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In a Minute: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition

An orbiting celestial canopy takes the grande maison’s grand complication to greater heights.

What it is:

Headlining Jaeger-LeCoultre’s new campaign The Sound Maker, the Master Grande Tradition
Grande Complication sees its third incarnation since 2010. Powered by the manually wound Calibre 945, the statement timepiece combines an orbital flying tourbillon, a minute repeater with cathedral gongs and a star chart. While it is impressive, its technical highlights, which relate to the chiming mechanism, are not new for the manufacture. Instead of hammers constructed from a single piece of steel, it uses articulated “trebuchet” hammers – named after a medieval catapult – that allow
for more controlled strikes. The brand’s “crystal gongs”, attached to the sapphire crystal rather than the movement base plate, amplify sound.

How it looks:

The Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication never fails to make an entrance. Each new iteration looks more striking than the previous one. Accentuating the sense of depth in this 16.05mm-thick timepiece is a new decorative feature: a filigree metal piece that encircles the sky chart and the tourbillon. Turning anticlockwise, the entire central portion of the dial completes one rotation in a sidereal day – which is slightly under 24 hours and based on the earth’s rotation in relation to fixed stars. The 45mm-wide case has also been improved. Comprising more than 80 parts, it features details such as broad bevels on the lugs, hollowed-out sides and a more tapered repeater slide.

How it wears:

With its sizeable dimensions, this watch is not meant to be discreetly tucked away; its complications
provide good reason for its heft. With distinctively whimsical accents such as a circular metal lattice and star-shaped pointer that indicates the date, there’s no middle ground with this love-it-or-hate-it piece of high horology. The watch comes in two different variants – the rose gold version with a black dial has a warm, classic feel, while the white gold channels coolness with a blue dial and a bezel outlined with 44 baguette-cut diamonds.

Movement: Manually wound movement with 70-hour power reserve

Case:  45mm in rose gold or white gold with diamonds

Price: $560,000 (rose gold); $690,000 (white gold). Limited to eight pieces each

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