As we approach the opening of the 2017 SIHH watch salon in Geneva on January 16, we take a sneak peek at three new watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Duomètre collection, all graced with new, gray magnetite, opaline-finish dials: the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon, Duomètre Chronograph, and Duomètre Quantième Lunaire.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Sphérotourbillon has a 42-mm case made of 18k rose gold. Its manual-wind tourbillon movement, Caliber 382, is hand-made and decorated entirely in-house at the brand’s manufacture in the Swiss Vallée de Joux. Like all Duomètre calibers, it follows JLC’s “dual-wing” concept, in which the supply of power to the movement is independent of the supply fed to the additional complications. In the case of this watch, the system allows for a tourbillon with a dedicated seconds display that can be stopped at will. A push-piece at 2 o’clock allows the user to reset the seconds to zero, via a flyback mechanism, without simultaneously halting the regulating organ — which helps the watch to retain maximum precision. The tourbillon cage, made of titanium and positioned in the cutaway dial at 9 o’clock, makes a three-dimensional rotation and thus requires an additional axis. The combination of these speedy rotations (30 seconds for the cage, 15 seconds for the axis) helps defy the effects of gravity by compensating for various wrist positions. The movement also features a cylindrical balance spring with two terminal curves (a hallmark of the original Sphérotourbillon) and a frequency of 21,600 vph.
The dual-wing concept is reflected in the dial design, with the main dial, with local time and date, positioned to the right of the large opening for the Sphérotourbillon. The small seconds subdial appears in the lower part of the dial, while a 24-hour subdial indicating a second time zone is placed in the upper part. Two separate power-reserve indicators, one for the movement, one for the indications, appear near the top and bottom. The magnetite gray dial is enhanced with leaf-shaped, gold-plated hands and rose-gold appliqués; the watch is mounted on a brown, hand-sewn alligator strap.
In the Duomètre Chronograph, powered by Caliber 380, the dual-wing concept devotes one gear train to the timekeeping — hours, minutes, seconds, with chronometer-level precision — and the other to the chronograph, which has a 1/6-second jumping seconds feature. Each function is powered by its own barrel offering a power reserve of 50 hours (50 for the time, 50 for the chronograph), with no transfer of energy between the barrels. Both barrels are wound by a single crown: turning the crown clockwise winds the main movement for the time, and turning it counterclockwise winds the chronograph. The watch, which has a rose gold, 42-mm case with polished and satin-brushed finishes, is the first chronograph wristwatch to operate without a coupling system; a single push-piece, located above the crown, controls all the start, stop, and reset functions.
Jaeger-LeCoultre developed the Duomètre Quantième Lunaire 42 to be “a calendar watch that was as accurate as a chronometer.” First introduced in 2010, the watch displays the time with a jumping foudroyante seconds hand showing 1/6th of a second increments, along with the date and the age of the moon. Its movement, Caliber 381, features two independent (“dual wing”) power supplies, one regulated by the escapement and balance, and the other for the time, date and age of the moon displays. Each side or “wing” of the movement has its own barrel with a power reserve of 50 hours. Both springs are wound through the crown: rotating it clockwise winds the timing barrel (escapement); turning the crown counter-clockwise winds the power reserve for the functions (hour, minute, seconds, jumping seconds, date, moon-phase). The watch features two seconds hands: one at the center, and the jumping seconds at 6 o’clock. The time is set via the crown. Pulling it resets both seconds hands to zero while leaving the escapement running. Pushing the crown activates both hands simultaneously by re-coupling into the running escapement. The timepiece’s 42-mm-diameter rose gold case also features a push-piece to adjust the date and a corrector to adjust the moon-phase indication. Like the other new Duomètre watches, it features rose-gold appliqués and gold-plated hands and comes on a chocolate brown alligator strap with a rose-gold folding clasp. Prices for the new watches will be announced at SIHH 2017.