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2022 Watches and Wonders: A review on the Jaeger Lecoultre Master Grande Tradition Cal 948.

amanico
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If you are an avid reader of our Jaeger Lecoultre forum, this Master Grande Tradition Calibre 948 will remind you something, and more specifically, the Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time issued in 2017.

The Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time, which was limited to 100 pieces. 

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Indeed, the Master Grande Tradition Cal 948 shares the same concept,a flying and a tourbillon which makes one rotation all around the dial  in 24 Hours AND a world time function,  but expressed in a different way, should I say more... Refined, as we'll  see, now.

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- First of all, the Master Grande Tradition case is much more elegant than the Geophysic case which lost a bit of its appeal with some extra millimeters. Here, the proportions of the Master Grande Tradition Cal 948 ( which I will now call Cal 948, to make it shorter, if you allow me to do so ) are much more harmonious ( 43 mm big / 14, 13 mm thick ). In reality, it wears much like a 42 mm watch, and looks less thick, too. 

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The lines of the new ( since 2019 ) Master Grande Tradition case are very pleasant, much better looking than the former ones, especially the lugs, hollowed and beveled. The convex bezel adds to the charm and the beauty of the case. 

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To be complete, the case is water resistant to 50 meters, which is enough for most of our daily activities.

Now, I just regret that for such a masterpiece, Jaeger Lecoultre opted for white gold rather than the more exclusive platinum. 

- The dial is the object of all the attention, for this watch. A whole dial like this requires 70 hours of work to be made, and " made " is a weak word, " created " being more convenient. The oceans are represented by guilloché blue lacquer representing waves, while the continents, seen from the North Pole are enameled and hand painted on a piece of white gold.

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The whole dial is domed, like it was the case with the Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time. Spectacular and bewitching. 

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Both the Tourbillon and the dial turn, the Tourbillon literally floating above the dial. 

- The Universal Time is the way Jaeger Lecoultre calls the world time complication: 

Here, the system is simple and classic, but also sophisticated. 

Simple, because you set your home time through the crown. You move your home or  local city ring till its name is located at 12 o clock. While you are setting the time, only  the hour hand moves by jumps of one hour, forward or backward, the minute hand doesn't change. Astute, sophisticated and practical. 

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- The movement is the Cal 948, automatic, beating at 28, 800 vibrations per hour, with a power reserve of 48 hours. 

It is much more and better decorated than the one we know in the Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time, that' s for sure, but still, I would have preferred a manual winding movement for a watch of this level of prestige and price.

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- My personal thoughts on this Master Grande Tradition Cal 948: 

There are several details I like a lot, in this watch, and some things I like less. 

The very good points are: 

-> The very elegant case, with some good proportions in terms of size / height and legibility ratio.

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-> The captivating dial, which represents an awesome addition of artistic skills from La Grande Maison, made with some indisputable poetry: Scuplture, miniature painting, enamel. 

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-> The flying Tourbillon, floating all around the dial. An exception to my personal taste, here, as I am not a fan of Tourbillons in general, but here, the fact that it rotates with the continents all around the dial is a plus and another sophistication. 

-> The complication, friendly, practical and sophisticated. 

The details I less like are: 

-> The price: Count a good 200, 000 Euros... Even if the tourbillon is quite convincing, here, I cannot help thinking that without it, this watch would have been more affordable. Much more, maybe. And not less pleasant! 

-> The fact that this watch is limited to only 20 pieces. Please, Jaeger Lecoultre pretty please... A bigger limited edition would have lowered the price and offered the opportunity to more people to get such a marvel... 

-> My last complaint: The automatic movement. Even if nicely decorated, I would have preferred a manual winding one. 

Looking forward  to reading your comments and thoughts, 

Best.

Nicolas

Comments:
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lm6 June 6th, 2022-10:20
A horological masterpiece with amazing craftmanship in the dial to match! Fully agree that it would be even better with manual winding.
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amanico June 6th, 2022-10:24
Thanks for sharing your opinion on that one, Im6. 
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MichaelC June 6th, 2022-12:26
Pieces like this remind me JLC plays at the top of the mountain While there are many incredible brands, nobody does it better than this one. Such artistic beauty combined with the technical excitement. I could never be in the group of 20 to afford it, but I agree a larger edition would be better. There should be more ... 
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amanico June 6th, 2022-15:33
Absolutely what I think, too. But this year, JLC stole my heart with another one I will review later... 
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InHavenPro June 6th, 2022-15:51
Amazing. Your points are entirely a propos in my opinion. Thanks a bunch for a detailed review and pictorial, Filip
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amanico June 6th, 2022-20:54
Pleasure, Filip. 
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emcquillan June 6th, 2022-18:35
I more accessible and available non tourbillon version... I am with you! That would be spectacular if the same attention to detail on the dial was given 
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amanico June 6th, 2022-20:54
That would be great. Same for the Celestial Tourbillon from a couple of years ago. 
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mahesh June 6th, 2022-19:07
I like the previous one but this is extremely refined...be the case, the dial... just the only hurting part, it is half-a-million ;-) Best, mahesh.,
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amanico June 6th, 2022-20:55
No, not this one, half a million. " Just " a fifth of a million. :) 
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