An extremely attractive and very rare limited-edition rose gold complicated wristwatch of the famous Swiss watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre, founded in 1833. Limited edition launched in 2008 to commemorate the brand’s 175th anniversary. Case made of 18k rose gold, diameter 44mm, thickness 15.8mm, sapphire caseback. Open-worked matte dark grey ruthenium-coated dial, applied gilded numerals and hour-markers. Caliber 947, hand-wound, double barrel, power reserve up to 15 days. Functions – hours, minutes, minute repeater with striking of hours, quarters and minutes on two gongs, power reserve (at 8 o’clock) and mainspring torque (at 4 o’clock) indicators. Jaeger-LeCoultre brown leather strap, Jaeger-LeCoultre 18k rose gold triple folding clasp. Limited edition of 175 pieces.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Minute Repeater watch is remarkable for its advanced technical features and two breakthrough inventions implemented in it, which allowed the brand to become a leader in the production of sonorous minute repeater wristwatches. The hand-wound caliber 947, powering this watch, was developed in 2005, the same year the Antoine Master Minute Repeater, also featuring this caliber, was announced.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is a recognised master of repeater watches, having produced them since the 1890s. The development of caliber 947 was based on the manufacture’s rich experience and previous minute repeater designs, including caliber 944 of the Reverso Répétition Minutes. However, the Master Minute Repeater watch is extremely remarkable in that its movement was the first to embody two breakthrough inventions, which made the watch not only a work of haute horlogerie, but also quite suitable for daily wear. Firstly, by adding a second barrel, the power reserve is increased to 15 days – this watch can be worn without being wound for two weeks. The power reserve indicator helps the wearer not to miss the moment of the next winding, and the winding tension indicator displays whether the winding level is in the optimal range or not. The second breakthrough is the system of patented so-called ‘crystal’ gongs, recently invented by the brand and with gongs attached not to the mainplate or case, as more traditionally, but directly to the sapphire crystal. This allows the sound to transfer from the gongs with previously unattainable efficiency, making it possible for the repeater sound of the wristwatch to become highly sonorous, comparable to the sound of repeater pocket watches yet more melodious. And even the presence of a platinum case, which otherwise should effectively dampen the sound of the repeater, does not have a negative effect here.
The second breakthrough is the system of patented so-called ‘crystal’ gongs, recently invented by the brand and with gongs attached not to the mainplate or case, as more traditionally, but directly to the sapphire crystal. This allows the sound to transfer from the gongs with previously unattainable efficiency, making it possible for the repeater sound of the wristwatch to become highly sonorous, comparable to the sound of repeater pocket watches yet more melodious.
The present reference was launched in 2008 to commemorate the brand’s 175th anniversary. The bridges and the nickel-silver mainplate of the movement are ruthenium plated, giving the watch an impressive appearance with a contrast between the cool grey caliber and warm hues of the 18k rose gold of the case. The reverse of the impressively-designed movement features a huge 3/4-plate and bridges, decorated with côtes soleillées, and embellished with screwed chatons, blued screws, chamfering, polishing and engraving. The dial side of the movement reveals the minute repeating mechanism, so its action can be observed – a rarity in traditional minute repeaters. The ruthenium plated/nickel-silver caliber parts, which are visible from the dial side, are decorated with straight grinding, circular brushing, perlage finishing, chamfering and polishing.
Reasons to bid
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Minute Repeater Série Limitée 1833 Ref. 151.2.67.S would be a fine purchase for a collector, who will receive a beautiful, rare and evidently highly complicated mechanical wristwatch with unique functionality from a world-famous traditional watch brand, one of the undoubted leaders in the haute horlogerie watch market. The combination of impeccable technical workmanship, exquisite artisanal finishing of the movement parts, and a recognisable design with skeletonized dial and sonorous repeater strike undoubtedly adds to the appeal of this lot.