WHAT IS A TOURBILLON?
The Earth's gravity can have a negative effect on a watch’s precision. Since the end of the 18th century, the tourbillon mechanism has enabled watchmakers to eliminate these effects, creating more accurate timepieces. The tourbillon is a complication that eradicates inaccuracies due to positional errors in timekeeping.
In a tourbillon, the escapement and balance wheel are mounted in a rotating cage, resulting in the negation of gravity when the timepiece is motionless in certain positions. By continuously rotating the entire complication at a rate of typically one revolution per minute, the tourbillon eliminates positional errors and ensures accuracy.
THE CALIBRE 170 TOURBILLON
Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced its first tourbillon pocket watch in 1946 with Calibre 170. Produced in a limited series of 26, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 170 tourbillon movement was one of the most accurate of its era. From there, the tourbillon reached new heights in 1993 when it appeared on wristwatches.
THE FIRST MULTI-AXIS TOURBILLON
In 2004, having mastered the tourbillon complication, the watchmakers at Jaeger-LeCoultre set themselves the challenge of creating a device that resolved potential positional errors of the balance and escapement by rotating them in two planes through every possible position, giving birth to the creation of the multi-axis tourbillon: the Gyrotourbillon. Vastly enhancing the chronometric performance of the watches it equipped, the intriguing Gyrotourbillon radically changed the way things were done at Jaeger-LeCoultre, setting unprecedented levels of precision and clearly demonstrating the Grande Maison’s horological excellence.
THE EXCEPTIONAL GYROTOURBILLON
The Gyrotourbillon’s balance-spring, which expands and contracts, seems to replicate a beating heart, and gives life to the watch. This expert work requires all the passion and determination of the Maison’s best watchmakers. Years of research and development are necessary to develop a Gyrotourbillon.
Ultralight aluminium is used to construct the tourbillon cage, which completes a full rotation in sixty seconds. With the Gyrotourbillon’s two axes, the watch never sustains a horizontal position, making it one of the world’s most precise watchmaking mechanisms.
OUR EXPERTISE IN PRECISION
For Jaeger-LeCoultre, the quintessence of the watchmaker’s art lies in achieving a perfect balance between precision techniques and the craftsmanship required to perform them. The Maison’s inventions, all of them world firsts, include the first tools to cut pinions invented by Antoine LeCoultre, followed by the Millionomètre which was launched in 1844 and the first grande complication pocket watch in 1895. The Manufacture created the Chronomètre Geophysic in 1958, Jaeger-LeCoultre CaliberCalibre 920 in 1967 and launched the Master Control 1000 Hours test in 1992. Further achievements followed with the Gyrotourbillon 1 in 2004 and the Duomètre and Dual Wing concept in 2007.
Chronométrie timing competition
Precision tourbillons are a noted speciality of Jaeger-LeCoultre, as proven by the 2009 Concours International de Chronométrie timing competition, in which the top two prizes were awarded to Jaeger-LeCoultre: 1st Place for the Master Tourbillon Calibre 978 and 2nd Place for the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 174 (Gyrotourbillon 2).
At Jaeger-LeCoultre, the pursuit of excellence in balancing precision and art is truly endless.
OUR TOURBILLON COMPLICATION WATCHES
Watches with tourbillon complications have been synonymous with precision since the beginning of the 19th century. Jaeger-LeCoultre mastered the art of this complication and has offered watches with tourbillons since 1946. More recently, Jaeger-LeCoultre's watches with tourbillons have been enhanced with three technical achievements. The first, is the Gyrotourbillon. It rotates through an exterior traction that enables it to break away from the traditional tourbillon bridge. The second is called the Sphérotourbillon. This multi-axis mechanism draws its inspiration from the earth's own rotating axis. And the third achievement is the orbital flying tourbillon, or Cosmoturbillon, which frees itself from its fixed position to indicate the hour while making the circumference of the dial.
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