Jaeger-LeCoultre presents a new variation of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon model in pink gold with a gradient midnight blue dial. The rich contrast between the sunray finish and intense gradient blue of the dial and the warmth of the pink gold case adds dramatic impact to the timeless elegance of the design, while accentuating its subtle beauty and refinement. Perfectly matching the pink gold case, the dial indications enhance the aesthetic harmony of the design and emphasise the beauty of the dial’s gradient colour. The hours are marked by long, tapered triangles, which, like the ‘JL’ logo, are applied; their shape is echoed by the Dauphine hands; and the minutes are indicated by applied golden dots. The moon phase display adds further detail and refinement, its subtly textured finishes contrasting with the shiny blue of the sunray dial and the mirror-polished moon disc. Displaying the date on a ring around the moon-phase aperture maintains aesthetic harmony and creates a visual anchor for the main complication. Measuring 39mm in diameter and 9.3 mm thick, the well-balanced and perfectly proportioned case combines a mix of polished and brushed surfaces. The Master Ultra Thin Moon watch houses the JLC Calibre 925. Developed and produced entirely in-house, this new-generation high-performing automatic movement provides 70 hours of power reserve.
Equipped with an 18-carat pink gold oscillating weight and adorned with refined decoration and finishing, this movement can be admired through the transparent case-back. This model comes with a blue alligator strap that allows easy changes whenever the wearer wishes. It’s kind of a tough time to be a tourbillon. Complications generally have at least a little bit of an air of let-them-eat-cake about them (okay, probably not the chronograph), but they can often get away with it for different reasons. Chiming complications can plead the undeniable craft which, even today, it still takes to make one; perpetual calendars can argue their connection to the cosmic rhythms of the Earth’s rotation and its annual journey around the Sun; the rattrapante chronograph can play the craft card (at least in its most classic version) and its greater utility than a standard chronograph. But the tourbillon? It’s long since been generally conceded by even its most ardent fans that you don’t need a tourbillon to get a more accurate watch. A lot of folks would argue that, strictly speaking, it’s not even a complication, inasmuch as it doesn’t display any additional information. Which is as good a rough and ready description of a complication as any – though it leaves out a lot of watchmaking which is indisputably complicated to do, including ultra-thin watchmaking. Still, tourbillons continue to fascinate watch enthusiasts and watchmakers alike – no less a master than Roger Smith has gone on record as saying he’d like to make one – and given the number of tourbillons of all kinds released every year, it’s clear that folks are still very much interested in owning them as well. As with most mechanical watchmaking, how you do it is at least as important nowadays as what it is you do, and a well-made tourbillon is still not only interesting to look at, but also a legitimate demonstration of watchmaking as an art as well as a technical exercise. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon is a quite beautiful example of the genre, with some interesting additional technical features which help distinguish it from the rest of the crowd. The full-rotor tourbillon movement is a relative rarity – JLC caliber 983, which looks to be the JLC cal. 973 automatic tourbillon, but with the addition of a moon-phase and date indication. The date indicator is a centrally mounted hand, which has a neat little trick up its sleeve (one we’ve seen before from JLC), which is that at midnight on the 15th, it jumps from one side of the aperture for the tourbillon to the other, landing on the marker for the 16th. This is to keep the date hand from partially obscuring the view of the flying tourbillon (and it gives owners a reason to stay up until midnight on the 15th, too). The main moon-phase display shows the Moon as seen from the Northern Hemisphere, but there is also, around the main display, a double-sided hand that shows the moon-phase in the Southern Hemisphere on the left, and the age of the Moon on the right. This Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon is a complicated tourbillon in a pretty classic idiom. The round, rose-gold case is 41.5mm x 12.10mm. That does not, at first, sound particularly thin these days – not with the number of extremely flat tourbillon movements that have debuted over the last decade or so (and culminating, of course, with the Bulgari Octo-Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic). The case alloy is JLC’s proprietary Le Grand Rose alloy, in which a small amount of palladium is added to help resist corrosion and discoloration. (Rose-gold alloys stabilized with metals from the platinum group have become increasingly popular in the watch industry since the introduction of Everose by Rolex in 2005.)