How Good is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s First Ever Ladies’ Minute Repeater?

Complicated ladies’ watches designed from the ground up are uncommon, but the Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Ivy Minute Repeater is exactly that.

Complicated watchmaking is still a world dominated by men, which is what makes the Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Ivy Minute Repeater rare. It’s a minute repeater freshly conceived for the female client, instead of being a smaller version of a men’s watch. Moreover, rather than using a movement from a men’s minute repeater wristwatch, the Rendez-Vous Ivy Minute Repeater is equipped with a new movement designed to fit into a smaller case (albeit a very thick one). Floral with a hint of Art Nouveau, the blue dial is made of a disc of solid gold and engraved with a floral motif in relief, with the leaves set with round diamonds. The recessed area is engraved with a fine radial guilloche, and covered in pale blue vitreous enamel, essentially glass melted and fused in an oven. 

The tiny bubbles visible in the enamel prove it’s fired enamel and not merely lacquer, though the proliferation of bubbles is explained by the fact that it’s a prototype 

Diamonds are also found on the case, lugs, crown and even the button for the minute repeater. The case is white gold and a modest 39mm in diameter, but a substantial 12.2mm thick. In fact it’s nearly as thick as a Lange Datograph, a substantially sized men’s chronograph that’s 13.1mm high. The height is apparent from the profile of the watch, which reveals a wide case base and unusually thick bezel on top of it.

The reason for the case height is the movement, developed to suit the smaller diameter of a ladies’ watch. The calibre 942 inside is a modular construction, meaning the minute repeating mechanism is a plate added on top of an ordinary base movement, hence the height. 

The button is shaped like a slide

The downside of such a construction is not just thickness – the intricacies of the minute repeater mechanism are hidden. In a typical minute repeater with an integrated mechanism everything is revealed on the reverse, like on the Vacheron Constantin calibre 1731

Visible from the display back, the view of the 942 is essentially the same as what you see in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s entry level men’s watch, the Master Control Date since the base movement is the same. It’s a robust movement that’s the latest in family of movements that have evolved since the 1980s.

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s first minute repeater for female clients could have been better. By comparison, its closest competitor, the Van Cleef & Arpels Poetic Wish, is far more elaborate in concept and execution. Admittedly the Poetic Wish costs double the Ivy but justifiably so. The Rendez-Vous Ivy Minute Repeater is a limited edition of 88 pieces, priced at €202,000 before taxes.

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Introducing the Lumisidus Planetary Gear Watch Winder

Lumisidus makes only one product, a watch winder that functions like a planetary gear, with watches orbiting around the central axis.

German winder maker Lumisidus unveiled its first watch winder in 2015, the Lumisidus 11. Able to accommodate 11 watches, the winder works like a planetary gear: a rotating central cylinder turns each of the other cylinders, which orbit around the central axis. The motion is smooth, silent and leisurely. Though having so many elements in motion might indicate a complex mechanism, the Lumisidus winder has few moving parts. Only the central cylinder is powered, with each of the other cylinders rolling against each other. For the winder to work correctly, the tolerances involved are narrow, with every cylinder having to fit precisely against other.

The Lumisidus 11 Carbon

Each cylinder contains a cushion to hold a watch that’s made of a dense memory foam, so it can hold a watch on a small bracelet, and then revert to its original form. The winder is bidirectional, with everything controlled via a smartphone application.  On the gold-plated model, LED lights integrated into the marble composite base can be lit, with a varying lighting colours possible, also controlled via the smartphone app.

The frosted gold-plate version

Besides the 11-watch model, a smaller Lumisidus 3 is also available, but it lacks the visual power of the large version. The Lumisidus 3 costs €7490, with the Lumisidus 11 is priced at €19,990. And the Lumisidus 11 in gilt is €34,990. They are available direct from Lumisidus.

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