Hands-On: JLC Duomètre Sphérotourbillon

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Sphérotourbillon is just about as special as its name would suggest. JLC is to this day still pretty much run by watchmakers rather than bankers, and that means you get some serious horology being churned out of their headquarters. One such example, is certainly the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon.

One glance at the dial and you immediately see you’re dealing with an extraordinary timepiece here. 

First, thing you’ll notice is the tourbillon which  “rotates on two axes, in line with the carriage and at a second angle of 20°. By combining the two, the negative effects of gravity are diminished.” When moving it looks very much like the movement you would see when observing a spinning-top spin away. At the core of the tourbillon you’ll find a rather extraordinary cylindrical balance spring for further accuracy. The tourbillon is just as impressive when looked at through the back.

Notice also the very highly finished movement & details. Make no mistake about it, this is watchmaking of the highest order on display. The artistic minds among you will perhaps also have noticed the bridge supporting the tourbillon has a wing-like shape. This is a nod to the ‘Dual Wing’ concept.   

The Dual wing concept centers around two energy sources, double barrel if you will. However, you can tell that it isn’t a standard double barrel setup by the indication of two (and not one) power reserve indicator on the dial. One barrel is focused on powering the regulating organ (the tourbillon) and the other on the complications. This further increases the overall accuracy of the watch. For this watch, there are no half measures when it comes to achieving highest possible accuracy. On the dialside the power reserves are smoothly integrated. Those two symmetrically positioned power reserve indicators somehow elevate the dial without overcrowding it, which is often the case with even a single power reserve indicator. That’s also the reason why I prefer a power reserve to be indicated on the back of the watch. Here however, it looks dashing on the front and the overall dial symmetry is just perfect. 

The movement is beautifully designed and really shows you just how much JLC masters the art of watchmaking. Small detail but I think the côtes soleillées add quite a bit of grandeur to the already grand calibre. Much to nobody’s surprise, the anglage, the polished sinks, the blued screws and all, are of the highest grade. C’est beau! Take also for example the barrels, usually not a great deal of fun to look at in most calibres. Absolutely gorgeous here. I also appreciate that the JLC wizards indicate what exactly each barrel powers in the lovely gold text. 

When looking at the dial with that extra bit of background knowledge, I think you can appreciate how well integrated & designed everything is. There is a LOT happening on the dial, yet, it all feels superbly balanced. The date, the time & the travel time – perfectly executed. The twin power reserve indicators, gloriously well done, especially set in the slightly lower segments wrapping around the time display circle. And then, that tourbillon dancing away. Money can perhaps not buy you happiness, but it sure can buy you a very fine Jaeger-Lecoultre.

SPECIFICATIONS: 

  • Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre : 382
  • Case : Pink Gold
    • Water-resistance : 5 bar
    • Diameter : 42mm,
    • Thickness : 14.1mm
  • Functions : Date, Hour – Minute, 24-hour reference time or second time-zone, Flyback seconds, Seconds, Tourbillon, Twin Power-Reserve
  • Movement : Manual-winding, Components : 460, Vibrations per hour : 21600, Jewels : 55, Barrel : 2, Height : 10.45 mm
  • Dial : Opaline, Polished 5N appliques
Price: Upon request (but well over EUR 200K)
 
Article by Jan de Griff, Photography by Jeff L.

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