aeger-LeCoultre gets straight to the point: “We have created a truly wearable Gyrotourbillon, bringing high complication out of the watch safe and onto the wrist for everyday enjoyment.” That said, before wearing it on your wrist and venturing out into the dangerous urban jungle, you will have had to open your safe and withdraw 800,000 francs. And hire a bodyguard. But the watch itself, strong on aesthetics yet relatively discreet, is truly amazing.
We have been familiar with the highly sculptural and kinetic multi-axis Gyrotourbillon since 2004, but here it is again with much-reduced dimensions to allow it to cohabit with a Westminster carillon minute repeater and a perpetual calendar. All of this fits into what is indeed a perfectly wearable case, 43mm in diameter and 14.8mm high.
Not overtly hubristic, it sums up in a nutshell a long series of improvements over the years aimed at chronometric precision, sound quality and gong volume, and at simplifying the use of a perpetual calendar. Its chronometric precision is backed up by a constantforce mechanism. The remontoir d’égalité, which is periodically re-armed by the barrel mainspring, acts as an energy regulator. By regulating the minute wheel, it creates a more precise jumping minute hand that eliminates any possibility of a cadence error.
The euphony of the four famous notes of the Westminster chime is achieved through a combination of several other advances: there are no delays in the hour, quarter and minute strikes; the square cross-section gongs welded directly to the crystal, which acts as a sound board, provide an exemplary sound. The trebuchet hammers, an exclusivity already seen in previous watches, deliver precise, clean strikes.
- MASTER GRANDE TRADITION GYROTOURBILLON WESTMINSTER PERPÉTUEL
- White gold case 43mm x 14.08mm. Calibre 184 – manual. Water resistance: 3 bar. Hour/Minute, jumping date, two-way perpetual calendar (day/date/month/year), Gyrotourbillon, minute repeater with Westminster chime. Power reserve: 50 h. Dial: blue guilloché enamel or silver grained. Caseback: open. Limited to 18 pieces.
The perpetual calendar, which displays the date by means of a central hand with a red pointer and the day, month and year (in whole figures) in apertures, can be set both forwards and backwards – a detail which may appear insignificant but which is complex to build and above all, highly appreciable if the watch, which has a power reserve of 50 hours, has stopped because it hasn’t been rewound. So to prevent any unwelcome surprises, it’s better to wear it.