Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 2022 NoveltiesBy Suan Futt Yeo
A veritable powerhouse in technical and craft watchmaking, Jaeger-LeCoultre is never short of big guns to showcase its creativity and broad expertise. For Watches & Wonders 2022, the manufacture is presenting a broad range of novelties, from the Polaris Perpetual Calendar to two new interpretations of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Grande Complication Calibre 945 first presented in 2010.
Polaris Perpetual Calendar
The Polaris collection reintroduced in 2018 refreshed a classic super compressor case dive watch into an elegant sports watch with a distinctive design. For 2022, the collection gets its first perpetual calendar, driven by the caliber 868AA. This is a new version of the cal. 868 that made its debut in 2013, and updates include the addition of a retrograde display for the Southern Hemisphere moon phases and nearly doubled the power reserve to 70 hours.
Available in a gradated deep blue dial with rotating inner bezel, and security indicator at dial center to warn against setting the watch between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., the Polaris Perpetual Calendar is offered in steel with steel bracelet or black rubber strap; or pink gold with blue rubber strap or alligator leather strap.
Master Hybris Artistica Caliber 945
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Grande Complication Calibre 945 presented in 2010 has two new interpretations for 2022: Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 Galaxia in pink gold and Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 Atomium in white gold, each in a limited edition of five pieces.
Comprising more than 500 components, the caliber 945 unites three principal complications to drive its multiple displays and functions — namely sidereal time, orbital tourbillon and minute repeater.
Sidereal time referenced on the stars drives the star map at dial center, which displays in real time the night sky over the Northern Hemisphere as seen from the 46th parallel, where Jaeger-LeCoultre is located at Vallée de Joux. Moving in sync is the Cosmotourbillon, which completes one anticlockwise circuit around the dial each each sidereal day (precisely 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds). A golden sun-shaped pointer set at the edge of the dial indicates the month of the zodiacal calendar and solar time on a 24-hour scale for setting the watch, while Dauphine hands indicate civil time (referenced on the sun).
Literally elevating these astronomical displays is a multilevel dial handcrafted by artisans at the manufacture’s Métiers Rares (Rare Handcrafts) atelier. The domed star map is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s first use of grisaille enamel to achieve a chiaroscuro effect of dramatic contrast and shading for the night sky. In the pink gold Galaxia, the grisaille enameling extends to the outer segment of the dome with the depiction of planets; the outer dial segment of the white gold Atomium features instead a silvered filigree that alludes to the lines linking the constellations; they also look like molecule diagrams.
Also integral to the caliber 945 is the sum of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expertise in rethinking the minute repeater to cross the engineering hurdles of conventional minute repeater design. Innovations include the use of crystal gongs, trebuchet hammers and a silent governor to improve quality and volume of the chimes.
Master Grande Tradition Caliber 948
Introduced in 2017, the caliber 948 is the first to unite a world-time complication with a flying tourbillon. For 2022, it is fitted to the Master Grande Tradition Calibre 948 that bears the same design language with the aforementioned Hybris Artistica watches, though they are different in temperament. While the Hybris Artistica look to the stars, the Master Grande Tradition has its feet firmly planted on the solar system.
Instead of a sidereal day, the orbital Universal Tourbillon here makes a complete circuit around the dial in 24 hours, in accordance to mean solar time. At dial center, in place of a domed star map, is a domed map of the Northern Hemisphere as seen from the North Pole, elevated from the dial bed by a domed lattice of longitudes and latitudes. Mimicking the rotation of the earth, this map, together with the cities ring on the periphery, completes one revolution every 24 hours, simultaneously displaying the correct hour in all 24 time zones.
The dial was created by artisans at the manufacture’s Métiers Rares atelier: the outline of the continents is cut from a sheet of white gold and decorated with champlevé enamel, with miniature painting for the detailing of major landscape features. Under this, to represent the oceans, the dial bed features blue translucent lacquer applied over a wavy guilloché pattern.
Polaris Perpetual Calendar
Movement: Self-winding caliber 868AA; power reserve of 70 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, perpetual calendar, safety indicator, moon phases for northern and southern hemispheres, inner timing bezel
Case: 42mm x 11.97mm; steel or pink gold case; water resistance of 100m
Strap: Steel bracelet or black rubber strap (steel case); blue rubber or alligator leather strap (pink gold case)
Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 Galaxia / Atomium (both limited edition of 5 pieces each)
Movement: Manual-winding caliber 945; power reserve of 40 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, months, 24-hour indication; Cosmotourbillon indicating sidereal time; star chart in real time, minute repeater
Case: 45mm x 16.05mm; pink gold (Galaxia) or white gold (Atomium); sapphire caseback; water resistance of 50m
Strap: Alligator leather
Master Grande Tradition Calibre 948 (limited edition of 20 pieces)
Movement: Self-winding caliber 948; power reserve of 48 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, world time, flying tourbillon, 24-hour indication
Case: 43mm white gold case; sapphire caseback; water resistance of 50m
Strap: Alligator leather