Jaeger-LeCoultre unveils a new expression of the Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel

2024-01-10 23:00:01

Its sunburst guilloche dial in Grand Feu enamel highlights all the know-how of the Manufacture’s artisans

With its elegant proportions and understated aesthetic, the Master Ultra Thin collection from JaegerLeCoultre is the embodiment of watchmaking refinement. In 2023, it is enriched with a new interpretation of the Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel.

Contrasting with the fully polished rose gold case, the blue dial of this new piece provides an exceptional backdrop to the tourbillon and date windows. With each movement of the wrist, the light dances on the hand-guilloched sunburst pattern, a work of remarkable precision and talent: each of the 180 spokes required six passes on the manual guilloche lathe, work equivalent to the creating 1,080 lines in total. Guided solely by his hand and his eyes, the master guilloche maker must ensure that each line radiating from the center to the edge of the dial is perfectly straight, rigorously aligned and harmoniously spaced from its neighbors. The date counter is also guilloché by hand, but in a circular manner (snailed finish) to provide a subtle contrast in texture. This decoration, which also requires extreme attention to detail, required the craftsman to carry out more than 1,100 actions in total.

Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel © Jaeger-LeCoultre

Once the guilloché stage is completed, the master enameler applies the Grand Feu enamel in successive layers to the dial, one at a time, each followed by firing at 800°C and carefully controlled cooling, in order to to give the color the desired intensity and depth. This brand new shade of blue is the result of multiple tests and mixtures of pigments in varying proportions, a long and repetitive process but necessary due to the very nature of Grand Feu enamel, the firing of which produces highly unpredictable results.

In the lower half of the dial, a laser-engraved seconds counter anchors the eye on the tourbillon aperture. A mirror-polished rose gold bridge protects the cage and draws the eye into the heart of the mechanism, whose transparency and lightness are accentuated by the contrast with the dark-colored dial.

The alligator leather strap comes in a shade of blue specially created for the occasion and perfectly matched to the dial. Ultimate touch of refinement: it is lined with small-scale alligator and closed with a rose gold folding clasp.

Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel © Jaeger-LeCoultre

A concentrate of the tourbillon expertise of the Grande Maison

For Jaeger-LeCoultre, the tourbillon has always been a key element in its quest for precision. Invented to compensate for the effect of gravity on the oscillations of the escapement, this delicate mechanism consists of a balance wheel and a hairspring, rotating inside a cage. Since the creation of its first tourbillon movement in 1946, the Manufacture has invented many other types of tourbillon and hairspring shapes – the latter performance being possible only because it remains one of the rare Houses to master the very know-how specialized in the manufacture of the hairspring in-house.

The movement that drives the Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel corresponds to the latest generation of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 978, winner of a chronometry prize in 2009, the year of its launch. Since then, this caliber has remained Jaeger-LeCoultre’s flagship tourbillon movement. It was completely updated in 2019 to incorporate recent technological developments. With its 77 components, including a titanium cage, it weighs less than half a gram. It is equipped with a two-level flat hairspring with a special curve at the attachment points to ensure maximum regularity of oscillations and thus offer a high level of watchmaking precision.

Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel © Jaeger-LeCoultre

With its spectacularly beautiful dial and sophisticated caliber, the new Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel eloquently demonstrates the philosophy of the Grande Maison: combining technical virtuosity with lasting beauty and timeless aesthetics.

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