Jaeger-LeCoultre unveils its first ultra-thin automatic, perpetual calendar watch. The case of the new Master Ultra Thin Perpetual watch measures no more than 9.2 millimetres in thickness. A new tour de force designed to house Calibre 868, the Manufacture’s ultra-thin automatic perpetual calendar movement.
The watchmakers and designers of the Manufacture have united their endeavours in creating an extremely slim mechanism equipped with a complete calendar, and in arranging the entire set of indications on a dial that retains the collection’s minimalist elegance while ensuring perfect readability.
The aesthetic and mechanical purity of Fine Watchmaking
The clear and self-evident layout avoids any risk of confusion. In addition to the hour, minute and central seconds hands, it comprises three counters dedicated to the perpetual calendar displays: the first at 9 o’clock for the day of the week, the second at 3 o’clock for the date, and the third at 6 o’clock for the month. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s distinctive signature appears below the moon phase.
The new model comes in three variations distinguished by the material or colour of the case. The first features an 18-carat pink gold case framing an eggshell-white dial, while the 18-carat white gold version comes with a grained, silver-toned dial. Finally, the steel model available exclusively from Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques is graced with a sunburst, silver-toned dial.
Regardless of its colour, the case itself, with its comfortable 39 mm diameter, willl catch the eye of connoisseurs and collectors.
Smooth handling now and always
A single corrector located on the side of the case is enough to change all the indications in accordance with a remarkably simple principle: one press moves the perpetual calendar one day forward, while any additional changes required to keep in step with the vagaries of the Gregorian calendar take place automatically. The watch mechanism is so sophisticated that it takes account of the unequal length of the months, which may have 28, 30 or 31 days. Every four years, it will just as naturally display the 29th of February that occurs with leap years. It will thus require no manual adjustment before March 1st 2100, since century years are an exception to the four-year cycle governing leap years. Meanwhile, the moon-phase display will faithfully portray the various states of our satellite over the next 122 years.
Finally, just above the dial centre, a small rectangular window, generally in the same shade as the background, turns gradually red as evening falls. It indicates the period during which it is preferable to avoid any adjustments in order to avoid potentially damaging the gear wheels that are already engaged in preparing the change of indication that takes place daily at exactly midnight.
Ultra-thin calibres and perpetual calendars from Jaeger-LeCoultre
In the early 20th century, Jacques-David LeCoultre took up the challenge presented to Swiss watch manufacturers by the French industrialist Edmond Jaeger, who wished to develop the production of ultra-thin watches. Their encounter marked the start of a fruitful collaboration that would culminate several decades later in joining their names for posterity. It gave rise in 1907 to the introduction of the Calibre 145 pocket-watch movement, fulfilling Parisian designers’ desire for discretion and refinement. Its stupendous 1.38 mm slenderness earned it the title of the world’s thinnest watch movement, a record it still holds in its category. Produced for half a century, it nurtured the tradition of ultra-thin Haute Horlogerie watches that Jaeger-LeCoultre still cultivates today.
Nor is the perpetual calendar complication a newcomer to the history of Jaeger-LeCoultre. Several decades before the appearance of the ultra-thin calibres that would facilitate the brand’s entry into the world of Parisian luxury and elegance, the Manufacture was already making pocket watches featuring complications including a perpetual calendar.