Following the success of the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel, presented during the last SIHH in Geneva, Jaeger-LeCoultre unveils the Master Grande Tradition Répétition Minutes Perpétuelle, a new masterpiece with a unique sound.
The Master Grande Tradition Répétition Minutes Perpétuelle represents the next generation of chime-related innovation at La Grande Maison. Its movement, the automatic calibre 950 with 38h of power reserve, unites the two apex values of chime quality that were previously thought to be incompatible — power and beauty.
The research and innovation team of Jaeger-LeCoultre have achieved this idealised chime by creating an entirely novel gong configuration. Instead of lying flat in overlapping coils like the most commonly seen minute repeater gongs, the gongs of the Master Grande Tradition Répétition Minutes Perpétuelle depart radically from convention by incorporating unprecedented height and space. Two gongs, welded together at their base, travel in the same direction around the periphery of the movement, making one near-complete tour before dramatically arching upwards, traversing the entire height of the movement. They then diverge and take a terminal semi-arc around the other side of the movement, stopping just before their ends meet.
By maximising the space occupied by the element that creates sound vibrations “the gongs” the calibre 950 boosts its capacity for sound transmission. Further increasing this capacity is the proximity of the gongs to a larger proportion of the watch case, according to the acoustic principles that instinctively guide us where to position a relatively weak audio source in relation to an resonator (such as when a personal music player is placed in a glass dish to amplify the sound).
Signature chime innovations of Jaeger-LeCoultre, such as the square gong cross-sections andthe articulated “trebuchet” hammers, ensure that the gongs are struck with the greatest possible impact and the least interference from hammer recoil.
The lower-pitched gong takes a helical path from gong heel to tip. Though irregular in shape, its unidirectional flow allows it to vibrate in a way that creates the harmonic overtones giving fullness and balance to bass notes.
The higher-pitched gong switches direction, effectively folding back on itself like the tines of a tuning fork. This configuration emphasises the fundamental vibration of the gong, producing a purer tone that imparts the clarity and brilliance prized in treble notes.
Traditional-style perpetual calendars are mostly hand-wound, as the prestige of a high complication generally demands that the finely finished movement should be fully visible for admiration. Automatic minute repeaters are even rarer, with occasional exceptions such as the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon and the Jaeger- LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Ivy Minute Repeater.
The winding rotor of the calibre 950 is hidden within the movement, positioned between the perpetual calendar and minute repeater mechanisms, in order to a have full view on the mechanism at the back of the watch.
Another feature of the watch that puts the needs of the wearer foremost is the intuitive Security zone that appears in a dial aperture near the axis of the hour and minute hands. This indication appears between the hours of 10pm and 1am, when adjusting the time or calendar is not advised due to the possibility of stressing or even damaging the movement. This reminder takes the onus off the wearer to remember when the time and calendar indications can be adjusted.
A new case “43mm X 13,72mm”, comprising more than 80 separate hand-finished parts, was created for the Master Grande Tradition Répétition Minutes Perpétuelle. Particular attention was paid to the ergonomics of the case, from the deeply convex bezel and broad bevels on the lugs to the smoothly tapered minute repeater slide.
The Master Grande Tradition Répétition Minutes Perpétuelle is a limited edition of only 30 pieces and comes in white gold with a silver-grained dial (€.225.000 + Tax) or with deep blue translucent guilloche enamel dial (€.250.000 + Tax).