Revolution (Hong Kong) - - SIHH 2017 - TEXT BY SEAN LI

Jaeger-LeCoult re un­veils an evo­lu­tion of the Geo­physic Universal Time, the well-re­ceived world time watch, equip­ping it with a fly­ing or­bital tour­bil­lon. Not only is it fas­ci­nat­ing to watch the tour­bil­lon’s daily jour­ney around the dial, it serves to high­light a tech­ni­cal de­vel­op­ment that was al­ready in the Geo­physic, but was hid­den from view on the case back: the Gy­ro­lab bal­ance wheel. It’s cer­tainly a key com­po­nent for any me­chan­i­cal watch, but here, it took Jaeger-LeCoultre eight years to de­velop its unique con­fig­u­ra­tion. The fact that it’s no longer cir­cu­lar re­duces its to­tal sur­face area, which in turns lim­its the im­pact of aero­dy­namic drag. It might seem like an ob­vi­ous de­vel­op­ment, but the bal­ance wheel plays a crit­i­cal part in chronom­e­try. The mai­son is con­fi­dent enough in the Gy­ro­max that it now equips all the cur­rent Geo­physic watches. We do need to draw at­ten­tion to the fin­ish­ing on the dial, for here too, JaegerLeCoul­tre takes it to the next level, the con­vex shape giv­ing it added depth and high­light­ing the guil­loché spi­rals on the blue lac­quered ocean.

With the maelst rom of watches that are un­veiled at SIHH, there are some pieces that come in un­der the radar, but that hit all the right notes. Jaeger-LeCoultre had three such time­pieces to show, made to cel­e­brate the 25th an­niver­sary of its sig­na­ture Master Con­trol col­lec­tion. They are, if you will, an ex­er­cise in sim­plic­ity and clas­si­cism; the com­pli­ca­tions in them­selves are, for lack of a bet­ter word, a tad or­di­nary. How­ever, we would ar­gue that there are very much the kinds of watches that clients, and not nec­es­sar­ily high-browed col­lec­tors, are look­ing for these days. Each has a stain­less steel case, ei­ther 39mm or 40mm, de­pend­ing on the com­pli­ca­tion (the chrono­graph cal­iber re­quires a bit more room). They all have blue skele­tonized ba­ton hands, and opa­line fin­ished di­als with cir­cu­lar satin-brushed de­tails. They are, how­ever, the very essence of me­chan­i­cal watch­mak­ing, clas­sic but in a con­tem­po­rary in­ter­pre­ta­tion. Just the thing to ig­nite the spark in a new gen­er­a­tion of en­thu­si­asts.

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