Jaeger-LeCoultre: closer to the stars


The Swiss manufacturer dedicates the year 2022 to the astronomical phenomena behind the measurement of time.

At the Watches & Wonders watch fair, held in Geneva last April, visitors were able to hear Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Catherine Rénier and Didier Queloz, winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics, on the wonders of astronomy and its connection with the art of watchmaking hear discuss . The professor of physics at ETH Zurich and of natural philosophy at the University of Cambridge is one of the initiators of the “exoplanet revolution”. As early as 1995, the astronomer announced the discovery of a giant planet orbiting a star outside our solar system.

Jaeger-LeCoultre could not have found a better partner and scientific advisor for The Stellar Odyssey. A “stellar odyssey” designed to highlight the fundamental connection between astronomy and the history of timekeeping. The program includes an exhibition that will travel around the world, themed events and artistic installations. The aim is to remind the public that the concept of passing time and its measurement by calendars and clocks are directly determined by the cycles of the cosmos.

The Stellar Odyssey also aims to celebrate the unique know-how acquired by the Swiss house in the field of celestial complications.
In fact, since the Manufacture’s early days, astronomical functions have been prevalent in its complications timepieces. In 2022, two watches of fascinating mechanical and aesthetic sophistication evoke this know-how: the Master Hybris Artistica Caliber 945 Galaxia in pink gold and the Atomium in white gold.

Real-time position of the constellations, zodiac calendar, sidereal day, solar time: each watch beautifully captures the mysteries of the heavens and combines them with the most ingenious complications: tourbillon and minute repeater. The Atomium watch owes its name to the delicate network of silver-plated wires surrounding the dome-shaped portion of the dial. Its brackets are reminiscent of the lines that connect the stars in constellations. white gold, manual winding, 5 pieces. ©Jaeger LeCoultre

They are powered by an exceptional movement that combines a star chart, a zodiac calendar and a tourbillon. Thanks to this highly complex mechanism, the central celestial sphere reproduces in real time the position of the constellations as observed in the Vallée de Joux, where the Jaeger-LeCoultre Manufacture is located. When the Dauphine hands point to solar time, our civil time, punctuated by simple indices, a small sun-shaped hand indicates the month of the zodiac calendar and the time on a 24-hour scale.

The highlight of these heavenly displays, the tourbillon, goes beyond its purely technical function of regulating the effect of gravity on the gears. With a full anti-clockwise rotation of the dial, this “Cosmotourbillon” measures the passage of time in a sidereal day. This corresponds to the rotation time of the earth in relation to the most distant fixed stars. To add to the cosmic magic of the two watches, what is considered the most difficult horological complication has been added: a minute repeater. The artistic challenge is to create a different, yet pure and harmonious sound for the hours, quarters and minutes of this miniaturized musical instrument.

Fascinated by the technical genius of Jaeger-LeCoultre? The Manufacture will soon be offering on-site discovery workshops. Enthusiasts and beginners alike are invited to discover how heavenly mysteries can be translated into micromechanical wonders.


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