In the wonderful world of horology there are not many watchmakers as renowned as Jaeger-LeCoultre. With a history dating back over 180 years they are highly respected by their peers. For that reason I am also delighted to get the opportunity to write about their marvelous timepieces. Recently they unveiled a masterpiece that is set to be their Pièce de résistance at the Watch and Wonders show held in Hong Kong in September. This extraordinary timepiece is called the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication. As well as having a baguette diamond bezel it also has an intricate flying tourbillon movement containing 527 components.
In the last year I have written several times about Jaeger-LeCoultre including an in depth SIHH article for Esquire Magazine (featuring their Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire and Hybris Mechanica 11). I have also been very fortunate to write two hands-on reviews of the exquisite Grande Tradition Grande Complication and the award winning Duomètre Sphérotourbillon. This was down to the enormous kindness of Julian Farren Price and his professional team. On a recent trip to Sydney Julian allowed me access to try on the Greubel Forsey Diamond Set Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain, Patek Philippe Nautilus Rose Gold Baguette Diamond Bezel and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Eight Days Perpetual 40.
Even though the Master Eight Days Perpetual 40 isn’t one of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s latest models it is still part of their current collection. It is also a beautiful timepiece that I was privileged enough to wear (if only for a very limited time). Dimensionally the watch is smaller than both the Grande Tradition Grande Complication and the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon measuring only 40mm x 12.1mm. These classical proportions should appeal to the serious collector. Generally I found the timepiece sat very comfortably on my wrist and I didn’t experience any friction from the lugs. Primarily this is down to the stylish case design and choice of luxurious 18-karat rose gold. Personally I think this timepiece would look really elegant if worn with a formal dinner suit.
Visually the Master Eight Days Perpetual 40 has a really refined and understated appearance. What makes this model so special is the opulent gem set bezel containing 72 diamonds. The dial has three counters displaying the day, date, month and moon phase features. There are also two retrograde indications showing the power reserve and security red zone. The latter warns the recipient when it is safe to adjust the time. Other fine details include raised gold indexes and Dauphines hour/minute hands. Overall the design is sophisticated and the finishing is supreme.
At the heart of the watch is a highly accomplished twin barrel manual winding movement. The Calibre876-440B comprises 37-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. Each of the 262 individual components has been meticulously assembled and decorated by hand. Functionally the Master Eight Days Perpetual 40 is jammed packed with features including hours, minutes, perpetual calendar, day, date, month, year, day/night and moon phase indications. The timepiece also has an impressive power reserve of 8 days and is water resistant to a depth of 50 metres.
The Master Eight Days Perpetual 40 has a hand sewn alligator strap with double folding buckle. Priced for the discerning at $$56,500. (Available to purchase at: http://www.jfarrenprice.com.au
For more information visit the company’s website: http://www.jaeger-lecoultre.com