The new Master Calendar of Jaeger-LeCoultre is distinguished by the virtues and indeed the very face of astronomy. Endowed with all the attributes that have forged the success of this line, it is also imbued with a seductive appeal exercising its own laws of gravity, thanks to the choice of meteorite stone to compose its dial. Whether it comes to fragments from asteroids or of even more impalpable origins in the comets wandering through the solar system, meteorites lend themselves to all manner of inner fantasies. Their ages, estimated at millions or hundreds of millions of years, defy our imagination. Their rarity is equally fascinating, since very few of them actually manage to reach the surface of the earth. Known as “shooting stars” when they light up summer nights, or “bolides” when they are large or bright enough to be seen by day, meteorites leave a characteristic luminous trail when entering the atmosphere. Once they have landed on or been buried several centimetres into the earth, meteorites often remain unnoticed, if not by the experienced eyes of those who make a profession of gathering them. Meteorite hunters distinguish between those they have actually seen falling and those that are lucky finds. Connoisseurs have long considered Antarctica as a sort of Eldorado, since the ice cap fosters a concentration of these stones that rise to the surface when blue ice is eroded by katabatic (down-slope) winds.
This continent is however now the exclusive preserve of scientific meteorite hunters and any commercial exploitation is prohibited. Revealing the beauty of a celestial fragment On this new watch, the strange and fascinating meteorite stone used for the dial shakes up the traditionally pure, understated aesthetic of the Master Calendar. Composed of a single block of meteorite discovered and officially registered in Sweden, it comes from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. However, its iron content makes this material difficult to work with. To get an aesthetically perfect dial, this block of meteorite is cut into several thin plates in a process involving countless precautions, until the exact plate corresponding to the demands imposed by Jaeger-LeCoultre is achieved. Still in its rough state at this stage, the meteorite must undergo several preparatory phases before revealing the structure of its stone that features a unique pattern shown by each cut. At the end of a lengthy and delicate procedure, it can at last express the beauty that it has stored up across several million years. The experience is unutterably moving, as if a part of the universe were converging towards the stone dial, at last within reach.