Although we have been seeing a slew of new watches from the Swatch Group in the past few days, Richemont owned Jaeger-LeCoultre has been playing along and released its own new watch, a very complicated watch no less. Enter the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Répétition Minutes Perpétuelle, one of the longest names in the history of watchmaking but a fairly self-explanatory one at that. Chiming watches have been the highlight of the year for Jaeger-LeCoultre, in January we got to see their super special Hybris Mechanica Westminster Chime (the name is longer than that, I assure you) watch.
The new watches feature two incredible complications, the perpetual calendar and a minute repeater. This means that the watch can tell you both whether it is a leap year or not and audibly sound out the time simultaneously. The dial appears to be relatively simple, three subdials, a moonphase and a small indicator for the years. That is because that’s all you really need from a perpetual calendar, in fact, the year display is an add-on too, most don’t have it. There’s also a small moonphase indicator discreetly placed inside the day of the week subdial at 9 O’clock. The rest of the dial is clean and straightforward, as it should be, and there’s almost no indication of the minute repeater’s presence at all save the pusher on the side.
There will be two different versions of this watch. Both are limited to 30 examples. The first is a clean, and straightforward silver grained dial, while the second (my personal favourite) consists of a dial hand engraved with a rose lathe before layers and layers of blue enamel cover it, creating the shimmering sunburst effect seen here. There is only one case option available, a 43mm x 13.72mm white gold case.
The intelligent design follows inside the case, too, to the Calibre 950. This movement, designed and manufactured in-house by Jaeger-LeCoultre, features a 38-hour power reserve, a 4Hz oscillating frequency and dimensions of 30mm x 8.48mm. The intelligence of the design comes from the gongs which use the depth of the case to their advantage. These new gongs wrap around the movement, starting from the back before moving upwards along the side to the dial side of the watch, though they are not visible. Jaeger-LeCoultre says this new design will improve the clarity, depth and length of the tones played by the repeater.
This new watch looks sure to be a fan favourite for the brand, the price for the watch with the silver grained dial (ref. Q5233420) is €225,000 excluding VAT, for the blue dial version (ref. Q5233E1) the price is even higher at €250,000 which also excludes VAT.