Jaeger-LeCoultre embarks on a Stellar Odyssey, paying homage to the astronomical phenomena that lie at the origins of time measurement. Mastering all three measures of time – solar, lunar and sidereal – the watchmakers of La Grande Maison have perpetually innovated to create the most advanced and precise mechanisms that represent or even predict celestial phenomena.
Since 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre has forged an unparalleled reputation for inventiveness, with more than 430 patents and 1,260 different calibres to its name – from the simplest to the most complex. For 2022 it has harnessed this tremendous breadth and depth of expertise to embark on a Stellar Odyssey, paying homage to the astronomical phenomena that lie at the origins of time measurement.
For La Grande Maison, such phenomena have deep significance, not only because the movement of the planets and stars is fundamental to the measuring of time, but also because its home is in the Vallée de Joux, where the exceptionally clear night sky is ideal for observing the celestial events that inspire the Manufacture’s watchmakers.
Once referred to as “daisy chains of the gods”, the stars have always fascinated mankind. And because it is innately human to recognise patterns, early civilisations identified and named groups of stars – the constellations. Highlighting this celestial aspect of time measurement, the watchmakers of La Grande Maison have invented a mechanism able to display the position of the constellations in real time, as seen from the home of the Manufacture in the Vallée de Joux.
Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945
The stars have always fascinated mankind, appearing in the night sky at different times and places, depending on where Earth is in its orbit around the Sun. Because it is innately human to recognise patterns, early civilisations identified and named groups of stars – the constellations. The watchmakers of La Grande Maison have developed a mechanism that displays the position of the constellations in real time, as seen from the Vallée de Joux.
La Grande Maison celebrates its artistic creativity and mastery of the decorative crafts while reaffirming its technical ingenuity with two magnificent new interpretations of its Grande Complication Calibre 945. An exceptional movement merits an exceptional habillage and the new Master Hybris Artistica Galaxia and Master Hybris Artistica Atomium bring fresh artistic expression to this marriage of complications. Hand-decorated by the artisans in the Métiers Rares® atelier of the Manufacture, the multiple-level dial amplifies the beauty of the celestial theme while also showcasing the Cosmotourbillon.
For the star map, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduces grisaille enamel to its repertoire for the first time. A painterly technique that originated in 16th-century in France. Thanks to this rarefied technique, the dials of the Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 depict with utmost artistry the sky that we see above us at night.
In a subtle allusion to the way the night sky seems to form a dome above us when we look at the stars, the dials are constructed on multiple levels, dominated by a domed structure that also wraps around the Cosmotourbillon. Visible around the edge of the dome and beneath the tourbillon, the deepest level of the dial is decorated with transferred white inscriptions for the names of the months, and the tourbillon seconds.
The “Atomium” structure takes its name from the delicate filigree that forms the outer section of the dome, its shape echoing the lines that link the stars to form constellations. Framed within this, on the domed celestial disc, midnight-blue grisaille enamel and a transferred star map amplify the visual connection to the cosmos.
Highlighting the astronomical aspect of time measurement, our watchmakers developed a mechanism able to display the passing of sidereal time, based on the stars. With a duration of precisely 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds, a sidereal day is defined by Earth’s rotation measured in relation to more distant fixed stars, whereas the 24-hour solar day – our civil time – is measured by Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Set at the centre of the dial, the celestial vault maps the Northern Hemisphere night sky as seen from the 46th parallel – the latitude of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s home in the Vallée de Joux – tracking the position of the constellations in real time.
This exceptional timepiece also takes Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expertise in chiming watches to new heights by uniting the astronomical complications with a minute repeater. The mechanism is further elevated by the Cosmotourbillon ensuring the utmost precision to the calibre 945.