For the first time, Jaeger-LeCoultre presents a timepiece, the Master Grand Tourbillon Enamel, featuring a sapphire crystal enhanced by a miniature painting applied using an innovative technique. Cranes, an age-old symbol of longevity, adorn the dial and are surrounded by bamboos of which some are meticulously painted on the sapphire crystal of the Master Grand Tourbillon Enamel watch. The decorated watch glass thus echoes the enameled dial, creating an extraordinary overall effect of depth and volume.
In the heart of the watch beats Calibre 978, one of the 1,242 calibres developed and produced by Jaeger-LeCoultre throughout its illustrious history. This caliber is legendary as it has won the memorable first prize in the 2009 International Timing Competition organized by the Watch Museum of Le Locle, Switzerland, and its technical characteristics epitomize the results of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s ongoing research. The tourbillon carriage made from a light yet robust titanium alloy weighs just 0.28 grams, thus very little energy is required to maintain its rotations. The energy from the barrel can therefore be entirely used to keep the large-sized variable-inertia balance oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, guaranteeing an exceptional degree of precision. In keeping with fine watchmaking traditions, the parts of this calibre are meticulously decorated by hand, including the oscillating weight in 22-carat gold, seen through the sapphire case back of the watch.
The 18K white gold case measuring 43mm in diameter is embellished with an engraving on the sides and the bezel is set with baguette-cut diamonds that provide a perfect frame for the miniature artwork depicting cranes. No longer officially taught in art schools, the art of enameling is mastered by an exclusive circle of artisans perpetuating their know-how from one generation to the next. A meticulous guilloché work is performed on the white gold dial that is subsequently covered with transparent enamel with a shade of blue. The artist then draws a multicolored landscape and places the glittering Moon made of silver foil. Having fired the piece in the kiln to fix the colors, the enameler works with the 'blanc de Limoges', applying various layers to shape the birds with a relief effect.
The artisan will then give a touch of color to a range of miniature elements such as the plumage of the birds and the curve of their neck. The splash of colors gives life to the embossed design. Aiming at achieving a greater depth effect, the artisan adds miniature design elements to the sapphire glass that covers the dial and fires the glass to fix the colors.
This timepiece brilliantly
combines the traditional know-how of the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre dedicated
to the quest for precision since its founding in 1833, and a spirit of
innovation illustrated by the development of avant-garde technical solutions. This timepiece is available in a limited number of 8 pieces.
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