Cause for alarm
Jaeger-LeCoultre was not short on novelties this year and among the highlights were the Master Memovox International and the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication.
The first Memovox - voice of memory - was launched in 1950 to satisfy a demand for an alarm function on wristwatches.
This creation was followed by the world's first automatic watch movement with an alarm function, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 815, which was introduced in 1956. This year's novelty is fitted with an in-house mechanical automatic calibre 956 movement, a descendant of that first automatic alarm watch movement. The dial features a small arrow pointing to the alarm time, mounted on a disc inscribed with the names of 24 international cities. A date display is located at three o'clock.
The Master Memovox International is available in pink gold or steel, limited to 250 and 750 pieces respectively.
The Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication is impressive in its complexity, with a rotating flying tourbillon, sky chart and zodiac display on the dial, coupled with a month and 24-hour indicator on the flange. The function that gained the most attention at SIHH was the watch's minute repeater.
Jaeger-LeCoultre achieved exceptional sound with this minute repeater with the development of a cathedral gong with a square cross-section, which allows the hammer a larger contact area than a round gong, resulting in a richer sound.
The hammer itself is also a special mechanism created by the brand, named a 'trebuchet hammer', which uses a dual axis system with a special joint on the movable arm to improve the striking sound. This system delivers 80 per cent of the force applied by the spring.
The Grande Complication is cased in white gold and limited to 75 pieces.