The modern Jaeger-LeCoultre geophysics – beginning in 2015 with a single, limited edition piece aimed at 1958 original enthusiasts – has become a contemporary collection, with the launch last year of true second and world time. This week, at SIHH, Switzerland created another complex watch to add to the classical family: the geophysics of the Taubilon rotating body world.
The new model, limited to 100 pieces, represents the first time that the venerable watch manufacturer has paired a flying tourbillon with the sophisticated world-time function introduced in the Geophysic Universal Time; an all-new in-house movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 948, was created for the timepiece.
The 43.5-mm case is made of platinum and is topped with a domed sapphire crystal that offers a panoramic view of the dial’s 360-degree representation of the Earth as viewed from space. Surrounded by a world-time ring, the slightly convex miniaturized globe features blue lacquered ocean areas, with a guilloché waves motif, and satin-brushed continents. The continents move across the central disk every 24 hours while the flying tourbillon, in its aperture at 4 o’clock, rotates around itself and the dial. The tourbillon, without a bridge to hold its cage, appears to float in space above the Earth like a horological satellite; particularly eye-catching is the rapid rolling of the Gyrolab balance wheel, an invention exclusive to tourbillons made by Jaeger-LeCoultre and notable for its watch-anchor shape, the inspiration for the JLC logo.
Despite the carefully decorated appearance and mechanical complexity of the geophysics of the earth, the Taubilon rotation mechanism seeks simple readability, luminescent materials for wheel-dividing flanges and skillful long sword-shaped hours and minute hands. All the functions of the watch are made by a crown. The sapphire caseback reveals a self-winding movement that features a solid gold-plated rotor, a 28800-vph frequency and a 48-hour power reserve. Ruby and French blue screws, as well as a large number of low-volume producers to complete the 375-year campaign.
The watch, which is water-resistant to 50 meters, is mounted on a blue alligator leather strap with a white-gold folding buckle. The price: $145,000.