We have a real treat for you, our dear tarts readers, in this on-the-wrist post. Jaeger-LeCoultre Australia was kind enough to show us two watches from the Jubilee collection (Alas no Gyro 3... sigh) but even just having the opportunity to see these watches in the flesh is quite a treat in itself already. Let's have a look at the tourbillon first.
One thing we find is that sometimes Jaeger gives their watches really long names. I mean, the name for this watch will run the length of a page. It's almost as much as what Rolex puts on their dials. However, it was pointed out to me that although lengthy the name fully describes what the watch is. So if you break it down, it tells you the brand, the collection, the sub-collection and what sort of complication the watch has, and in this case, a perpetual calendar with a cylindrical tourbillon.
It is a stunning watch in person. The press images does it no justice at all. at around 42mm in diametre and about 13mm thick, it's really not that big a watch at all, and wears extremely comfortable on the wrist. How Jaeger manages to cram all those complications into such a relatively small space is beyond me. Perpetual calendar takes up room. cylindrical tourbillon takes up even more room. It's a full rotor automatic movement too, so that also, takes up room. I'm again reminded that this is exactly what is achievable due to the fully integrated design/engineering/manufacturing process. This watch I am told is 100% made in-house (apart from the strap - as alligators don't fare all that well in a frozen lake) and it is the first watch to combine a flying tourbillon with a cylindrical balance spring thus creating a timepiece of great precision. (not going to get into precision vs accuracy here. Perhaps another post)
The perpetual calendar is pre-programmed to the year 2100, and extremely easy to use. There is one recessed pusher at the side of the case at the 8:00 position that allows you to advance the calendar by one day per push. No need to figure out which part of the calendar to adjust first. However, if you do go past the actual day, you'll just have to wait till you catch up with the watch in real life, as you can turn the calendar backwards.
The watch design itself is inspired by 19th century pocket watches, and the dial features a grained finish which is quite unique but doesn't have applied indices. The layout is well balanced and symmetrical, as you'd expect from a true Manufacture. The layered dial may seem gimmicky but personally it gives the dial more depth and adds a bit more interest. I'd also prefer an actual rotating moonphase disc rather than a hand but that's really just nitpicking.
Overall it is a fantastic watch. And it is also extremely great value (relatively speaking). If you think about it, you are getting a double combo of cylindrical tourbillon with perpetual calendar, in a limited-to-180 pieces platinum case for only $170k AUD. Have a look at other comparable platinum cased complication watches from other Haute Horlogerie brands and you'll see just how much of a bargain this is. But be quick- at this price those 180 pieces aren't going to last.