Friday, March 13, 2015

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater Automatic

In this rare haute horlogerie masterpiece from Jaeger-LeCoultre, the classic Minute Repeater complication is successfully incorporated with a mechanical automatic movement, making it a perfect accessory for modern day connoisseurs. This new creation joins the Master Grande Tradition line, the epitome of the 19thcentury pocket-watch tradition. The 39 mm-diameter Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater is entirely governed by the precepts of elegance and comfort, a sure sign of the strength exuded by a great classic.

Several manually-wound mechanical watches provided with a minute repeater function have thus being created. But now, for the very first time in the history of the Master Grande Tradition line, this sophisticated complication is introduced in a version driven by a mechanical automatic movement. User friendliness is matched by the pleasure of admiring the finely crafted oscillating weight.
The acoustic quality of a chiming watch is above all based on the gongs, which are essential in producing the sound that is amplified and enriched by the case. These are the elements that endow the timepiece with its distinctive tone and character. Jaeger-LeCoultre has developed a crystal gong with a square section, made from a special secret alloy and machined all of a piece, thereby creating an extremely rich sound. In addition, the Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater is equipped with two patented trebuchet hammers that make a single and stronger strike on these crystal gongs whose heel is welded to the upper sapphire crystal. This ingenious device produces a loudspeaker effect that is the hallmark of the crystal gong.

The power of the sound is of little purpose if it is not matched by regularity. In this new creation, the striking regularity is ensured by the silent regulator that controls the energy delivered by the barrel of the minute repeater. The energy of the spring is released in a constant stream, ensuring a tuneful and continuous chime.

Nothing interferes with the listening pleasure: unlike the usual systems, this same silent regulator operates at just 20 decibels, a level verging on absolute silence. The steady emission of this meticulously orchestrated sound is thus unperturbed by any extraneous sound. This constant attention to details is a measure of the fervent enthusiasm that drives the engineers and artisans of the Manufacture.

The Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater is activated by a single push-button instead of the traditional slide system. Redesigned in a slimmer guise, it fits precisely into the case, on a diagonal from the crystal gong and thus enhancing the distinctive symmetry of this model. The layout of the watch thereby testifies to the quest for harmony characterising the Manufacture.

A slight split-level effect, which can be felt when the thumb touches the pushbutton, is a discreet reminder of the new two-tiered shape of the bezel. The mechanism is easily activated in one clear, smooth move. A distinct improvement on classic minute repeaters, the push-button is equipped with a security system. If the button is accidentally pressed when the minute repeater is in action, it does not start up again, thus preventing any damage to the movement. This avoids any sense of vulnerability often associated with this type of complications.

Powered by a mechanical automatic movement, this creation features a precious new oscillating weight that appears clothed in 22-carat pink gold, bearing the logo of the Maison and graced with polished and grained finishes creating a textured yet shiny appearance.

The new aesthetic codes of the Master Grande Tradition celebrate the undeniable elegance of 19thcentury pocket watches. The case now features a concave bezel, creating an optimal effect that makes the dial appear significantly larger. A satin-brushed case band and polished lugs further enhance the refined air of this model.

The Dauphine hands display two facets – one polished and the other sandblasted – over which the light skims and plays to pleasing effect. The face of the watch is given added volume by means of applied hour-markers, while the subtly recessed small seconds opalin counter at 6 o’clock creates a subtle three-dimensional effect. The texture of the grained silver-toned dial endows the Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater with a crowning touch of that inimitable horological classicism which calls for such well-mastered skills.

Technical details
Model: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater
Reference: Q509 25 20

Mechanical automatic movement Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 942, assembled and decorated by hand
28.800 vibrations per hour
40-hour power reserve
437 parts
58 jewels
7.17 mm thickness
26 mm in diameter

Hours, minutes, small seconds
Minute repeater with square-section crystal gongs and trebuchet hammers
Silent regulator

Silver-toned, finely grained
4N polished applied hour-markers
Hands: Dauphine type with polished and sandblasted finishes

18-carat pink gold
Diameter: 39 mm
Thickness: 12.1 mm
Water-resistant to 5 bar

Alligator leather with high-end pin buckle

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