Pre-SIHH 2017: Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time Watch

By Magnus Salbu

When the Geophysic collection was revived in 2014, for the first time since 1958, a lot of JLC enthusiasts such as myself were pleasantly surprised. It started with the limited edition Geophysic 1958, and in 2015 the collection was expanded with the addition of four new pieces, the Geophysic True Second in steel and rose gold, and the Geopysic Universal Time in steel and rose gold. Both of these watches had a whole new movement with the very rare dead seconds complication, and the Universal Time was the first world time watch to feature this complication.

Now JLC has announced that they will be adding another watch to this collection, with a not so rare complication, a tourbillon. And this watch is another ‘first’ for the watch industry. It’s the first world timer with a flying tourbillon. What’s special about this tourbillon (apart from the fact that t’s the first in a world timer), is that it’s JLC’s third tourbillon watch to feature the Gyrolab balance wheel, which is not actually a wheel but a rounded ‘H’. This balance wheel was first introduced in the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB in 2007, we then saw it in the Hybris Mechanica Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon and in 2017 we will see it in a third tourbillon, the time a flying tourbillon. The idea is that it is 15% more effective because of the smaller surface area and therefore reduced air friction.

This time, in the Tourbillon Universal Time, it has been placed on display in the tourbillon at 4:30 o the dial. Since it’s a flying tourbillon, the whole tourbillon mechanism is exposed on the dial, only supported by the three-spoke bridge that goes underneath the dial. And with the Gyrolab balance wheel exposed in the middle it’s simply stunning. We can’t wait to get our hands on this watch. Those who are known with the Geopysic Universal Time (the older model without a tourbillon) will notice that the world time disc has changed a little. Because of the huge tourbillon, the disc with the cities on has now switched place with the 24-hour disc.

The dial has also been changed, and this is by far my favourite part of the watch. Apart from the giant flying tourbillon at 4:30, the map of the world has been turned so that the flying tourbillon is covering the Pacific Ocean, instead of most of Eurasia. The oceans on the map now also have a beautiful guilloche pattern that strongly resembles waves. The land parts of the map are in brushed platinum. But perhaps the biggest change, and my favourite, is that the map itself is no longer flat. It’s in a concave shape to resemble the curving of the earth.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Geopysic Tourbillon Universal Time will be a limited edition of only 100 pieces and they will all be in platinum.

As well as this Tourbillon Universal Time, Jaeger-LeCoultre also announced that they would be adding new bracelets for the already existing Universal Time, as well as the Geophysic True Second. We will do a hands-on on these as well at SIHH and after. Stay tuned for more pre-SIHH releases, we will be sure to cover them here.

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