When Jaeger-LeCoultre first introduced the Gyrotourbillon in 2004, it was an incredibly exciting watch, and arguably marked the high water mark of Jaeger-LeCoultre as a maker of contemporary complications.
Fifteen years on, the Gyrotourbillon has cycled through many iterations, most more complex or sophisticated than the original but none quite as revelatory. Variants include the compact and slightly more affordable Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon and the more recent Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpetuel.
The latest to join the line-up is the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Meteorite, which is a third generation model dressed up with fired enamel, meteorite and aventurine.
One of the most complicated versions of the Gyrotourbillon, the Gyrotourbillon 3 combines the double-axis tourbillon with a single-button chronograph with digital, instantaneous 60-minute counter as well as a day and night display.
The tourbillon features two spherical , aluminium cages containing a cylindrical hairspring in the centre. The cages rotate in opposing directions and at a different rates, working to eliminate the gravitational errors caused by the changing position of the wearer’s wrist. And more importantly, it’s a compelling visual spectacle on the idea.
Space rock and artisanal craft
The sub-dial for the time at 12 o’clock features a meteorite centre ringed by an aventurine glass chapter ring, while the chronograph register has an aventurine centre ring by white vitreous enamel. And the day-night display is no less elaborate – it is finished with hand-engraving and hand guilloche, with both the Sun and crescent Moon made of solid pink gold.
Additional meteorite panels are inlaid on the movement bridges on the front, as well as on the back. Like many other watches, the meteorite is taken from the 26-tonne Gibeon that landed in Namibia in prehistoric times, creating a near endless supply of the stone.
It’s iron meteorite, with the nickel-iron crystals within creating the distinctive, streaky Widmanstätten pattern that is accentuated by polishing and etching with acid.
Material: 18k pink gold
Movement: Calibre 176
Functions: Mono-pusher chronograph with digital minute counter, hours and minutes, day-night indicator
Frequency: 28,800, or 4Hz
Power reserve: 45 hours
Strap: Blue alligator
Price and availability
The Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Meteorite (ref. Q5032441) is a limited edition of eight watches, priced at 765,000 Singapore dollars, equivalent to US$550,000. Visit jaeger-lecoultre.com for more.
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