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Friday, April 22, 2011

Jaeger LeCoultre Grande Tradition Grande Complication

On Monday I showed the beautiful rose gold final version of the Jaeger LeCoultre Gyro Tourbillon. Today is another, arguably even more interesting, and certainly more complicated JLC timepiece. The aptly named Grande Tradition Grand Complication.



The dial is an amazingly beautiful blue, engraved with the stars and firmament, the flying tourbillon makes its way around the dial once every 12 hours. This wandering tourbillon is quite a technical feat on its own, but this one even allows the sidereal time to be tracked, and is programmed to turn around the dial to show the sidereal time.



A more detailed look at the dial, showing the moving tourbillon and the engraving of the heavenly bodies.

But what amazes me most about this magnificent timepiece is the sound of the minute repeater. No longer can one complain that though JLC Repeaters do make a loud ringing, they do not make a beautiful sound. By making the gongs longer, a la cathederal gong style like Patek Philippe, and also capitalizing on their research from their Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie's accelerating hammers - known as ‘tr├ębuchet hammer’, the Grande Complication's sonic capabilities are now fully developed. The ‘tr├ębuchet hammer’ system allows the hammer to be activated on a dual axis system, where the hammers are accelerated on activation initially till a certain point where they activate a second movable arm. When released this accelerates the hammer till shortly before impact. As a result, each strike is strong, powerful, and clean. The tone as it rings out is loud and clear. But what is now quite apparent is now also the decay of the initial strike tone. This now reveberrates through the case, allowing the sound to develop rich overtones which enhance the aural experience. This magnificent richness is afforded by the longer gongs.



The back of the movement, showing the huge trebuchet hammer and the magnificently decorated movement.

And to roundup the watches, both the Gyro Tourbillon and the Grande Complication forming an amazing duo:



And a portrait of JLC's venerable CEO, Jerome Lambert, who was in town in Singapore to present these 2 very special timepieces and the SIHH 2011 collection.


for pixel peepers: click on the image for a 100% crop of Jerome's right eye, showing the detail captured by the camera.

And Jerome showing off the new Reverso 1931:

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