Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon

Swiss luxury watch manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre presents a Grande Complication model to celebrate 85th anniversary of its iconic Reverso line of watches.

Manufactured in a 75 pieces limited edition in Platinum version and unveiled at SIHH 2016 haute horlogerie exhibition, the Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon is a veritable masterpiece that showcases the watchmaking skills and rare crafts (Métiers Rares®) cultivated by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Its elegant and sophisticated case houses a movement equipped with an unusual Gyrotourbillon®. Vividly embodying the signature horological sophistication of Jaeger-LeCoultre on both faces, it springs a number of surprises including an entirely open-worked back dial.

Jaeger-LeCoultre wished to offer devotees of fine objects a sleek and refined watch accommodating the complexity of the Gyrotourbillon®. The master-watchmakers of the Manufacture have drawn upon the full force of their talent in creating a remarkably well proportioned movement. The Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon is 30% trimmer in terms of both width and thickness. For a Grande Complication movement, this accomplishment testifies to remarkable virtuosity. This timepiece is thus entirely in line with the spirit of the Hybris Mechanica line, a collection of fascinatingly technical and beautiful models that epitomise the watchmaking genius of the gifted artisans exercising their art within the Grande Maison.

Equipped with the Jaeger-LeCoultre manually-wound Calibre 179, entirely developed and produced in the Manufacture, this creation reveals an all-new Gyrotourbillon®. Now performing its rotation by means of an external driving mechanism, it appears to be floating in mid-air. This enables a spectacular plunging view of the light, airy architecture. Pared down to their slimmest possible form, the two carriages of this bi-axial flying tourbillon perform an external rotation in one minute and an internal rotation in 12.6 seconds.
The gaze can thus linger on the balance-spring hand-crafted in the workshops of the Manufacture. Its hemispherical shape is bound to catch the attention of those who will recognise the additional difficulty and precision involved in such a design. This delicate and exclusive balance-spring is a token of expert technical mastery that is also exercised on the Gyrolab® balance-wheel, distinguished by a non-circular configuration that considerably reduces air friction. Shaped like the Jaeger-LeCoultre anchor symbol, this component represents a decisive breakthrough in terms of the watch’s precision.

The front of the Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon features a finely grained white round dial swept over by blued steel Dauphine-type hands and evoking the noblest traditions of horological sophistication. An elegant day/night indicator appears at 11 o’clock, while the seconds are displayed in an unusual manner by means of a graduated disc rotating at the cadence of the Gyrotourbillon®, with a small blue arrow placed on its left serving to read off this indication. A hand-crafted sunburst guilloché pattern accentuates the refinement of this side and echoes the finishing on the watch cradle.
There is something uniquely exciting about swivelling the case to savour a second face that both stimulates curiosity and heightens desire. The surprising back of the Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon majestically demonstrates the art of the Manufacture’s engravers. The entirely open-worked movement with its bridges hand-decorated by these skilled artisans creates a remarkable effect on this back dial. The inherent difficulty of this remarkably delicate workmanship is compounded by a sizeable watchmaking challenge, since the sheer slenderness of the movement makes it a particularly risky exercise. The dual-time display and the Gyrotourbillon® stand out against the intricate down-strokes and upstrokes of the open-worked movement. This side also carries a day/night indicator in 24-hour mode at 2 o’clock as well as a small seconds hand driven by the tourbillon.

Swivelling the case also reveals a cradle that is gently curved to follow the shape of the wrist. This area adorned with a sunburst guilloché motif leaves a small round, smoothly polished surface just below the position of the Gyortourbillon®, thus enabling a full view of the show performed by this major complication when the case is fitted inside its cradle.

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