Handcrafted goods require attention to detail and a high minutiae over every aspect. Especially when laboring over valuable precious metals and nano pieces, which require a fine eyesight. But, working at Jaeger-LeCoultre “Rare Crafts Atelier” allows to unite some of the best minds and hands in this profession. And in order to celebrate and present a challenge to these artisans, Jaeger-LeCoultre has decided to have them produce 3 exclusive watches for their “Métiers Rares Collection”.
At Jaeger-LeCoultre there’s an entire division devoted to the fine art of decoration, they’ve titled “Rare Crafts Atelier”. This department is composed of 30 top-notch professional craftsmen that have been able to specialize themselves in diverse crafts. Such as watchmaking’s finest decorative handcrafted tasks, like: enameling, engraving and gem setting; have been meticulously developed to achieve precision and beauty. Gathering all these expertise under the same roof allows for a better dialogue and comprehension of each coworkers contribution.
At “Rare Crafts Atelier” projects can be overseen as they undergo their various steps towards completion. The skilled artisans employed by Jaeger-LeCoultre therefor have the opportunity to gaze at their fellow coworker’s labor and suggest improvements or simply develop insights for their own tasks and workflow.
First off we’ll take a look at the new “Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition à Répétition Minutes”. This model has a 39mm round pink gold case, with a combination of polished and brushed parts. The minute repeater function is activated by a pusher which adds to the slimness of this timepiece. It chimes off three different notes for: hours, quarters and minutes. A refined horology piece properly suited for melomaniacs and art connoisseurs.
But, the true art of this piece is featured on the dial. There is a miniature painting, which serves as a homage to one of post-impressionist Dutch painter Van Gogh’s most famous compositions the “The Starry Night over the Rhône”. This miniature rendition has been hand-painted by an enamellist from Jaeger-LeCoultre. Besides that the dial features dauphine faceted hands, which have been polished on one side and brushed on the other, for a distinctive look.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition à Répétition Minutes
This “Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition à Répétition Minutes” (Ref#: 50924E1) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 942, with 58 jewels, 437 components and 28,800 vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 40 hours and water-resistance can reach up to 50m (164 feet). Mounted to this watch is a blue alligator strap with a pink gold pin buckle. This a limited edition watch of only 18 produced pieces.
Another fine example of the united expertise at Jaeger-LeCoultre “Rare Crafts Atelier” is the “Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Tourbillon Enamel” which showcases the unique art of paillonné enamel. This technique consists of cutting out tiny pieces of silver and gold leaf foil, so afterwards they can be placed across the enamel in a decorative designed fashion. Such technique ultimately provides a blue dial featuring a constellation of gold star dust.
The 43mm case on this timepiece is made of 18k white gold. While the dial seems like something from outer space thanks to the before mentioned paillonné enamel technique. The dark blue seems to be inhabited by clusters of stars and nebula trails. There is a white minute railroad track circling the dial along the bezel, with Arabic numerals with 5 minute increments up to 60, accompanied by white gold baton hour markers.
There is another version of this timepiece also featuring a Van Gogh painting on the dial and 48 diamonds encrusted to the bezel.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Tourbillon Enamel
The “Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Tourbillon Enamel” (Ref#: 16634E0) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 978, with 33 jewels, 302 components and 28,800 vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 45 hours and water-resistance can reach up to 50m (164 feet). Mounted to the watch is a black alligator strap.
This third and last timepiece being added to the “Métiers Rares Collection” was supposedly inspired by a grand complication watch, circa 1928, according to Jaeger-LeCoultre. It debuted in the form of a wristwatch in 2004 as an exquisite watch combining enameling and engraving, besides already supporting a highly complicated movement. Once more we are presented with the “Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition À Quantième Perpétuel 8 Jours SQ”.
Its 42mm case is made of 18k white gold with an exhibition caseback that allows to view the 18k white gold and green enamel ring. This green enamel fills the engraved section and serves as a frame for the engraved bridges. These bridges flow from the exposed balance wheel providing an elegant pattern, which resembles a mystical globe.
The green and skeletonized dial has baton hour index markers, while the other many elements are spread out through five sub-dials. The three most dominating sub-dials are used for the perpetual calendar functions. The sub-dial at the 3 o’clock position exhibits Arabic numerals from one to thirty-one, to mark the day of the month; while the sub-dial at the 6 o’clock position indicates what month it currently is, plus a small disc indicates the last two-digits of the year; and the sub-dial at the 9 o’clock position tells us what day of the week it is, as well as having the moon-phases illustrated in its center.
The other two partial sub-dials are both located towards the top of the dial, near the 12 o’clock position. The one between the eleven and twelve hour index markers is a power reserve indicator; while the one between the 12 and one o’clock hour index markers is a day/night (AM/PM) indicator. Another unique feature is a “red security zone” which functions as a safety indicator. It’s a small window amidst the day/night indicator, which turns red when it’s not safe to adjust the calendar functions, to prevent breaking the mechanical movement.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition À Quantième Perpétuel 8 Jours SQ
This “Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition À Quantième Perpétuel 8 Jours SQ” (Ref#: 5063540) is powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement, caliber 876SQ, with 37 jewels, 262 components and 28,800 vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 192 hours (8 days) and water-resistance can reach up to 50m (164 feet). Mounted to this watch is a matte black alligator strap with a pin buckle.
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