Jaeger-LeCoultre presents a sleek new contemporary aesthetic that pairs traditional haut-de-gamme finishing with modern, wearable watches at the top of the mechanical watchmaking hierarchy
The Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel is the latest generation of multi-axis tourbillon to emerge from Jaeger-LeCoultre, following the 2004 Master Gyrotourbillon 1, the 2008 Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2, the 2013 Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee and the 2016 Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon.
Precision tourbillons are a noted specialty of Jaeger-LeCoultre, as proven by the 2009 Concours International de Chronométrie timing competition, in which the top two prizes were awarded to Jaeger-LeCoultre. The strength in creating high-precision tourbillons goes hand-in-hand with the mastery required to engineer the visually spectacular Gyrotourbillon watches. Even with the considerable energy demands of the large multi-axis tourbillon, chronometric performance must not be affected. Reconciling the needs of the Gyrotourbillon with impeccable chronometric requirements is a balancing feat that can only be accomplished with the experience and skill of 186-year-old watchmaking manufacture.
Further advancing the art of multi-axis tourbillons, the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel features a tourbillon that is significantly smaller than those in the preceding Gyrotourbillon timepieces. As a rule, reducing the size of a mechanism also reduces its error tolerance, which is why successful miniaturisation efforts are so highly valued and complex. In creating a smaller tourbillon, Jaeger-LeCoultre has created a truly wearable Gyrotourbillon, bringing high complication out of the watch safe and onto the wrist for everyday enjoyment.
The Westminster chime is familiar to everyone as the famous melody of the Big Ben clock at the Palace of Westminster in London. Its four-phrase melody is composed of four notes played in different sequences and different quantities at each quarter of the hour. The Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel uses four sets of gongs and hammers to create the Westminster chime to indicate the quarters when the minute repeater is activated, incorporating a complex mechanism that places it at the most prestigious tier of chiming watches.
Reflecting on the blend of patrimony and modernity is the design of the watch, which emphasizes the round profile of the Master Grande Tradition case. A retractable minute repeater pusher, first seen in the Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon, preserves the smooth lines of the case. Hand guilloche, fine hammering (martelage) and grand feu enamel are part of the canon of fine watchmaking finish and have been practiced at Jaeger-LeCoultre throughout its history — most outstandingly in the dazzling Hybris Artistica collection. In the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel, however, these finishes are expressed in a subtle and contemporary way, culminating in the open-worked dial — produced either in a striking deep-blue grand feu enamel or in a more classic silver-grained version — showcasing the mesmerizing multi-axis tourbillon. These age-old techniques are skilfully practiced by master artisans from the in-house Metiers Rares atelier of Jaeger-LeCoultre, where haut-degamme traditional finish is also applied to the movement by hand.