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Crystal Clear: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon

 

Crystal Clear Jaeger Lecoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon

What you’re looking at is the world’s thinnest, make that the world’s only, ultra-thin minute repeater flying tourbillon. Indeed, any kind of ultra-thin high complication is a veritable feat but Jaeger-LeCoultre managed not just one but two of them in this sleek horological masterpiece. To achieve this, the manufacture invented a new tourbillon geometry and a special high performance balance spring, implanted a peripheral winding system, set in a retractable single push button for the minute repeater, and topped it all off with a silent time lapse reduction system.

The flying tourbillon in this timepiece, however, is unlike (for lack of a better word) ordinary ones in that it is coupled with a flying balance wheel. This unusual setting has the balance spring sitting above the large balance wheel, which in turn sits above the tourbillon carriage. This is somewhat similar to Montblanc’s ExoTourbillon design except that the ExoTourbillon is a bridged tourbillon. According to the manufacture, this construction aids in reducing the thickness of the movement.

Its striking mechanism also deserves applause as it was conceived from the beginning to be ultra-thin. In addition, it features an innovative system that reduces silent time lapse when there are no quarters to be sounded. The strikes are also especially remarkably clear and sonorous thanks to sapphire crystal gongs and trebuchet hammers. As opposed to Hybris Mechanica à Grande Sonnerie which positions the hammers in series, here they are placed in the traditional symmetrical position. To activate the minute repeater, disengage the lock at eight o’clock to release the push-button at 10 o’clock. Push it to start the mechanism striking. This button is always recessed unless the wearer chooses to unlock it. 

This elegant 41mm timepiece measures only 7.9mm in height thanks to a platinum peripheral rotor exposed through apertures around the dial. Calibre 362 inside powers the watch to 45 hours and only 75 watches will be made.

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