Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Hybris Artistica Mystérieuse tourbillons – including both men’s and ladies’ versions – are uniquely indifferent to the display of time. Neither watch uses hands to indicate hours and minutes. “We didn’t want time to be the main feature of the dials,” says Stéphane Belmont, director of marketing and creation for the brand. Instead, the tourbillon carriage and the decorated dials are the focus.
Hours are indicated, almost incidentally, by an orbital flying tourbillon escapement that rotates around the dial on both pieces. Minutes are indicated on the men’s piece by a small gold triangle, and on the ladies, with a ruby, both of which are set into a revolving flange. The watches contain the same new movement, the automatic Caliber 941, with 441 components and a 50-hour power reserve.
The dial of the men’s version is overlaid with a mother-of-pearl cover that has been skeletonized in a grid pattern, revealing an aventurine dial below. The absence of hands allows the overlay to be elevated above the dial, adding a sense of depth to the stained-glass-window effect. The grid and the arch-shaped tourbillon carriage are architecturally inspired. The position of the carriage marks the hours as it revolves around the dial once every 12 hours. A triangle on a rotating flange indicates minutes. The grid pattern and underlying aventurine are carried over to the case side and lugs, and a similar gold grid over the caseback reveals part of the movement and a rotor that is skeletonized and set with panels of aventurine. It is a limited edition of five pieces.
The ladies’ version revisits the ivy motif used on the Rendez-Vous Ivy Minute repeater from 2014, but with an even more organic feel. On the Hybris Artistica Mystérieuse, 73 individually made 18k white gold and diamond ivy leaves are applied to the case as if curling around the edge and growing onto the dial. As on the men’s piece, the hour is indicated by the rotating flying tourbillon carriage. Minutes are indicated with a ruby that circles the dial on a rotating flange just inside the bezel. The diamonds are snow-set, with gems of varying sizes set like pavé into the gold. On the caseback, a sapphire crystal reveals a full-circle central rotor made of 18k pink gold that is skeletonized and engraved to resemble ivy leaves. The 18k white gold watch is a unique piece in each of three strap colors: white, blue, and red. Sapphires are used instead of rubies on the blue version.