Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication (The 2015 Edition, Pink Gold case, Reference: Q502 25 80)

With this new grand complication timepiece Jaeger-LeCoultre pays tribute the gold ages of Switzerland’s traditional watchmaking which reached an unprecedented peak in the late 19th century. While it revives the 19th century codes of elegance and virtuosity, the Master Grande Tradition line by Jaeger-LeCoultre first and foremost reflects the spirit of this brilliant age. The latter was characterised by a distinctive fervour nurtured by the fact that anything that was mechanically measurable could now be displayed. Complications were associated in ways embodying the victory of the watchmaker’s intelligence and dexterity. Watches epitomised a balance between sophisticated technology and pure beauty.
Each model of the Master Grande Tradition line proudly bears this heritage, like this new work that deeply proclaims its kinship with astronomy. Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication brings the complexity of the universe to the wrist.

Precious materials and refined execution are part of the signature features of the Master Grande Tradition line. The case of the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication is made of pink gold, a choice motivated by the sophisticated aura created by this metal with its warmly shimmering reflections.

The 2015 edition of the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication has been designed in keeping with the line’s new aesthetic codes, testifying to even greater loyalty to the design of 19thcentury pocket watches. The bezel is concave and the contrasting effects between the satin-brushed case middle and polished lugs accentuate the technical nature of the watch. This meticulous work on finishes performed on visible elements – as well as invisible ones such as certain movement components – firmly rank this model in the upper echelons of Haute Horlogerie.

This vision of horological mastery is matched by an ability to arrange a pleasing combination of complications so that they not only coexist inside the watch, but are also united in the same creative momentum.

The sidereal orbital tourbillon
The Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication is entirely dedicated to astronomical time measurement. As the most striking characteristic of this watch, the flying tourbillon is viewed here as the key element used to show the time. Its counter-clockwise revolution in 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds is a fascinating sight. The tourbillon whirls around the dial, to which it is fixed, very much like a capsule suspended in the stratosphere. The sense of weightlessness is accentuated by the minimalist carriage made of ultra-light titanium.
To highlight the astronomical aspect of time measurement, the tourbillon does not indicate the passing of civil time, but instead that of sidereal time – based not on the sun but on other more remote, fixed stars. Sidereal time is the unit used by astronomers to follow the trajectory of heavenly bodies. In its own unique way, the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complexity expresses the complexity of the universe around us, whose stunning reality can be viewed with a single glance at the wrist.

A spectacular and functional calendar
The dial of the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication reproduces the sky chart of the Northern hemisphere, displaying its pattern of constellations with evocative names we have heard since childhood: Big Dipper, Polestar, Cassiopeia, as well as the belt of 12 constellations composing the Zodiac. The latter correspond to the oldest constellations identified by humankind and represent the four fundamental elements: air, earth, fire and water. Spinning around the edge of this majestic chart, a sun performs a full turn of the dial in exactly 24 hours. It points to the zodiac signs, months and days appearing on a circular scale on the rim. Thanks to the 24-hour indication of civil time provided by this tiny sun, one can immediately know whether it is 10 am or 10 pm. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s characteristic quest for functionality is expressed through this type of details, like special touches testifying to its will to enhance the wearing experience.

A Minute Repeater with a rich and intense sound
So as to provide an audible indication of the time, the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication is equipped with an additional characteristic in the form of a mechanism sounding the hours, the quarters and the minutes on demand. The acoustic quality of a chiming watch is largely based on the gongs that are essential elements in sound production. To create the purest and most melodious possible chime, Jaeger-LeCoultre has developed a crystal cathedral gong that resounds with an exceptionally rich tone. The section of these gongs is square rather than the usual round shape, thus providing a larger contact surface for the hammer, which can in turn strike with greater force.

In addition, the hammers used on this model are trebuchet hammers serving to optimise energy transmission to the gongs. The Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication delivers this musical message with powerful conviction. One can choose between listening to it either with eyes closed so as to capture every subtle nuance, or wide open to admire the dance of the trebuchet hammers through the transparent case-back, according to the mood of the moment.

Setting the perfect finishing touch to the delightful ritual of activating the Minute Repeater, the new Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication features a revisited slide that is more ergonomic and pleasing to operate. It’s pure aesthetic contributes to the harmonious overall aesthetic of this new creation.

Technical details
Model: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication

Mechanical manually-wound movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 945, crafted, assembled and decorated by hand, ébauche in non-treated german silver
28,800 vibrations per hour
40-hour power reserve
527 parts
49 jewels
Thickness: 12.62 mm
Diameter: 34.70 mm
Silicon escapement

Hour, minute
Orbital flying tourbillon and sky chart
Minute repeater with crystal cathedral gongs and trebuchet hammers
Zodiac, month and 24-hour indicator

Satin-brushed blue with opaline silver-toned ring
Hands: Dauphine

ø 45 mm, thickness: 15.8 mm
18-carat pink gold
Water-resistance: 5 bar

Alligator leather with high-end pin buckle

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