The modern Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic — which started in 2015 with a single, limited-edition piece targeted to enthusiasts of the 1958 original — has become a contemporary collection in its own right, with last year’s launch of the True Second and Universal Time. This week, at SIHH, the Swiss manufacture added another complicated timepiece to the vintage-inspired family: the Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time.
The new model, limited to 100 pieces, represents the first time that the venerable watch manufacturer has paired a flying tourbillon with the sophisticated world-time function introduced in the Geophysic Universal Time; an all-new in-house movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 948, was created for the timepiece.
The 43.5-mm case is made of platinum and is topped with a domed sapphire crystal that offers a panoramic view of the dial’s 360-degree representation of the Earth as viewed from space. Surrounded by a world-time ring, the slightly convex miniaturized globe features blue lacquered ocean areas, with a guilloché waves motif, and satin-brushed continents. The continents move across the central disk every 24 hours while the flying tourbillon, in its aperture at 4 o’clock, rotates around itself and the dial. The tourbillon, without a bridge to hold its cage, appears to float in space above the Earth like a horological satellite; particularly eye-catching is the rapid rolling of the Gyrolab balance wheel, an invention exclusive to tourbillons made by Jaeger-LeCoultre and notable for its watch-anchor shape, the inspiration for the JLC logo.
Despite its elaborately decorative look and mechanical complexity, the Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time strives for easy readability, with luminescent material used in the round points on the dial’s flange and on the tips of the sword-shaped hour and minute hands. All of the watch’s functions are set by a single crown. A sapphire caseback reveals the self-winding movement, which features a solid gold monobloc rotor, a 28,800-vph frequency and a 48-hour power reserve. Rubies and blued screws catch the eye, along with a host of haute horlogerie finishes on the movement’s 375 parts.
The watch, which is water-resistant to 50 meters, is mounted on a blue alligator leather strap with a white-gold folding buckle. The price: $145,000.
Learn more about Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Tourbillon Workshop in this video.
Scroll down to see photos taken at SIHH.