After the introduction of the masterpiece of the year, the Gyrotourbillon Five, at the SIHH in January, Jaeger Lecoultre comes back, 4 months after, with another big piece, the Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater Perpetual, which I will call the " Minute Repeater Perpetual ".
This new watch is an unexpected challenge.
Indeed, you certainly remember what I wrote about Minute Repeaters using automatic watches.
In short, I complained about the fact that the Minute Repeater was such a prestigious complication that it deserved much better than a " simple " automatic movement, like, for example, the Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater 39 Automatic and its calibre 942, here,
Or there, the Starry Night on the Rhone, by Van Gogh:
With the exception of there Hybris Mechanica Eleven, with its automatic movement, the Cal 362, whose rotor has the good idea to be hidden under the dial, so you cannot see it when you have a look at the back side.
Truth to be told, when I asked to Jaeger Lecoultre, before seeing the watch, what kind of movement was inside, and that they told me, with a big smile on the face, that it was an automatic one, I was worried, thinking that the disappointment would be at the " rendez-vous "...
I should have paid more attention to their smile...
Indeed, one of the big assets of this new Minute Repeater Perpetual is that it houses a new movement, the Cal 950, which is automatic, yes, but a very nice one.
They decided to put the rotor between the movement and the dial. You almost don't notice its presence, unless you have a close look at 6 o' clock, on the back side, and only ifs it is in action...
The rotor doesn't hide anything of the movement, which would have been a pity, as it is nicely decorated and finished.
The power reserve is about 38 hours and it is made of 585 parts.
The perpetual calendar is close to the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar Guilloché Blue enamel from this year, too. It is complete, with the day, the date, the month, the year, and the moon phase, plus the classic " danger zone " indicator just above the axis of the hours and minutes hands.
The circles surrounding the sub dials are treated the same way than the MUT Perpetual Calendar Guillloché Blue, and the circles surrounding them are laser engraved, which gives a nice there dimensional aspect.
The moon phase is sublime, with its delicious starry sky, and the two other sub dials receive a different guilloché, compared to the " soleillé " of the main blue enamel dial.
There is another dial, available, a silver grained one, which is superb, too.
Now, this perpetual calendar is identical to the Master Ultra Thin version in the way it works...
You cannot set it backward through the crown, at the risk to break it, and you can set all its datas through the " mono " pusher. I would have preferred the system used in the Gyrotourbillon Five, to be honest....
The Minute Repeater is an enchantment for the ears. Loud enough, but not the loudest I heard, but, to borrow a term to Hi Fidelity, it has more bass than I could listen to, from any other wrist watch. Comparable to a pocket watch!
The blue gongs are in contact with the glass, which is a classic solution from Jaeger Lecoultre since 2005, now, for a better propagation of the sound, and they have a new shape and they are longer, for the same goal, a more " round " sound. Compared to the Cal 942, the chime is much richer and gains 50 % in harmony!
To activate the minute repeater, you will have to use the classic trigger.
The case is the new Master Grande Tradition, in white gold, the same than the Gyrotourbillon Five; which is very nice looking, young and fresh. Another good point. It is made of 80 parts, and receives three different finishings; Satin, Polished and Micro-blasted.
The dimensions? A diameter of 43 mm , and a height of 13, 6 mm. In the reality, the proportions are good for me, not too big, nor too thick, with a well balanced profile.
My feelings on that new Minute Repeater Perpetual? I am a bit disappointed by the perpetual calendar. For a watch of this level, I would have preferred the system chosen for the Gyrotourbillon 5, and aesthetically different from the MUT Perpetual Guilloché blue. That is why I prefer the silver grained dial, here.
For the rest... Bravo to Jaeger Lecoultre. I love the new case, the new movement, and the way the minute repeater sounds, the whole thing for a quarter of the price of a Gyrotourbillon 5.
It is available in a limited edition of 30 pieces for the guilloché blue enamel, and 30 pieces for the grained silver dial, both in white gold.
Here are some live pictures I could take of this new Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater Perpetual. Sadly, the white grained dial version was not available at that time. But I am sure you will be glad to see the Guilloché blue Enamel.
And of course, of the back, showing this new movement:
Looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts,