In 2019, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced two minute repeaters; the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel and Master Grande Tradition Répétition Minutes Perpétuelle. These Master Grande Tradition timepieces highlight the sophistication, artistic creativity used by Jaeger-LeCoultre to bring out new innovations.
This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre has updated the Master Grande Tradition series with a new timepiece that features the brand’s Calibre 945 movement. Jaeger-LeCoultre has stated that the Master Grande Tradition Calibre 945 timepiece has “more than a century and a half of accumulated expertise.” The Master Grande Tradition Calibre 945 brings together two of the most valued horological complications; a minute repeater and a celestial vault.
Watchmakers all around consider that the minute repeater complication is one of the most challenging and rewarding horological movements to master. To put it into context, a minute repeater is essentially a musical instrument miniaturised to fit into the movement of the watch. Creating such a complication arises two different complex problems. Firstly the technical difficulty, which comes in the form of the complexity of the mechanism needed to transcribe the precise time shown by the hands into a series of perfectly programmed strikes. The second challenge, being on the artistic side, is where the engineers need to ensure that the strikes produce an audible, harmonious and rich sound. The most beautiful chimes, however, can still be drowned out by background noise. Thankfully, Jaeger-LeCoultre was able to address this problem with their patented silent strike governor.
With more than 150 years of history and information on minute repeaters created by Jaeger-LeCoultre, the engineers set out to create something special with the Master Grande Tradition Calibre 945 timepiece. The dial of the Master Grande Tradition Calibre 945 is another aspect of this watch that is quite amazing as well. Jaeger-LeCoultre has used a celestial vault complication on the dial which is an astronomical complication. The celestial vault complication features an Orbital Flying Tourbillon, which was first featured in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication of 2010.
The Orbital Flying Tourbillon is able to turn in its own axis in 60 seconds, while also making a complete anti-clockwise circuit of the dial in one sidereal day. What’s a sidereal day you ask? A sidereal day is slightly shorter than the solar day (one we currently go by). The sidereal day is based on earth’s rotation measured relative to “fixed” stars. This rotation takes approximately 23h, 56min and 4.1 seconds. The specific use of sidereal day is for astronomers to follow the apparent movement of the stars across the night sky.
The date, month and signs of Zodiac on the Master Grande Tradition Calibre 945 is read by golden sun-shaped pointer, which is set at the edge of the disc of constellations. The time can be read from two concentric rings on the dial. The first ring has applied hour indexes, while the second silvery-white outer ring has minutes.
The Master Grande Tradition Calibre 945 comes in two variants with different material finishes. The first is a satin, micro-blasted and polished finish with pink gold 45mm casing. The dial on the pink gold version will feature a black dial with golden laser-welded structure. The black dial is decorated with tiny stars which depict the Northern Hemisphere night sky, as can be seen from the 46th parallel, which is the latitude of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s home in the Vallée de Joux.
The second version of the Master Grande Tradition Calibre 945 features a satin, micro-blasted and polished finish 45mm white gold case, with a bezel set with 44 (3.76 carats) baguette-cut diamonds. This white gold version has a midnight blue dial with a silver welded structure. Like the first variant of this watch, the same Northern Hemisphere night sky is portrayed in the midnight blue dial.
Both versions feature the manual mechanical Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 945 movement, which powers the hours/minutes, month, 24-hour indication, Orbital Flying tourbillon and the minute repeater. The power reserve of the calibre 945 movement is approximately 40 hours.
This latest Minute repeater timepiece from Jaeger-LeCoultre shows the continuous dedication the brand has to innovate and improve their historical creations. The Master Grande Tradition Calibre 945 is a real testament to chiming watches while also showcasing an intricate astronomical complication.