Jaeger-LeCoultre and Jean-Claude Meylan
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The two Jaeger-LeCoultre watches were adjusted by a team led by the firm’s technical director, Mr Jean-Claude Meylan. The timing results of the competition show that the Master Tourbillon gained on average 0.13 seconds a day, or less than 47.5 seconds a year, and its rate did not vary more than 0.28 seconds a day. The multi-axis Gyrotourbillon movement with a helical mainspring showed remarkable constancy of rate between vertical and horizontal positions, with an average daily variation of 0.29 seconds in the three stages of the trial.
Jaeger-LeCoultre, which produces in-house the entire range of parts required to build watch movements as well as most exterior components, has kept alive precision timing skills with the 1000 Hours Control introduced in 1992, which tests the timekeeping performance and reliability of its watches in conditions of daily wear. In 2009, reaffirming its pioneering role and leadership status among fine watch manufacturers, Jaeger-LeCoultre developed a new label of quality and accuracy, the 1000 Hours Chrono, which applies the ISO 3159 chronometer norms and focuses on precision timekeeping. This new label was specially created for the Master Grande Tradition watch with its silicon escapement and is entirely in line with the brand’s ongoing commitment to certified quality.
In keeping with its avant-garde traditions, these two Jaeger-LeCoultre labels represent a major innovation by testing the accuracy of finished watches and not just of the movements alone without their complications. “Since it was founded in 1833, the Jaeger-LeCoultre watch manufacturing company has been distinguished by the technical and aesthetic excellence of its timepieces,” notes the firm’s CEO, Mr Jérôme Lambert.
“The long process of innovation centred on precision and invention could only have been achieved by bringing together new skills and technologies under the same roof. This has made Jaeger-LeCoultre the reference as a complete and totally integrated watch manufacturer.”
The Chronometrie 2009 competition reflects a renewal of interest in mechanical precision, and has successfully adapted the traditional 45-day observatory trial to modern testing methods and the requirements of today’s wristwatch owners.
A second competition is scheduled for 2011. The competition jury was chaired by Professor Michel Mayor, discoverer of extra-solar planets and astrophysician at the Geneva Observatory where the first chronometer testing process was developed in 1879. An honorary committee, headed by Swiss astronaut, Professor Claude Nicolier of the federal technical school in Lausanne (EPFL), ensured the integrity of the result.
Mr Claude-Henri Chabloz of the Le Locle museum presided over the organising committee, which included representatives of the Swiss Society for Chronometry, COSC, the Besançon observatory and the ARC technical high school in Le Locle.