Jaeger-LeCoultre : the mastery of chiming watches

The Master Grande Tradition Répétition Minutes Perpétuelle stems from a century and a half of experience in complication watches accumulated by the Vallée de Joux watchmaking house.

By Isabelle Cerboneschi

When you listen to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Grande Tradition Répétition Minutes Perpétuelle striking the hours, quarter-hours and minutes, the first surprise is how powerful the sound is. And the second is its delicacy. It combines strength with lightness. In order to develop this grande complication watch, Jaeger-LeCoultre drew on its 149 years of experience in the field. Today, few manufactures can boast such a heritage and such expertise. To achieve this result, the manufacture’s research and development department perfected a system of innovative gongs with a clear and powerful sound, reminiscent of old striking pocket watches. These gongs with square cross-sections, struck by articulated trebuchet hammers, resound throughout the case thanks to an ingenious system that enables them to occupy the entire space.

A mechanical amplifier

The gongs are not placed on top of each other: they coil around the movement on one side, making a near-complete rotation before pivoting and switching sides, where each gong then proceeds to arch upwards. The space in which the sound spreads is thus optimised, and the acoustics amplified by the proximity of the gongs to the case, like a soundbox. This timepiece couples two masterpieces of construction and miniaturisation: a minute repeater and a perpetual calendar, another important complication that displays the date, the day and the month in accordance with the length of the various months and leap years. Perpetual calendars are usually handwound, but the Master Grande Tradition Répétition Minutes Perpétuelle is driven by the self-winding 950 calibre. The rotor is concealed within the movement, allowing owners of this grande complication timepiece to fully admire the beauty of its core and the high-quality finish adorning each of its components. To safeguard the functioning of the movement, the manufacture has designed a security zone that appears in an aperture close to the axis of the hours and minutes hands between 10 pm and 1 am. This valuable indication warns the owner not to adjust their watch during this period of time. It also reminds them of just how precious the timepiece on their wrist is.

Company status
Société anonyme (public limited company) of the Richemont group
Senior Management
Catherine Rénier, CEO
Number of employees
Flagship collections
Reverso, Master, Rendez-vous, Polaris
Reverso, Master
Retail prices
From CHF 4,250 to 1,100,000
Annual production


The Reverso’s new finery

There are few watches that have enjoyed such longevity. The Reverso appeared in the 1930s, and its origin springs from one of the best-known anecdotes in watchmaking. During a polo match in India, a British Army officer approached Swiss businessman César de Trey holding a broken watch. He set him a challenge: to invent a watch that was able to withstand the brutality of a polo match. The businessman took the officer at his word and contacted the only Swiss manufacture capable of achieving such a feat. In 1931, the Reverso was born. Its singularity, functionality and timeless Art Deco design have enabled it to endure throughout the decades.

In 2019, the Jaeger-LeCoultre manufacture presented three new interpretations of this horological icon: a burgundycoloured Reverso Tribute Small Seconds, a Reverso One Duetto, the famous women’s model set with diamonds on both dial faces, and a Reverso Tribute Duoface, which offers two time zones, one on each dial face. The limited edition Reverso Tribute Duoface Fagliano Limited in rose gold is worn with a cordovan leather strap, hand-stitched by Casa Fagliano, the world’s most distinguished maker of polo boots. An elegant nod to the Reverso’s origins.

The ‘Care Program’: a digital platform for customers and an international eight-year guarantee.

An eight-year guarantee !

You need utmost self-confidence – or rather infallible confidence in your expertise – to dare offer your customers an eight-year guarantee! The Jaeger-LeCoultre manufacture has every reason to dare, with the launch of its two-phase ‘Care Program’. The first phase concerns the customer experience, with access to a dedicated digital platform offering advice and services. Each new customer can register online to access all the content, available in 12 different languages. The second phase concerns the culture of the manufacture and of loyalty: each watch and clock leaving the Jaeger-LeCoultre workshops is now guaranteed for eight years, from the moment it is registered on the dedicated platform. The meaning of the word ‘luxury’ never ceases to evolve. According to surveys conducted by consultancy firm Bain & Company, customers need to feel culturally connected to a brand and share common values. Luxury has become an experience that strengthens the bond between a purchaser and a brand. Offering this kind of guarantee is reassuring for customers, both in terms of watch quality and the strength of this bond. And it also nurtures their loyalty for far longer than eight years.