Jaeger-LeCoultre has long invested in highly complicated celestial complications. Over the years, we’ve seen many extremely appealing, complex and rather artistic expressions of watches displaying sideral time or star maps. Today, as part of the collection presented for Watches & Wonders Geneva 2022, the brand reinterprets one of its most fascinating movements, the Calibre 945, a minute repeater with Cosmotourbillon and celestial complications, with two new watches that display the brand’s mastery of decorative crafts. Here are the two new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945.
Launched in 2010, the Calibre 945 is one of the most complex movements in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s extensive portfolio. This high-end movement unites a sky chart with a celestial vault, a zodiacal calendar and a minute repeater and is further elevated by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Cosmotourbillon – a celestial flying tourbillon that not only serves as a regulating organ but also forms part of the watch’s display.
While the movement inside the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 isn’t new, as we’ve already seen it in watches such as the 2015 Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication here, it returns with a new visual expression that is all about expressing astronomical events on the wrist with traditional métiers d’art skills – another area of expertise of Jaeger-LeCoultre. This new, complex, rare and (as you’ve guessed) expensive watch is released in two highly limited editions, showcasing either a pink-on-grey combination or the brand’s classic blue celestial theme.
The Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 is housed in a large 45mm x 16mm case – that movement requires some space obviously – that is available either in 18k pink gold or 18k white gold. The shape is typical of the brand’s latest high-end watches, with a combination of polished, brushed and recessed micro-blasted surfaces on the case flanks. The watches are worn on alligator straps that match the dials in colour. Interestingly, the water-resistance is given for 50 metres, a comfortable rating for a minute repeater. Not that anyone would ever wear a watch like this underwater, but at least it offers some degree of security.
Let’s talk about the display and the movement, as it’s what truly matters in this context. The essence of the watch is the way it interprets astronomical timekeeping, using its dial to display calendar indications in a celestial way rather than with the classic numerical readings of most calendars. It indicates the passing of sidereal time, based on the stars. Set at the centre of the dial, the celestial vault maps the Northern Hemisphere night sky as seen from the 46th parallel – the latitude of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s home in the Vallée de Joux – tracking the position of the constellations in real-time.
Positioned high over the dial, there’s the unmistakable tourbillon rotating on top… But this device, named Cosmotourbillon, is more than a regulating mechanism counteracting gravity and enhancing precision; it actually contributes to the display. The flying cage rotates once per minute on itself at a fast pace of 4Hz. But what’s interesting is that it also measures the passing of time as it makes a complete, anti-clockwise circuit of the dial in one sidereal day. A sidereal day, with a duration of precisely 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds, is defined by the Earth’s rotation measured in relation to more distant fixed stars. In contrast, the 24-hour solar day – our civil time – is measured by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The position you see here in the press images is only used for illustration purposes.
Furthermore, a golden sun-shaped pointer set at the edge of the dial indicates the month of the zodiacal calendar and solar time on a 24-hour scale, which is necessary for setting the watch. The Dauphine-shaped hands indicate the minutes and 12-hour cycles of civil time, which are displayed on two concentric rings on the flange of the dial. Of course, there’s more to this movement to be seen on the back. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 is also equipped with a minute repeater function to chime the time. The mechanism is equipped with several patented innovations, such as the trebuchet hammers and a silent governor. The chiming function is visible through the sapphire back.
The Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 will be available in two somewhat different expressions. The first, named Galaxia, has a grey/black dial and a pink gold case. The dial of the Galaxia is executed in grisaille enamel, an old technique creating a chiaroscuro effect and the illusion of a three-dimensional painting. In this version, both the outer section of the dome and the inner celestial disc are made of gold, with grisaille enamel depicting the planets, while the star map and names of the constellations are transferred over the enamel.
The second version of the Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945, named Atomium, combines white gold and blue. The centre part is also executed in grisaille enamel; however, it adds a layer of modernity and boldness with a complex metallic structure on its dial. The delicate filigree of silvered metal forms the outer section of the dome, and its shape echoes the lines that link the stars to form constellations. Finally, the dials are encircled by three concentric rings that carry the indices for solar time. The inner ring, for 24 hours, and the outer ring, displaying minutes, are finished in opaline; between them, the hour ring is decorated with enamel over a hand-guilloché base with applied indexes.
Availability & Price
As you can expect, these new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 (ref. Q5262470 in pink gold and ref. Q5263481 in white gold) are not part of the permanent collection and will be limited to five pieces per colourway. The price is “upon request” but will be in excess of EUR 400,000.
For more details, please visit www.jaeger-lecoultre.com.