Jaeger-LeCoultre’s roots date back to 1833 when self taught watchmaker Antoine LeCoultre established the company in the picturesque location of Vallée de Joux, Switzerland. During the last 180 years the brand has produced a staggering 1,200 calibres and registered more than 400 different patents. Their extraordinary achievements have included the world’s smallest mechanical movement (Joaillerie 101) and the first self-winding alarm watch in history (Memovox).
In 2000 Jaeger-LeCoultre became a fully owned subsidiary of the luxury goods holding company Richemont. Fundamentally this partnership has resulted in the development of numerous complications such as the wonderful Gyrotourbillon. This amazing watch was launched in 2004 and features a tourbillon gravitating on two axes with a perpetual calendar. Subsequently more innovations have followed including the conception of the sublime Duomètre Sphérotourbillon.
This magnificent timepiece was launched last year in 2012 and is still one of the company’s current models. I was delighted to receive the opportunity to try on a watch of this magnitude. My first impression of the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon was how elegant the piece looked. The timepiece isn’t particularly large by modern standards measuring only 42mm x 14.10mm. Essentially this doesn’t matter, as these classical proportions will appeal to the serious collector. I really enjoyed wearing this watch, as it felt lightweight and comfortable on the wrist. Primarily this is down to the ergonomic design and luxurious 18-carat pink gold case. Realistically this incredible timepiece would only be worn on very special occasions and probably only in a formal capacity.
Aesthetically the façade of Duomètre Sphérotourbillon is well laid out and has an air of refinement. The white Crystalline grained dial works in perfect harmony with the pink gold hands and numerals. I was also really impressed with multi-layered counters that create the illusion of depth. The attention to detail is superlative and the overall composition is very pleasing to the eye. There are many successful elements to this design but my favourite feature is the large aperture displaying the majestic rotating tourbillon. This visual splendor can also be viewed through the sapphire crystal case back.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has equipped the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon with their highly accomplished Calibre 382. This very intricate 55 jewel mechanical hand wound movement comprises 460 components and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. All these individual parts have been meticulously hand assembled and decorated by master craftsmen. Functionally the watch features hours, minutes, small seconds, (with flyback function) power reserve indicator, date and 24-hour time zone. There is also a spectacular Sphérotourbillon constructed from 105 separate parts (including the grade 5 titanium tourbillon carriage) that rotates at two different speeds on separate axis. This phenomenal feat of engineering combats the effects of gravity and also makes the timepiece incredibly accurate.
The fabulous Duomètre Sphérotourbillon has a hand-sewn crocodile leather strap with an 18-carat pink gold pin buckle. Ultimately this timepiece epitomises sophistication and is priced for the connoisseur at: $240,000 (available to purchase at: http://www.jfarrenprice.com.au)