An extremely attractive and very rare limited-edition titanium complicated wristwatch of the famous Swiss watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre, founded in 1833. Date of production: circa 2007. Case made of titanium, diameter 44mm, thickness 15.8mm, skeletonized matt dark grey dial, sapphire caseback. Hand-wound caliber 947, 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 and mainspring torque indicators. Jaeger-LeCoultre black leather strap, stainless steel Jaeger-LeCoultre double folding clasp. Limited edition of 200 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 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 very 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 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 very sonorous
The present lot is highly unusual due to the decision of the brand to use titanium, a non-traditional material for fine watchmaking. Titanium is a light metal, much less dense than gold or platinum, so it offers unique and unparalleled acoustic performance. The Master Minute Repeater in titanium was released as a limited edition, production of which began circa 2007. This was the brand’s first titanium wristwatch with a sonorous minute repeater and so-called crystal gongs, an important moment in the history of the brand. Subsequently, many variations of this model have been produced, including with a black or enamel dial, a dial with a greater degree of skeletonization, with cases in rose gold, platinum or titanium with a black coating, or in platinum with baguette diamonds, limited or non-limited.
The two sapphire crystals and skeletonized dial of the present example provide the opportunity to see a complex mechanical movement in action while also enjoying its components with their artisanal fine finishing – a rarity in traditional minute repeaters.
Reasons to bid
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Minute Repeater Limited Edition Ref. 151.T.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.