Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon Hybris Mechanica 11 Hands-On
There is something easily cool about a thin, tasteful, exquisite watch fitted with top-level complications and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon Hybris Mechanica 11 is only that – and a long name.
Thin watches are in. “They’ve consistently been in!” – you could contend, and you’d be correct, however it is just recently that we’ve seen a remarkable ascent in their prominence as a weapon of decision among fabricates. Perfect representations to the two kinds are Jaeger-LeCoultre and Bulgari. Where completing and tourbillons and complex tolls brands battle to clarify (and are frequently at chances with clarifying what a tourbillon is and does, with “it opposes gravity” being an outright annoyance of mine), thinness everyone gets it. Everyone with the smallest tendency for watchmaking gets that there should be something especially testing to making a watch thin, thinner, thinnest. Hybris Mechanica is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s line of watches devoted to horological muscle flexin’, and the Master Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon is perhaps the most recent piece presented in it, despite the fact that it made its introduction back at SIHH 2014. I saw the watch at another SIHH momentarily, yet it was Ariel who went after Watches & Wonders 2018. We wish more brands would convey their radiance pieces from earlier years to shows as it’d be incredible to see these amazing models, created at extraordinary exertion and cost.
At the hour of its delivery, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon Hybris Mechanica 11 was the thinnest watch to combine programmed winding, tourbillon, and minute repeater – and I don’t think that record has been broken by anybody over the most recent 4 years, not even with Bulgari stretching the boundaries of thinnest programmed watch, thinnest minute repeater, and thinnest tourbillon with its Octo Finissimo line of watches. Great work there… Where were we again?
The JLC 362 type is composed from an aggregate of 471 sections that come together in a development that is simply 4.8mm thick and 33.3mm wide… I mean, it was 471 sections in the first JLC archives in 2014, yet now their site says 566 components. Not certain how or why these numbers swelled over years yet hello, it’s great to know there’s a ~5% yearly expansion rate in haute horlogerie development component counts. Nevertheless, the case some way or another could accommodate the higher number of parts and stays 41mm wide and 7.9mm thick, which, once more, is a record for a watch with this combination of complications. The 18k white gold Master case with its unassuming, if not somewhat flat, round bezel and short, squat hauls makes the ideal disappointing casing to infer “Hey, you! Peer inside the case, not at it!” Look inside the case – at the dial, its openings, its tourbillon, or even only the actual dial – one therefore does and the genuine Hybris Mechanica firecrackers begin.
To keep the thickness at its base, Jaeger-LeCoultre planned the 362 type with a fringe winding rotor that they, adding one more curve, set on the dial side. To show this accomplishment off – and for another explanation we’ll talk about soon enough – the dial highlights 12 patterns or openings that permit the wearer to observe the fringe rotor wildly wonder around the dial as one moves their hand. We have seen Perrelets and Romain Jeromes (among others) engineer answers for flaunt the development of the winding rotor, however what JLC did here positively is the more exquisite design.
The other purpose behind the patterns is acoustics: along these lines, when the rotor isn’t over them, the gongs that fold over the development and are struck by the mallets of the ringing component are uncovered, letting sound through the dial and making the tolls significantly more discernible. Discussing the ring: the minute repeater holds a very much acquired situation among the most testing and complex horological complications – however this, obviously, couldn’t keep JLC’s watchmakers and architects from tinkering with it through one more bend. Though the minute repeater beginning by a pusher instead of a slider as of now is a curve, they even designed a little slider into the very side of the case that permits the wearer to convey the pusher when he means to utilize the ring. At the point when not being used, the pusher remains pushed in after it’s been utilized – and it is simply after the slider was put to utilize that the pusher is conveyed to the insightful wearer. A great element intended to additionally enhance the wearing experience – and further complicate the minute repeater.
In case this wasn’t enough, there additionally is a flying tourbillon on the dial, adding another wellspring of activity past the somewhat shown fringe winding rotor. Albeit the piece Ariel captured positively is a showpiece, I think we’ll concur that a great deal of time has passed since 2014 and maybe a finishing up would’ve come far in making this type and the whole watch look as great as it ought to. A lot of scratches and build up were on show on numerous pieces of the development and dial side – at the same time, once more, this being a showpiece is obviously considerably less of an issue than if it were a client piece. This said, the “JL” logo on the tourbillon confine and the blue overcoil spring are altogether cool indeed.
As expected, the development side shows such an embellishments generally found in a major brand’s corona work out: perfectly bended anglage with cleaned edges and subsets bother the eye. I can’t, notwithstanding, get over the absence of slanted edges on the wheels on a $400,000 watch. Hand-inclined spokes ought to be as essential a piece of embellishments as are anglage and blued screws – the free movers shouldn’t be given this edge if the “Grande Maisons” need to keep steady over their game. I’m sure they also have (or could have) the ability in-house.
Nevertheless, the development format is another viewpoint where Jaeger-LeCoultre exhibits its involvement with plan: in spite of the fact that it is a fairly discretionary coming together of extensions and cocks, it by and by is an amazing difficult exercise among customary and present day shapes. A perfect treat is to see the little wheel that drives the tourbillon at the lower end of the development. To observe the drive coming from the two barrels through the going train right to the tourbillon is only an inspiring sight for any watch lover.
In outline, the 11th part in the Hybris Mechanica assortment stamps one more noteworthy specialized accomplishment by the “Grande Maison,” yet it also conveys a couple of unusual, however not in any manner uncommon properties, for example, a stratospheric value, a moderately stratospheric restricted release number at 75 made, and some bizarre, despite the fact that I’m sure all around considered “oversights” in completing – primarily on the wheels. Truly, I know and I’ll concede, the facts confirm that we’ve been ruined by independents with regards to next level development enhancements. I censure Grönefeld, Hajime Asaoka, and Bexei for that… I just can’t help yet think that JLC could one-up everybody there in the event that they truly needed to.
Last value we know for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon Hybris Mechanica 11 is around $400,000. jaeger-lecoultre.com