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Master Grande Tradition – Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel

This exceptional watch, however spectacular, could be likened to the tip of the Lac de Joux “iceberg” that is the Grande Maison in Le Sentier. It is indeed vital to grasp the fact that such an achievement is based on a century and a half of expertise, as well as that Jaeger-LeCoultre is currently home to 180 different watchmaking skills which have jointly created more than 1,200 calibers and registered more than 400 patents. This Manufacture remains the only one in the world to have a portfolio of historical and contemporary models comprising more than 200 chiming movements. The most exclusive features of its incredible range of watchmaking expertise are distilled into this fifth episode of the Gyrotourbillon saga that began in 2004 : a constant-force mechanism guaranteeing extreme chronometric precision, a Westminster chime minute repeater, a miniaturized multi-axial tourbillon and the ultimate in luxury watchmaking finishing.

The poet Jean de La Fontaine* would have loved the Master Grande Tradition Westminster Perpetual Gyrotourbillon Gyrotourbillon, whose crystalline “song” is indeed as fine as its Grand Feu enamel “plumage”. The watchmakers of the Vallée de Joux have drawn on a centuries-old heritage as well as on their most recent innovations in crafting the design and sound of this minute repeater, which stands out for its power and clarity. Firstly, its patented crystal gongs are welded directly to the watch crystal so as to enhance sound transmission ; secondly, they feature a square (and not round) section that provides them with a broader contact surface ; and finally, their tiny trebuchet hammers are spring-mounted to ensure a faster and more powerful strike. These four gong-and-hammer sets play the Westminster chime in four phases, in reference to the tower of London’s Palace of Westminster and its famous Big Ben chimes.

The entire model benefits from the constant-force mechanism not only intended to regulate the level of energy supplied to the multi-axis tourbillon and preserve its accuracy, but also to regulate the movement of the minutes wheel and thereby activate the jumping minutes hand. The ultra-sophisticated in-house caliber also incorporates a spherical balance-spring that very few brands have the capacity to develop. There are likewise not many that are well versed in the art of the perpetual calendar, which in its conventional configuration involves tedious adjustment in one direction only. In this interpretation, users can enjoy simpler adjustments in either direction. Meanwhile, in terms of the watch exterior, sophisticated guilloché engraving and enameling set the final touches to this truly extraordinary accomplishment.

Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel

CASE : white gold, sapphire caseback, water-resistant to 30m DIAMETER : 43mm MOVEMENT : mechanical manual-winding (Caliber 184, 52h power reserve), 1,050 components, multi-axis tourbillon FUNCTIONS : leap year, year, jumper pointer-type calendar, perpetual calendar, hours, minutes, perpetual calendar (day/date/month/year), spherical Gyrotourbillon®, guilloché Grand Feu blue enamel or silver-grained STRAP : leather LIMITED EDITION : 18 pieces

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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