing from the traditional identity codes of the Grande Maison. A theatrical stairway, in non-treated nickel silver with a satin finish, forms an ideal stage for the rotating movements of the Sphérotourbillon while an opening in the side of the case offers another more intimate vision. Like a spectator with a ringside seat for this mechanical show, the wearer of the watch thus establishes a special relationship with its very own Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Moon.

Through the use of the Dual-Wing® concept, the 2 o’clock push-piece serves to reset the small seconds at 6 o’clock to zero, based on the Flyback principle. The distinctive feature of this particular flyback function is that it does not halt the operation of the regulating organ. In a classic configuration, pulling out the crown freezes the small seconds hand and the balance-spring, whereas the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon mechanism allows the small seconds hand to return to zero and restart instantly, without the balance wheel missing a beat.

No time is wasted between the stopping operation and the resumption of the regulation organ’s steady to-and-fro motion. The watch thus remains accurate even when adjusting the time to the nearest second. When it comes to precision, the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Moon is firmly engaged on all fronts.

Origin of the Dual-Wing® Concept
There is a ‘before and after’ the unveiling of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Dual-Wing® concept, which has proved a watershed event. Not so long ago, requiring that a traditional calibre reliably handle an additional complication as well as indicating the time implied the risk of jeopardising the precision of the movement’s operation. Such an apparently insoluble situation in light of physical laws and micromechanical limits was bound to spur the inventive instincts of the JaegerLeCoultre teams. Working at the heart of the Vallée de Joux, the watchmakers of the Grande Maison adopt a rigorous approach. Rather than seeking to improve existing options, the teams of the Manufacture thus opted to start from scratch. The blank-page option gave rise to a twin-type architecture exploring uncharted territory in reconciling the smooth running of the watch, with both complications and precision.

The culmination of months of careful thought is named Dual-Wing®. It stands for two separate and independent mechanisms united within a single case: one dedicated to precision and the other to functions, both linked to a single regulating organ ensuring extremely accurate running.

Introduced within the Duomètre à Chronographe, this decisive invention gave rise to the first chronograph maintaining the same degree of accuracy whether or not the chronograph is activated.

Technical details
Model: Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Moon
Reference: Q608 65 20, limited series of 75 pieces

Movement
Mechanical manually-wound movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 389, crafted, assembled and decorated by hand, nickel silver bridges and mainplate
2 barrels
45-hour power reserve
476 parts
56 jewels
10.45 mm thick
33.70 mm in diameter

Sphérotourbillon
- 105 parts
- Tourbillon carriage: grade 5 titanium
- Total rotation speed: 30 seconds for a complete turn
- 2 combined movements. Carriage axis rotation speed: 15 seconds for a complete turn. Carriage rotation speed : 30 seconds for a complete turn
- Tilt of the carriage: 20°
- Diameter of the carriage: 11.50 mm
- Weight of the carriage: 0.518 grams
- 14-carat gold balance wheel with 14-carat gold eccentric inertia-blocks, inertia = 12.5 mg.cm2, 21,600 vibrations per hour
- Cylindrical balance-spring

Functions
Local hour, minute and small seconds with flyback function
2 Power reserves: one for the regulating organ and one for the functions
Moon-phase indication with one day of deviation every 3,887 years
24-hour reference time zone
Sphérotourbillon

Case
Platinum
Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 14.3 mm
Polished and satin-brushed finish
Lateral case opening revealing the Sphérotourbillon and satin-brushed finish
Cambered sapphire crystal
Water-resistance: 3 bar

Dial
Grained, silver-toned
4N appliqués

Hands
Hours and minutes: “leaf”-type
Small seconds: baton-type with pear-shaped counterweight, blued steel

Crowns
One crown to wind the watch, set the time and adjust the moon-phase display
One push-piece at 2 o’clock to activate the small seconds flyback function

Strap
Hand-sewn alligator leather with platinum High-End pin buckle

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