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Watches and Wonders 2022: Jaeger Lecoultre Master Hybris Artistica Cal 945 Galaxia ( Rose Gold ) or Atomium ( White Gold ).

amanico
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Warning: The Hybris Artistica Cal 945 Galaxia and Atomium are pure pieces of Art. 

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Which is logical as the Hybris Artistica concept was born in 2014, used for pieces of high level of refinement and Art, made in very few quantities, if not in piece unique.

These two Hybris Artistica are no exception to that, even if they are not real novelties. I would rather say that they are the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication ultimate artistic expression. 

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They are not new watches because: 

1/ The new Master Grande Tradition case has been introduced in 2019, so, logically, we find it again, for these Hybris Artistica, which is a good thing, since it is beautifully shaped, with satin, polished and micro-blasted finishings, and some harmonious dimensions which look smaller and less thick in real than on the paper ( 45 mm big / 16, 05 mm high ). It is water resistant to 50 meters, which is enough for most of our life's circumstances.

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2/ The functions / complications are the same:

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- A sky chart depicting the constellations above the Jaeger Lecoultre Manufacture, in the northern hemisphere.

- An orbital and flying tourbillon called " Cosmotourbillon " here, which makes a revolution around the dial in a sidereal day, so in 23 hours 56 minutes and 4, 1 seconds.

- The 24 Hours, Months and Zodiacal Calendar are displayed.

- And, last but not least, a Minute Repeater using two of the most innovative techniques on that matter, the gongs welded to the sapphire glass and the Trebuchet Hammers chiming heavenly, which is à propos or a Celestial watch...

3/ This is the same movement, the manual winding Cal 945, which beats at the pace of 28, 800 alternances per hour with a power reserve of 40 hours. The Cal 945 has been used for the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication since 2010, so it is not really a new movement, but a great looking one, with its German silver plates and bridges and its good level of decoration and finishings.

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4/ The silvered laser welded domed filigree we could see on the 2020 edition, in rose gold or in white gold, but this last one was a jeweled version ( 8 pieces each ). 

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The true novelty is the way the dials are worked and decorated, which is the raison d'être of these two Hybris Artistica: 

For this duo of astronomical  Hybris Artistica, Jaeger Lecoultre used Grisaille Enamel for the main dial. 

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Here is an extract of the press release, describing the technique of Grisaille Enamel: 

 " First, the enameller must perfect the dark background – traditionally blue or black – building the depth and intensity of colour by applying multiple layers, each of which requires firing. Then, using a super-fine brush, the image is added in white enamel, layer by painstaking layer, again with a firing after each stage. grisaille enamel is unique in creating a chiaroscuro effect, with an illusion of three-dimensionality created by half-tones and shading. "

As you will notice, black enamel has been used for the rose gold version, while the white gold has a dedicated enameled blue dial. 

The chromatic combinations ( rose gold black dial and white gold dark blue dials ) are superb, but the most important is the visual impact which is truly eye catching, in terms of depth and even three-dimension feeling. Remarkable, poetic, mystic and romantic. 

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Add a guilloché enamel outer ring, the one bearing the applied baton indices and JL logo to add a touch of sublime.  

Between the two of them, I would say that my favorite is the white gold version, because I am more a white metal person, BUT I must say that the rose gold impressed me a lot. 

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As each Hybris Artistica, these two new members are made in a very small limited edition ( 5 pieces each ). 

Now, the only reserve I have on these 2 Hybris Artistica is the huge augmentation of price: Count 100, 000 Euros more than the 2020 Edition! Does the huge amount of work on the dials justify this price increase, I will let that question to your sagacity. 

Looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts,

Best.

Nicolas

Comments:
Arronax October 5th, 2022-10:54
Very nice At 100k euros I thought not bad, until I noticed you said 100k more than the previous version! The movement has a little bit of an ALS feel to it, in a good way and the face is quite harmonious, I like it.
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amanico October 5th, 2022-12:47
Thanks, Arronax, for your feedback.Quite qualitative, this one. 
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lm6 October 5th, 2022-11:37
Out of this world (pun intended)! Amazing pieces (masterpieces). I prefer the white gold, but actually like the dial of the red gold version more. The "atomic" dial of the white gold version is visually a little too much - a bit intrusive.
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amanico October 5th, 2022-12:48
I totally see your point about the intrusive character of the Atomium. But after a while, I could get used to it. 
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jlux October 5th, 2022-12:36
Impressive watches for sure. Here I would go probably with the rose gold version because ot it's dial. These watches being however so far away from the "mainstream JLC" (Reverso's,Master Control,MUT's,....) that I never really understood the commercial reasoning behind these ultra hi... 
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amanico October 5th, 2022-15:44
Well, if you have a look at their old pocket watches, we had some extraordinary dials. Showcasing the talent of the Manufacture probably is another good reason. Since the Rose gold Reverso Saga. 
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Weems@8 October 5th, 2022-13:10
Fantastic JLC master peaces Dear Nicolas, I seen a video on You Tube where influencer Alexander had a talk with a JLC principal over the Master Hybris Artisica Cal 945 Galaxia. For sure such a video’s are from high quality. Same as the peaces the JLC principal show. It is known that... 
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amanico October 5th, 2022-15:45
I love your choices. You are 100% right about them. 
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KCLQMULKU October 5th, 2022-17:53
Wow!!! I adore the scaffolding-type star structure of the white gold version, which kind of reminds me of a gilded cage enveloping the stars (or perhaps the Death Star 😉).
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amanico October 5th, 2022-19:40
The Atomium from Brussels is the image which immediately came to my mind, though. ;) 
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amanico
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So here comes the new Alpine A 110R.

amanico
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Finally, the teasing has ended. I heard some rumors about an extreme Alpine some months ago. And what I just read was conform to what I heard: An Alpine with 34 kilos removed, and some carbon parts here and there. And that the power would not change ( 300 HP / 340 Nm ).


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