Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition à Quantième Perpétuel 8 jours SQ
The highly regarded Manufacture once again shows the depth and breadth of its expertise with the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition à Quantième Perpétuel 8 jours SQ. The new model is inspired by a historical Grande Complication pocket-watch from 1928. Eighty-six years after, the skilled hands of skeletonisers and enamellers created a masterpiece of contemporary Haute Horlogerie in a limited edition of 200 timepieces. The Art of Engraving and Skeletonising The engraving and skeletonising artists have dedicated themselves to a new technical and artistic challenge. “It is indeed a high art to pare away as much ‘flesh’ as possible from a movement without adversely affecting its qualities”, master engraver Dominique Vuez explains.
The engravers know the necessary tricks. “Our customers want to be able to see as many of the details as possible. But when we skeletonise a movement, we must assure that neither its rigidity nor its reliability could potentially be undermined.” The engraver began by obtaining the relevant documents for Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 876 from its designers. He then determined which components could safely be pierced and which portions of those components could be cut away. In collaboration with watchmakers from the ateliers for Complications Horlogères, he specified every tiny detail in his sketches and plans. Of course, he could rely on the many years of experience and on the legacy handed down to his generation from his predecessors in the Manufacture, who had used similar technical aids to accomplish the intricate tasks of skeletonising.
Alongside the technical aspect, the Master Grande Tradition à Quantième Perpétuel 8 jours SQ prioritises and embodies lofty aesthetic standards because its creators were eager to pay tribute to the model from 1928 and simultaneously to prove that the non plus ultra had not yet been achieved. After completing a detailed skeletonising plan, the master and his team take their traditional jigsaws and files in hand and begin the delicate work. Millimetre after millimetre are meticulously sawn away to eliminate superfluous “flesh” from the movement. The skeletonising process is irreversible, so even the slightest error would be fatal. All parts of the movement are then bevelled, polished and elaborately engraved by hand, one by one. The farther the work progresses, the more clearly this synthesis of the horological arts comes into view.