By Harlan Chapman-Green
This is fantastic news for fans of the Apple Watch line and also for cynics who weren’t convinced by the sleek curves. This new watch is taking away the electronics inside in favour of a hand made automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre tourbillon calibre. This new development, while contradicting Apple claim that their new watch is the smartest watch ever created, helps cement Apple as a true luxury watch maker. Before we get started I should point out that this announcement is so new that we don’t have any official photos yet. But when we get them, we’ll do a full-length article!
The case of the watch is made of solid 18K gold, just like the Apple Watch Edition, and uses the same scratch resistant rose gold too. Unlike the electronic watches, however, this watch will only come in the 38mm high squared case, Apple reasons that this is because otherwise the movement will be dwarfed and look a bit pathetic. Apart from that, the case dimensions are the same as the regular electronic watches. Also, only available on this model of Apple Watch is a Milanese loop of 18K gold instead of steel.
The movement itself is a JLC 978 and is renowned for its solid performance in any conditions. The tourbillon is part of this, it’s made of 78 individual components and weighs in at a microscopic 0.28g. It powers three hands on the dial, both hours and minutes are present as well as a retrograde date hand that points to a date ring around the edge of the dial. The power reserve is a massive 45 hours, meaning that overnight charging is a thing of the past. If you turn the watch over then you can see a solid 22K gold rotor bearing the Apple logo spin lazily around. On this watch’s distant electronic cousins this space is occupied by sensors that check vital things such as the wearer’s pulse rate and is also used for charging.
The standard price of the watch is $75,000. This option comes with the tourbillon movement and a black leather strap made by the prestigious Italian leather tannery Bernotini Moussolini & Figli, based in the south of Italy and has a gold buckle. If you wanted the Milanese loop, it’ll cost an extra $9,000, what you get is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship that was hand worked in Milan.
We’re so excited to see Apple join the big league, while the movement isn’t in-house yet, it’s a big step in the right direction. Get your hands on one soon as this model is produced in a limited run of just 25 pieces.
Harlan Chapman-Green – Contributing Editor
First introduced to horology with the Patek Philippe Calibre 89 by his father few years ago, Harlan enjoys his passion for fine horology. He prefers to spend his time in the boutiques of upmarket brands, trying out new pieces constantly. His preferred 3 brands are A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet and Vacheron Constantin. Although not much for the smaller brands, he still finds the complications intriguing and wishes to own one watch from each of his three favourites. Read his articles here.