Saturday, 13 December 2014 09:00

Watch this meteoric miracle

The sky harbours the origins of time, while the sun, moon and stars are the keys that enabled humankind to tame this impalpable phenomenon. They are thus the be-all and end-all of horology. At the SIHH, 2015, Jaeger-LeCoultre will share its fascination for the movements of these heavenly bodies that will find its way to the human wrist. Read on for a superbly interesting phenomena of creating the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar watch.

Rare is a person who have not seen the beauty of a shooting star and made that fervent wish silently. They leave a characteristic luminous trail when entering the atmosphere…an authentic invitation to make a wish…

Once they have landed on or been buried several centimetres into the earth, meteorites often remain unnoticed, if not by the experienced eyes of those who make a profession of gathering them. Meteorite hunters distinguish between those they have actually seen falling and those that are lucky finds.

Connoisseurs have long considered Antarctica as a sort of Eldorado, since the ice cap fosters a concentration of these stones that rise to the surface when blue ice is eroded by katabatic (down-slope) winds. This continent is however now the exclusive preserve of scientific meteorite hunters and any commercial exploitation is prohibited.

A celestial fragment of beauty on your wrist

The new Master Calendar of Jaeger-LeCoultre watch uses this strange and fascinating meteorite stone on its dial. Composed of a single block of meteorite discovered and officially registered in Sweden, it comes from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendra steel ; Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar pink gold

To get the meteorite on the dial, to work with it is however another interesting story. Its iron content makes this material difficult to work with. To get an aesthetically perfect dial, this block of meteorite is cut into several thin plates in a process involving countless precautions, until the exact plate corresponding to the demands imposed by Jaeger-LeCoultre is achieved.

Still in its rough state at this stage, the meteorite must undergo several preparatory phases before revealing the structure of its stone that features a unique pattern shown by each cut. At the end of a lengthy and delicate procedure, it can at last express the beauty that it has stored up across several million years. Finally it’s as if a part of the universe were converging towards the stone dial, at last within reach.

Useful functions

The earth’s spinning on its axis determines the length of the day, while its rotation around the sun defines the year. Likewise, moon phases – and the 29-day approximate gap between two new moons – are behind the duration of the week and month. Each major civilisation has sought to convey through a calendar the various celestial movements it has observed.

Calendar-related indications are among the most useful a watch can offer. Representing the iconic calendar complication, the complete calendar of the Master Calendar model displays the perpetual calendar by means of a long hand tipped with a red moon crescent sweeping around a scale around the dial rim graduated from 1 to 31.

It also indicates the day of the week and the month in twin apertures at 12 o’clock. Featured on certain Renaissance pocket watches before being more widely used in the 19th century, this numerical display principle serves to catch attention and focus it firmly on the present.

Finally, the complete calendar indicates the various moon phases – new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter – in the traditional form of this emblematic heavenly body emerging from between two clouds and rising up against a star-studded sky.

The cleverly mastered dial architecture ensures immediate and pleasing readings of the information, with hours and minutes shown by dauphine hands and small seconds at 6 o’clock.

Everything is governed by a will to achieve the right balance between watchmaking expertise, aesthetic elegance and optimal comfort. With a 39 mm-diameter, this10.6 mm-thick case is designed to adapt to the curve of any wrist. Its subtle discretion could easily make one forget the considerable efforts deployed by the master artisans in fitting an automatic movement with a full calendar inside such a pleasantly sized case.

This concern for detail runs all the way to the very heart of the watch. The sapphire crystal case-back of the Master Calendar reveals the intricate workings of Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 866 and its delicate finishes testifying to infinite patience. They reflect the soul and the rigorous discipline of the artisans exercising their craft in the Manufacture based in the Vallée de Joux, for whom every gesture is imbued with true meaning.

The watches will be available in pink gold and steel dial with alligator leather, steel folding clasp and alligator leather, 18-carat pink gold pin buckle

 

 

 

 

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