This was the first time that the renowned Swiss watchmaker applied miniature enamel painting on sapphire crystal and according to the photo, the final result is extraordinary. Besides the authentic, colorful and vivid painting that showcases cranes as an old symbol of longevity, the Master Grand Tourbillon Enamel watch also reveals the brand’s advanced technology on both sides of its robust case. Finally, new Jaeger-LeCoultre’s masterpiece brings an exquisite level of luxury that additionally emphasizes the artistic work of the brand’s craftsmen. Unfortunately, this tourbillon watch will be a privilege of just a few fans of the haute horology, since it is produced in the exclusive series of 8 pieces.
Although a tourbillon complication or a diamond set bezel and an engraved case are usually important enough to be firstly mentioned in a review, this time I need to start with the beautiful painting, visible at the dial of the watch. Cranes, an age-old symbol of longevity, adorn the dial and are surrounded by bamboos of which some are meticulously painted on the sapphire crystal of the Master Grand Tourbillon Enamel watch.
The brand’s craftsmen chose the very rare art of enameling and applied it on the sapphire glass that is then used as a cover for a white gold dial decorated by meticulous guilloché work. Furthermore, the brand’s artist painted multi-colored landscape, as well as a beautiful reflection of the moon, made of silver foil. Shapes of birds are marked by adding various layers and a relief effect, while a number of different colors applied to miniature parts, such as plumage or curves on the bird’s body, gives deepness and aliveness to the painting.
Through the aperture placed right below beautiful cranes, you can see a tourbillon cage, crafted in light titanium alloy weighting just 0.28 grams. Thus, it requires very little power for its rotation. Since it makes one turn every minute, it bears a small seconds hand to indicate time on the scale that surrounds the cage.
It is a part of an iconic Calibre 978, produced entirely by Jaeger-LeCoultre, which won the first prize in the 2009 International Timing Competition organised by the Watch Museum of Le Locle, Switzerland. This self-winding movement oscillates at the frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and provides 48 hours of power-reserve. The entire movement, including its alluring hand-decorations, as well as 22 karat gold oscillating mass is visible through the sapphire crystal case-back.
The white gold case with the diameter of 43 mm features engraving on its sides which is a rarely found decoration these days. The bezel and lugs are completely set by 94 baguette-cut diamonds weighting 8 carats in total. Considering all these qualities, we can easily classify this timepiece among true jewels of the haute horology.