Among the various complications available on a fine mechanical watch, few are as charming (and challenging to make) as a minute repeater. A repeater is a watch complication that chimes the time at the press of a button, and a minute repeater is a more complex variation that strikes the hours, quarters, and minutes, each in a separate tone. These types of watches were especially handy before the advent of electricity to the wearer could know the time in the dark by hearing it rather than having to see it.
Due to the difficulty of developing a minute repeater timepiece, only a handful of watchmakers have the expertise and skill to offer them. And Jaeger-LeCoultre, affectionately known as “the watchmaker of watchmakers” is among them. Keep on reading to learn more about the impressive and limited edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Minute Repeater 175th Anniversary ref. Q1642450 watch.
About Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Minute Repeater
In 2005, Jaeger-LeCoultre created the Master Minute Repeater and introduced the industry-changing crystal gong innovation. This ingenious patented crystal gong made of secret company material produces a glorious sound when struck. The gong is attached to the exhibition sapphire crystal caseback, which allows the case to be water-resistant without compromising sound quality. Jaeger-LeCoultre ensured that the Master Minute Repeater had a water resistance of 50 meters, which was previously unheard of for this type of complication.
The crystal gong propagates sound waves at remarkable speeds and ensures that vibrations are maintained and chimes at full intensity. The gong also includes a square section that thins down as it nears the heel to optimize the resonance. The watch chimes produce a sonorous 55 decibels (at least two feet) out of a miniature instrument, lasts 600 milliseconds, and has a richness of 7 partial overtones.
Developed within a span of two years, the extraordinary watch was developed in collaboration with orchestra conductor Georges Prêtre, a world-class French orchestra leader. This partnership paved the way for a new approach to repeater technology, using the latest acoustic research and the ear of a master musician.
175th Anniversary Master Minute Repeater Q1642450
On its 175th anniversary in 2008, Jaeger-LeCoultre honored its founder Charles-Antoine LeCoultre by releasing a limited edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Minute Repeater in the form of the reference Q1642450.
A playful and contemporary design, the 44mm 18k rose gold case of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Minute Repeater ref. Q1642450 houses a skeletonized dial and is topped with a domed sapphire crystal. The flanks of the case and lugs are brushed while the bezel and top of the lugs are mirror-polished, offering a delightful contrast of finishes. There’s a pusher on the left of the case that engages the minute repeater mechanism when pressed.
While Jaeger-LeCoultre has made various iterations of the Master Minute Repeater model, what is special to this limited anniversary edition is the entire ruthenium-coated movement, surrounded by a bezel ring in the same color. What’s more, the Manufacture’s founding date, 1833, is proudly displayed on the bottom portion of the dial, to the right of 6 o’clock.
The dial is punctuated with rose gold hour and minute hands that point to matching rose gold polished indexes. Those indexes are a mix of Arabic numerals (at 3, 6, 9, and 12) and short batons. Also on the dial are the power reserve indicator at 8 o’clock and the torque indication for the two barrels at 4 o’clock (which guarantees optimal accuracy as long as the hand remains in the indicator’s safety zone), both in retrograde style.
JLC Caliber 947
The skeletonized dial displays the manual-winding JLC Caliber 947 inside the case, complete with three openings for a wide view. One opening is at 12 o’clock, revealing the “snails component” that serves to engage the quarter and minute gear trains when the minute repeater is activated, along with the minute rack and the quarter mechanism. There’s another at 9 o’clock that displays the striking mechanism barrel and the regulator. Finally, the third opening at 3 o’clock offers a view of the the hour and minute hammers on the quarter banking. The sapphire caseback of the watch provides another view of the movement.
Caliber 947 operates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour, is comprised of 430 parts and 42 jewels, and offers a remarkable 15-day power reserve.
Limited to 175 Pieces
As a tribute to the 175th anniversary of the brand, Jaeger-LeCoultre only made 175 examples of the Master Minute Repeater Q1642450. Each piece is engraved with its unique edition number on the rose gold portion of the caseback.
This superb rose gold complicated mechanical watch is paired with with a chocolate colored alligator leather strap. Furthermore, the strap is fitted with a rose gold deployant clasp for a secure fit around the wrist.
The minute repeater mechanism is considered to be the most challenging of all horological complications to make by, even the most proficient watchmakers. A minute repeater is not only a timepiece but indeed a miniaturized musical instrument. A stunning example of visual beauty, delightful sounds, and technical mastery, the limited edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Minute Repeater hits all the right notes.
Gray and Sons is proud to have a pre-owned 175th Anniversary Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Minute Repeater Q1642450 in stock, ready to ship. Don’t miss your opportunity to own this limited-edition complicated mechanical watch – get in touch with us today.