Celebrating tradition

Brand provides clients in Asia with timely reminder about heritage and fine watchmaking, writesGary Kwok

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 October, 2013, 9:32am

Jaeger-LeCoultre is capitalising on its 180 years of heritage in fine watchmaking by unveiling its signature Duomètre Sphérotourbillon. The manufacture will showcase the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Blue at Watches&Wonders.

"The concept behind Watches&Wonders is to bring the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie [SIHH] exhibition from Geneva to Asia-Pacific, so that the general public from Asia-Pacific can visit and learn more about fine watchmaking," says Guillain Maspetiol, Jaeger-LeCoultre's north Asia managing director. "It is a good platform for us to educate the end clients in the Asian market about the brand's heritage and fine watchmaking skills."

Featuring an 18ct white gold case crowned with baguette-cut diamonds, the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon Blue plays with light and shade to set the complication. A revolutionary dual-wing concept is reflected on the dial by the presence of two separate zones and the arrangement of baguette-cut diamonds accentuates the duality. An opening, revealing the movement, sits on the left of the novelty, surrounded by a fan-shaped array of precious stones in a fascinating art-deco spirit, giving an unparalleled view of the tourbillon mechanism. The main dial has been placed to the right, indicating local time and the date, subtly placed on a lower level. An additional 24-hour subdial, occupying the upper part of the watch, serves to display the time in another time zone, while the small seconds appear in the lower part of the dial. The shimmering blue aventurine stone paved inside and outside the subdials enhances the contrast and highlights the functions.

A push-piece at two o'clock, accompanied by diamonds, serves to bring the small seconds hand, positioned beneath the tourbillon, back to zero, according to the fly-back principle, which does not halt the operation of the regulating organ. When the small seconds hand is reset to zero, it begins running again instantly, and the watch maintains precision.

The signature characteristics of the Duomètre line are preserved in this model: a transparent caseback provides an unobstructed view of the intricate workings of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 382. The mechanical Calibre 382 is handcrafted and assembled, decorated with nickel silver bridges and a main plate. It has 460 parts and 55 jewels and gives a 50-hour power reserve - it is a mere 10.45mm thick. Jaeger-LeCoultre's signature decoration, côtes soleillées, gives a clean-cut exterior and multiple internal angles. A hand-sewn crocodile leather strap and an 18ct white gold pin buckle rounds up the tourbillon.

Jaeger-LeCoultre is celebrating its 180th anniversary this year, which is commemorated by the introduction of exceptional timepieces, introduced under the "Jubilee" collection.

"Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee is the 10th watch in the Hybris Mechanica collection that the manufacture has launched this year in celebration of our 180th anniversary. This watch is a major breakthrough of our invention," Maspetiol says.

The Gyrotourbillon 3, unveiled at SIHH earlier this year, is one of the three novelties in the trilogy, and perhaps the most notable one. Also the 10th work in the Hybris Mechanica series, dedicated to the Grande Complication models from the manufacture, the Gyrotourbillon Three, has a flying tourbillon, a blued gold balance and a spherical-shaped balance-spring. It also combines the precision of the spherical tourbillon with the first instantaneous digital-display chronograph, which makes it stand out from the rest of the novelties.

It houses a new movement, the Calibre 176, which is developed, crafted and assembled in Jaeger-LeCoultre's grande complication workshops. It combines the gyrotourbillon with a chronograph function.

A single seconds hand begins running as soon as the chronograph is activated, and when it stops, the tip points to the subdivisions on a classic 0 to 60 scale bearing 10-second numerals for enhanced clarity. Rather than counting its rotations on a subdial, the brand has opted for an instantaneous digital display, composed of two generously sized apertures appearing side by side at three o'clock on the dial of the chronograph.

When it comes to the Asian market in haute horology, Maspetiol says the future is positive. "Asian clients are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about brands. They appreciate more and more about fine watchmaking. This is very positive for Jaeger-LeCoultre, given its long history and being as the reference for fine watchmaking," he says. "In fact, the connoisseurs in Asia, especially Hong Kong, already have a sophisticated knowledge of haute horology.

Therefore Proto Zero has only been launched in Hong Kong due to the maturity of local connoisseurs and their understanding of high complications in fine watchmaking."