Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he much hoped-for and eagerly anticipated new Minute Repeater model by Jaeger-LeCoultre showcases a mechanical automatic movement perfectly meeting the desires of numerous connoisseurs. This new creation joins the Master Grande Tradition line, the epitome of the 19th century pocket-watch tradition. The 39 mm-diameter Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater is entirely governed by the precepts of elegance and comfort, a sure sign of the strength exuded by a great classic.
Minute Repeaters that sound the time in a uniquely musical way hold a special place in the field of horological culture. They embody quintessential sophistication. Unlike certain other complications involving intricate and learned concepts, the minute repeater exercises a direct and generous seductive appeal. It captivates by means of its very own channel: that of emotions.
At Jaeger-LeCoultre, which has made the minute repeater one of its favourite themes, springing surprises and eliciting a moment of amazement followed by the joy of recognising a strong, pure and intense sound, is a genuine vocation. Several manually-wound mechanical watches provided with a minute repeater function have thus being created. But now, for the very first time in the history of the Master Grande Tradition line, this sophisticated complication is introduced in a version driven by a mechanical automatic movement. User friendliness is matched by the pleasure of admiring the finely crafted oscillating weight.
The crystal gong, a signature of the Manufacture
A powerful, clear and melodious sound is the ultimate goal of every master watchmaker. Decades of research, combined with endless patience, are required to perform the tiny empirical, almost instinctive adjustments that are involved. The acoustic quality of a chiming watch is above all based on the gongs, which are essential in producing the sound that is amplified and enriched by the case. These are the elements that endow the timepiece with its distinctive tone and character.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has developed a crystal gong with a square section, made from a special secret alloy and machined all of a piece, thereby creating an extremely rich sound. In addition, the Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater is equipped with two patented trebuchet hammers that make a single and stronger strike on these crystal gongs whose heel is welded to the upper sapphire crystal. This ingenious device produces a loudspeaker effect that is the hallmark of the crystal gong.
Music first and foremost
The power of the sound is of little purpose if it is not matched by regularity. In this new creation, the striking regularity is ensured by the silent regulator that controls the energy delivered by the barrel of the minute repeater. The energy of the spring is released in a constant stream, ensuring a tuneful and continuous chime.
Nothing interferes with the listening pleasure: unlike the usual systems, this same silent regulator operates at just 20 decibels, a level verging on absolute silence. The steady emission of this meticulously orchestrated sound is thus unperturbed by any extraneous sound. This constant attention to details is a measure of the fervent enthusiasm that drives the engineers and artisans of the Manufacture.
An elegantly revisited push-button
The intention behind this new design is governed as much by aesthetic preoccupations as by a concern to ensure functionality. The Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater is activated by a single push-button instead of the traditional slide system. Redesigned in a slimmer guise, it fits precisely into the case, on a diagonal from the crystal gong and thus enhancing the distinctive symmetry of this model. The layout of the watch thereby testifies to the quest for harmony characterising the Manufacture.
A slight split-level effect, which can be felt when the thumb touches the pushbutton, is a discreet reminder of the new two-tiered shape of the bezel. The mechanism is easily activated in one clear, smooth move. A distinct improvement on classic minute repeaters, the push-button is equipped with a security system. If the button is accidentally pressed when the minute repeater is in action, it does not start up again, thus preventing any damage to the movement. This avoids any sense of vulnerability often associated with this type of complications. As Jaeger-LeCoultre has developed it, the Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater is a watch clearly designed to be used exactly at the wearer’s pleasure.
The sophistication of a gold oscillating weight
Powered by a mechanical automatic movement, this creation features a precious new oscillating weight that appears clothed in 22-carat pink gold, bearing the logo of the Maison and graced with polished and grained finishes creating a textured yet shiny appearance.
In traditional costume
The new aesthetic codes of the Master Grande Tradition celebrate the undeniable elegance of 19th century pocket watches. The case now features a concave bezel, creating an optimal effect that makes the dial appear significantly larger. A satin-brushed caseband and polished lugs further enhance the refined air of this model. It’s all in the details, which means that the eye progressively discovers the degree of attention lavished on the watch. The Dauphine hands display two facets – one polished and the other sandblasted – over which the light skims and plays to pleasing effect. The face of the watch is given added volume by means of applied hour-markers, while the subtly recessed small seconds opalin counter at 6 o’clock creates a subtle three-dimensional effect. The texture of the grained silver-toned dial endows the Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater with a crowning touch of that inimitable horological classicism which calls for such well-mastered skills.
The artisans of the Manufacture in the Vallée de Joux are keenly aware that it is precisely the sum of these details that nurtures the passion for horology. That which abolishes any frontiers between a Minute Repeater and a finely crafted musical instrument. That which makes a watch an object of true meaning and beauty.
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