The multi-axis tourbillon on the timepiece is accompanied by a minute repeater and perpetual calendar
With a history dating back to 1833, over 1,200 calibres created and over 400 registered patents, it’s safe to say Jaeger-LeCoultre knows a thing or two about watchmaking. This expertise is fully evident in the latest novelty unveiled at SIHH 2019, the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpetuel.
The movement incorporates a minute repeater, for starters, with four sets of gongs and hammers that recreate the sound of the iconic Big Ben clock tower at the Palace of Westminster in London. This has a silence-reduction feature that ensures the chimes always flow smoothly, with no audible gaps when the strikes are unneeded. The watch’s perpetual calendar can be adjusted both forwards and backwards, a rather unusual (but welcome) feature to have. It also has a constant force mechanism, one that includes a jumping minutes function to ensure the repeater always strikes the correct number of minutes.
We can wax lyrical about the history of the timepiece, but take one look and you’ll know that the tourbillon is the clear highlight. This is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s fifth iteration of its Gyrotourbillon, and it is significantly smaller than its predecessors. This contributes to the watch’s petite size — the white gold case measures just 43mm in diameter and 14mm thick, compact indeed considering the complications within. This is one that need not spend most of its life unworn.
But the best thing about the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpetuel must be its looks. Tourbillons were originally implemented to increase accuracy — and certainly this one does — but these days it is the visual spectacle that is the real draw. And the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpetuel delivers on that front: the twisting Gyrotourbillon is accompanied by a skeletonised movement and striking blue guilloche enamel or silver grained dial, making for something that is at once classic and contemporary, with a dash of art deco and unashamed technicality.
Just 18 pieces for each dial colour are available. The Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpetuel retails at €800,000 (S$1.24 million), excluding taxes.