The two-tone color scheme of this watch front, with the skeletonised 18K rose gold hands and dart indices from the ruthenium-coated openworked dial, is well-executed — it is not just aesthetically pleasing, but also serves to improve legibility.Inside this larger-than-life chiming watch sits its motor, the wound, in-house manufactured Calibre 947. The 413-part, 43-jewelled Calibre 947 features twin mainspring barrels and also a free sprung balance that defeats at a conventional 21,600 semi-oscillations a hour. There is not much of the Calibre 947 to see in the back as the motion is very ‘front-loaded’. However, this is not to say that the back isn’t deserving of admiration since it is beautifully finished and decorated.With Jaeger-LeCoultre, there are multiple levels of movement finishing; this empowers the producer to reach out to clients who want more features in their timepiece without needing to pay for the premium of haute horlogerie finishing. This is compared to makers like Patek Philippe and A. Lange & Sohne in which there is but one standard of finishing. No compromises were produced from the Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater however, as the highest degree of completing provided by Jaeger-LeCoultre could be found on the Calibre 947. The large three-quarter plate and bridges in the instance back are ruthenium-coated maillechort. Instead of the common Côtes de Genève, the bridges and plate have been decorated with Côtes de Soleil emanating in the balance wheel. The borders of each plate and bridge are expertly bevelled and polished while the heat-blued screws add a dash of color to an otherwise grey expanse.
Here we have an absolute beauty from Jaeger-LeCoultre that we found stowed away in a case at SIHH 2014. It’s not very often that you see both a flying tourbillon and a perpetual calendar in one watch, let alone one powered by an automatic movement. Amazingly, the complex nature of this horological piece from Jaeger-LeCoultre is matched by an equally complex name . Feast your eyes on the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique a Quantieme Perpetuel offered in 18k pink gold for 2014 – it was originally released as a limited edition in platinum for 2013. Now listen, I don’t want to type that name again and you’re probably at work and not on your lunch break so let’s all respect what this is and just call it the Cylindrique Perpetuel.
The Cylindrique Perpetuel is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s complicated watchmaking at its finest. Based on a 42 by 13.1 mm platform in 18k pink gold with a silver toned dial, display case back, and a gorgeous layout that balances a flying tourbillon as well as a perpetual calendar display spread across three sub dials. The case is finished with its lugs and bezel polished and its flanks in satin.
A beautiful as the Cylindrique Perpetuel certainly is, JLC went all out when it came to the movement cased within. Using the automatic calibre 985, the Cylindrique Perpetuel is comprised of 431 parts which support the 48 hour power reserve and a frequency of 28,800 vph. The movement is hand built and entirely finished by hand with an oscillating gold weight that bears the design from the medallion that Jaeger-LeCoultre won at the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition. With hours, minutes, seconds (via the tourbillon), as well as day, date, month, year and moon phase (within the date sub dial at three), complexity is the name of the game, even before we get to the tourbillon details.
With a titanium carriage, 14-carat balance and a cylindrical balance spring, this flying tourbillon looks as though it’s floating in place at the six position on the dial. With the combination of the tourbillon and their perpetual calendar technology, Jaeger-LeCoultre claims that the Cylindrique Perpetuel is the world’s most accurate perpetual calendar.
The Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique a Quantieme Perpetuel (copy and paste) will come fitted to a brown alligator leather strap with a matched pink gold buckle. Primarily the sort of flagship piece made for collectors and enthusiasts, the Cylindrique Perpetuel is priced accordingly at about $160,000. Regardless of its complexity or technological prowess, the aesthetic is distinctly that of traditional haute-horology and Jaeger-LeCoultre has a long standing presence in that space and the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique a Quantieme Perpetuel is further evidence of how they earned their place among watchmaking’s finest. jaeger-lecoultre.com