The house of Jaeger-LeCoultre has been synonymous with dreaming up timeless innovations for almost 200 years, but the Grande Maison is still very much at the forefront of haute horlogerie today. The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Céleste keeps that tradition and spirit of métiers d’art alive with its poetic yet charmingly complex interpretation of the night sky for the wrist.
Presented during the 76th edition of the Venice International Film Festival, this star-studded Tourbillon Céleste is a wondrous celebration of not only the firm’s 15th year partnership with the prestigious event, but also the concept of time.
To start, the dial depicts the night sky of the Northern hemisphere while showcasing a dazzling array of constellations from the zodiac calendar. An outer ring displays their corresponding symbols, and a tiny gold marker that makes an annual revolution around the dial points to where we are within this ancient calendar.
Then there’s the orbital flying tourbillon that makes a complete turn of the dial in precisely 23 hours, 56 minutes and four seconds — an unusual time unit that marks one sidereal day, which is calculated in reference to ‘fixed’ stars instead of the sun.
There’s admittedly an overwhelming number of details to gawk at on this dial, but step out of the light and this noise morphs into a serene tranquility; because the hour markers and constellations have been filled with Super-Luminova, the watch mimics the ethereal glow of heavenly bodies on a cloudless night, exuding a romanticism very few others have achieved.
The Tourbillon Celeste sits pretty within a new generation of case design, which made its debut on the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel earlier this year. The visual appeal continues at the back, where parts of the 334-component calibre 946 are visible through a sapphire caseback, alongside radiating Geneva stripes. The movement is responsible for the hours, minutes, civil time, month and sky chart, and has a 45-hour power reserve.
Only 28 pieces of this mechanically and aesthetically complex watch will be created, each of which will go beyond time-telling to become a timely reminder of how the universe moves in parallel with our daily lives.