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Jaeger-LeCoultre refreshes the Duometre with a slew of new complications

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Chronograph Moon in platinum case.

Along with a tri-axial tourbillon, it also presents the first steel Duometre (and does away with the accent over the ‘e’).

The cost of adding complications, especially ones that require a lot of power, is a temporary drop in accuracy as the amplitude of the movement changes. Most watchmakers work directly to compensate or correct for this. Jaeger-LeCoultre uses a different strategy for its biggest complications – the Duometre, a system with two separate gear trains and power sources, one for the timekeeping function and the other for the complication, connected via the regulator. It’s brilliant but also adds complexity to the movement. For this year, three new Duometre references highlight the diversity and capability of the line, starting with the Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual.
The The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Heliotourbillon.

The high complication features a brand new tourbillon construction that turns on three axes, with a 40-degree axis tilt that leads the tourbillon to spin like a top rather than fully on all angles. The Heliotourbillon has three titanium cages and completes a full turn in 60 seconds. It’s further fitted with a cylindrical hairspring to enhance its accuracy in compensating for gravitational effects on the breathing of the hairspring. The Calibre 388 that houses the Heliotourbillon also displays a perpetual calendar that can be adjusted forwards and backwards, a feature that’s possible because the two gear trains can be separately controlled. The calendar also incorporates a grande date display at three o’clock.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Chronograph Moon combines the mono pusher chronograph with a precise moon phase.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Chronograph Moon combines the monopusher chronograph with a precise moonphase.

A second Duometre is the Chronograph Moon, presenting a monopusher chronograph with a moonphase and day/night complication as well as a foudroyante chronograph seconds indicator, accurate to 1/6th of a second. The two chronograph counters are joined with the day/night and moonphase display at nine and three o’clock respectively, while the small seconds counter stands at the centre of the partially exposed display, revealing the inner workings of the Calibre 391. Two options for the Duometre Chronograph Moon in platinum with a copper-coloured dial or rose gold with a silver dial are available.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Quantieme Lunaire is the first steel Duometre watch ever made.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Quantieme Lunaire has a vivid blue sunburst dial.

The final model is the first Duometre housed in steel, the Quantieme Lunaire with moonphase. On a vivid blue sunburst dial, three counters indicate the time, moonphase and date at three and nine o’clock, respectively. At the six o’clock position is where the foudroyante seconds runs unceasingly, leaping through the counter each second in six jumps, respective to the movement’s pace. This is performance timekeeping at its best.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar.

The Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar

For collectors less technically focused and more attuned to the classic stylings of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master collection, the watchmaker has released a new Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar. The capabilities of the watch remain unchanged – powered by the Calibre 868, which, over the past decade, has been fine-tuned to exceptional standards. It retains the 39mm case size and 9.2mm thickness. The movement has been equipped with a new escapement and pallets that are shaped to minimise friction. The result is a slightly improved power reserve of 70 hours.

Careful refinements to the case and dial gives the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar a refreshed identity.
Careful refinements to the case and dial give the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar a refreshed identity.

What’s changed is the size of the bezel, which gives more space and relative proportion to the dial. The lugs are slimmed down and slightly elongated, curving down to fit the wrist well. On the dial, the hour indexes have been lengthened and the hands and dial both offer multiple finishes: polished and brushed on the hands, and brushed as well as circular graining on the dial. The pink gold versions come with a midnight blue or eggshell-coloured dial, the latter with a gem-set bezel option. The steel model, on the other hand, only comes with a silver sunray brushed dial.

The aesthetic upgrades and technical innovations in this year’s releases show that Jaeger-LeCoultre, even after all 190 years of watchmaking, still has new tricks up its sleeves. That’s excellent news for its numerous fans.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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