For the upcoming SIHH 2019 fair, Jaeger-LeCoultre will be focusing its attention on the Master Ultra Thin collection. The Master Ultra Thin line has always served as an intermediate between Jaeger-LeCoultre’s high arts and technical crafts. For 2019, the maison is introducing a watch that epitomises the Art of Precision — the Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel.
The Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel brings one of the maison’s numerous artistic crafts to the front of the timepiece, while within, an improved calibre 925/2 movement delivers enhanced performance. The watch combines both into an elegant and refined design. The watch features a hand-guillochéd dial that’s further enhanced with blue translucent enamel. Hour markers are made to flow with the guilloché dial’s angles and a new polished moon shows the moon phase function on the secondary dial at six o’clock. The counter is also engraved, with a moon-like texture in a ring around the moon phase and date display. The thin case holds the calibre 925, an automatic calibre that offers up to 70 hours of power reserve. As Jaeger-LeCoultre tells us, “In line with the continuous mission of Jaeger-LeCoultre to improve our calibres and their characteristics, we are introducing some technical improvement in the regulating organs and in the power-reserve barrels.”
The new Ultra Thin Moon Enamel brings forth two crafts — guillochage and enamelling — on the dial. A rose-engine-turned, sunray guilloché dial bearing navy blue translucent enamel makes this dial truly stunning. Rose engine turning is a special art, in part because the lathes that are needed to create these engraved patterns are usually over a century old, with few in working condition. But it’s highly prized, as the way it reflects and scatters light over the patterned surface creates a mesmerising visual effect.
Combining it with enamelling on the dial makes it doubly challenging. Enamelling was integrated as a craft within Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1999. There are a few artisans who practise this craft within the brand. It takes immense concentration to ensure that the enamel is evenly applied over the guilloché dial, and then heating it to harden the material; a process that must be repeated to bring out the beautiful navy blue. The translucent enamel allows light to still pass through it, enabling the guilloché dial to reveal its polish and style through the enamel.
The watch, which will be issued in a limited edition of 100, expands the Ultra Thin collection with refined artistic crafts to present complications such as power-reserve indicators all the way to high complications such as perpetual calendars and tourbillons. Two other models in this Ultra Thin line are slated for release during the fair — stay tuned to our SIHH coverage in the coming week.