So how does a brand prove its technical might in today’s watchmaking world? While there could be many different ways to do it, one of the ways is to create a watch that incorporates the most complex time keeping mechanisms ever created, in other words, create a grand complication timepiece like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpetual watch. This SIHH 2019 novelty from Jaeger-LeCoultre features an astounding array of complications that include: a minute repeater with Westminster chimes, a perpetual calendar and many more.
The dial of this watch is a feast for the eyes and broadly comprises of two sections. First, we have the upper area which presents the normal timekeeping functions along with the perpetual calendar in a thoughtful and legible layout. This is followed by a large transparent surrounding area giving a glimpse of the technical wizardry this watch offers, such as the minute repeater hammers, the patented crystal gongs and of course the spherical Gyrotourbillon.
Jaeger-LeCoultre released their first Gyrotourbillon watch in the year 2004 making this the brands 5th effort at the spectacular complication which is now smaller than the previous versions contributing towards making this a quite wearable watch with the white gold case measuring 43mm wide and 14.08mm tall. While the tourbillon negates the effect of gravity aiming for supreme accuracy, it does tend to be a power-hungry mechanism, which in this instance is powered by a consistent one-minute constant-force mechanism that consists of a spring, known classically as a remontoir d’égalité, that is periodically re-armed by the mainspring and acts as a secondary power source to protect the regulating organ of the movement.
The constant-force mechanism also has an added advantage in that it regulates the motion of the minute wheel, creating a jumping minutes hand that offers greater precision in time display. It also helps in completely eliminating chiming errors that can occur when the minute repeater is activated between minutes to play the Westminster carillon, a melody made famous by the clocktower housing Big Ben at London’s Westminster Palace.
The Jaeger Le-Coultre Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon is a true masterpiece that in our opinion exemplifies why the brand is called the “Watchmakers watchmaker”. The watch is limited to a production run of only 18 pieces with two dial options: a Blue guilloche enamel dial or a silver grained dial, both priced around EUR 800,000. Visit Jaeger-LeCoultre here.