Whilst many Swiss watchmakers continue to focus on extending their range to accommodate for more affordable pieces, there’s still room for watchmakers like Jaeger-LeCoutlre to drop some wildly extravagant stuff.
This year’s SIHH saw the debut of their Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel, the first multi-axis tourbillon with a constant-force mechanism, Westminster chime and perpetual calendar all built into one timepiece.
It’s a huge feat of craftsmanship that commands a matching price tag of 800,000 euros, or a touch over AU$1,250,000. That kind of coin gets you exclusivity with just 18 examples created worldwide.
Notable features of the watch includes a redesigned tourbillon which is smaller than previous JLC tourbillons. The general rule is that reducing the size of a mechanism also reduces its error tolerance, which is why successful miniaturisation efforts and its complexities are so highly valued.
Smaller tourbillons also make for better wearability. High complication watches often demand a lot of pampering and this is no different – the watchmaker believes it’s just a bit more suitable for everyday enjoyment.
Beyond that there’s a Westminster carillon minute repeater that replicates the chime of the iconic Big Ben clock tower in London.
If this is the future of mechanical watchmaking then it’s looking damn fine.
Reference: Q52534E1 (Blue enamel dial), Q5253420 (Silver enamel dial)
Case: 43 mm in white gold, 14.08mm thickness
Movement: JLC 184
Functions: Hour/Minute, Jumping Date, Two-way perpetual calendar (Day/Date/Month/Year), Gyrotourbillon, Minute repeater with Westminster chime
Power reserve: 52 hours
Water resistance: 30 metres
Dial: Blue guilloché enamel or Silver grained
Case Back: Open