I think this is a watch that merits some wrist time to be caught on. …
JLC rather forced my hand with the release of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon replica. It’s the first the maison has produced such a piece and it creates a new record for being the slimmest watch to contain a tourbillon a minute repeater and at the same time to be powered by an automatic movement.
The ultra-trim flying tourbillon has no bridge and no cage to obstruct the view. This required the development of a new larger than usual balance spring which has had the added bonus of actually improving precision and accuracy. Most balance wheels feature a hairspring placed under the oscillating wheel but JLC have placed the hairspring on top. While there is no genuine advantage to this, it does display to those in the know what a very clever and visually appealing flying tourbillon it is.
This is the eleventh timepiece to be produced in what mens fake Jaeger-LeCoultre call their Hybris Mechanica collection. Its simple appearance belies its innate complexity. The elegant case is a compact 7.9mm thick with a sensible 41mm diameter. The dial is clean and white, only a cut away at 6 o’clock gives a glimpse of the tourbillon.
First of all, JLC did away with quarter hour chimes. If no quarter hours are being struck, there would usually be a pause between the chimes for the hours and the chimes for the single minutes. However with this minute repeater it compensates for the lack of quarter hour chimes so that there is much less of a gap throughout the chiming sequence.
The minute repeater is made of white gold apparently for extra resonance; like the tourbillon it is ultra-thin, which required a complete reworking and rethinking of how things are normally done. Impeccably contained within the case is a 471 component in-house movement which powers both the tourbillon and a minute repeater; two of the most important complications known to watchmakers, and both of which JLC is admirably equipped to show off their skill and expertise.Of many fine pieces that will be on display at SIHH 2014 this month, this could prove to be the shapely, sweet chiming show stealer. It certainly has all the right credentials.
Unpretentious and simple in its appearance, under the hood this slim, sober timepiece is a trailblazing technological triumph which no doubt caused many a sleepless night its wonders to achieve. The chances of getting your hands on one are, like the Swiss-made Jaeger-LeCoultre Master copy watch itself, ultra slim. The Master Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon is limited to just 75 pieces.