It is a rare occasion in watchmaking when a brand reveals multiple grande complications at the same time. Typically, there might be one such watch from one brand, acting as a sort of standard-bearer for the year. When it comes to Jaeger-LeCoultre though, this expectation can be confounded – and it might be one of the few times that confounding expectations is a good thing! What you’re looking at in this story is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Tradition Repetition Minutes Perpetuelle, to address it by its full name. Basically, it is a minute repeater with perpetual calendar, making this a proper grand complication, or even a super-complication. Honestly there’s so much to say about this timepiece that we considered holding it for our technical issue in September. I even have something to say about the naming convention here, but that will have to wait (see Finishing at the end of the issue).
The best part about complicated watches, at least when itcomes to specialist publications such as WOW, is that we cankeep coming back to them. They get us excited – to discuss the watches, see the watches in person, shoot the pieces, and so on – and these are the best sorts of watches to remind the world exactly why haute horlogerie is relevant. In this initial story, we’ll be getting into the basics of the watch, with a view towards talking up the more interesting technical details in a coming issue. Just the press information on the Master Tradition Repetition Minutes Perpetuelle would take up a lot of pages, if we were to reproduce it in full. As it stands, two paragraphs have passed and we’ve only told you the basic functions of the watch, and confirmed its high watchmaking standing.
So, here’s a one-paragraph distillation of everything you need to know. A 43mm watch in white gold, the Master Tradition Repetition Minutes Perpetuelle is an automatic with 38 hours of power reserve. For what it is, the watch is also surprisingly thin – measuring just 13.72mm in thickness – so the images you see here are not deceptive. There are two dial options – blue guilloche enamel and silver grained – and both are limited to 30 pieces each. Significantly, given that this is a chiming watch, it is water-resistant (50 metres). The slide-activated repeater sounds out the hours, quarters and minutes, while the calendar shows the day, date, month, and year via subdials; there is also a moon phase indicator.
Getting into the manufacture calibre 950 will take severalpages, and we’ll get there, eventually. Our next issue focusses on theMaster Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpetuel so we won’t have space for this till the end of the year. Here’s the tl;dr: this is an all-new calibre that features a novel architecture for the gongs. You can actually see it in the watch because the gongs are visible front and back (just look for the blue bits along the edge of the dial). The Grande Maison says this new design allows for the clearest and loudest chiming watch. We will reserve judgement until we hear the watch in action, but we are certainly psyched for the opportunity.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Tradition Repetition Minutes Perpetuelle Price and Specs
MOVEMENT Automatic calibre 950 with minute repeater and perpetual calendar; 38-hour power reserve
CASE 43mm in white gold; water-resistant to 50m
STRAP Blue alligator leather
PRICE On application