The Master Minute Repeater Antoine LeCoultre (Calibre 947) had created a sensation when it was launched way back in 2005, with its patented crystal gong establishing a major breakthrough in the world of watch sound. The gong heel was soldered to the watch’s sapphire crystal to utilize the crystal’s properties of velocity to magnify the intensity and purity of the sound vibrations emitted. Cut to the present, the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition à Répétitions Minutes produces a sound that has never been heard before in a wristwatch. The sound produced surpasses any performance previously obtained in a wristwatch.
The dedication and finesse of the engineers and master watchmakers in Le Sentier, in the field of Repeater movements has been exhibited in recent years. The creation of a minute repeater watch requires decades of experience in the most exacting aspects of Haute Horlogerie as well as in-depth knowledge of musical theory and of the physics of sound, the ability to create a miniature instrument that is capable of transforming the precise, mechanical measurement of time into a universe of pure harmony.
Jaeger-LeCoultre perfected a totally new shape of gong, used for the first time ever on the Master Minute Repeater watch in 2007, after several years of research aimed at creating the purest sound possible. The new design has a square cross-section rather than the traditional round cross-section, and a larger surface area. The gongs were made out of a material for which Jaeger-LeCoultre possessed, and still possesses, the exclusive and confidential formula.
In 2009 Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled the first minute repeater watch with a two-week power reserve combined with a regulator display. The new project taken on by the watchmakers was to achieve a sound previously unknown for a minute repeater watch. The first priority was to outline the characteristics of the sound required and to set parameters for it.
Sound is made of four components; Volume is the strength of the sound as it is perceived. Expressed in decibels, it represents the sound pressure level to which the ear is exposed. The second component of sound is its duration. This represents the time that elapses until the sound emitted loses 20 decibels. The two other characteristics of sound are its richness and pitch. The richness depends on the number of partials (or tones) perceived. The pitch corresponds to how high and harmonious is the value of the note struck, and to the respect for the principle of a third between two notes. The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Tradition Minute Repeater produces a sound that surpasses any performance previously obtained in a wristwatch with 64 decibels, durations of over 600 milliseconds and a richness of 9 partials.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is constantly trying to uncover the techniques employed by master watchmakers of yesteryears. The watchmakers have paid a tribute to the achievements of the past, with the creation of the Master Grande Tradition à Répétitions Minutes.