The Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time
Pre SIHH 2017
In my opinion, it is always oversimplifying, when you provide your readers with a short preview of a timepiece like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Tourbillon Universal Time; a watch that would deserve detailed pages over pages. This is the first time that a tourbillon has entered the case of a Geophysic® world timer; a name and a collection that were born in 1958 in a manufacture that boasts quite a lot of experience when it comes to crafting ultra-complicated watches; masterpieces of micro-mechanics like the Gyrotourbillon® and the Reverso Grande Complication à Triptyque, just to name a few. The Geophysic® collection is also the brand's collection that brought back to life a complication that had virtually disappeared from the world of haute-horlogerie; the complication of the so-called “true seconds”.
The calibre 948 – a code that identifies the 375-component-movement of the Tourbillon Universal Time – fuses together the viewing mode of the 24 time zones (those with the offset of the whole multiples if compared to the UTC) and the tourbillon complication, which is here a flying tourbillon; Alfred Helwig's fascinating invention that has been here created in a brilliant manner and with the addition of a superlative patent. As declared by Jaeger-LeCoultre, the tourbillon with no upper cage looks as if it were floating on the slightly curved dial and, thanks to the world time complication, not only does it rotate on itself but also on the entire dial, bringing back to my memory masterpieces like the 2015 Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication.
On a dial, where the guilloché motif mimics the moving of the oceans, the brand's watch-masters have drawn the continents using a satin finishing that creates a real contrast with the dark blue colour of the ocean and that, together with the convex shape of the dial, creates a continuous movement perception and an exceptional visual depth. There are 22 glowing dots alternating with Arabic numbers placed on an outer ring and separated by the day/night indicator. The reference Q8126420 features a 43,5mm platinum case and is equipped with a patented balance wheel that is known as the “Gyrolab”; a technical solution that aims at reducing the aerodynamic resistance – as per the brand – if compared to a traditional solution.
The balance wheel is made up of two parts that, from an aesthetic point of view, represent the manufacturer's logo; an example of how one can successfully blend together brand and technology, and shape and functionality. The Gyrolab was launched for the first time in 2007 with the Master Compressor Extreme Lab and it is one of the main characteristics of the entire Geophysic® collection. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic® Tourbillon Universal Time will be crafted in 100 pieces and will be dealt with in depth in one of our future articles. At the moment, there is still no information available about the retail price of this timepiece.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre)