The new Master Calendar from 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 incredibly unique and special, thanks to the choice of meteorite stone composing its dial.
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.
Working with 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.
The earth’s spinning on its axis determines the length of the day, while its rotation around the sun defines the year. Likewise, moon phases – and the 29-day approximate gap between two new moons – are behind the duration of the week and month.
Each major civilisation has sought to convey through a calendar the various celestial movements it has observed.
Calendar-related indications are among the most useful a watch can offer. Representing the iconic calendar complication, the complete calendar of the Master Calendar model displays the perpetual calendar by means of a long hand tipped with a moon crescent sweeping around a scale around the dial rim graduated from 1 to 31.
It also indicates the day of the week and the month in twin apertures at 12 o’clock. Featured on certain Renaissance pocket watches before being more widely used in the 19th century, this numerical display principle serves to catch attention and focus it firmly on the present.
Finally, the complete calendar indicates the various moon phases – new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter – in the traditional form of this emblematic heavenly body emerging from between two clouds and rising up against a star-studded sky.