When Jaeger-LeCoultre released the first-generation ball-shaped tourbillon in 2003, the watch industry was setting off a wave of ‘tourbillon’, and the appearance of the ball-shaped tourbillon ended to some extent I called the ‘Battle of the Tourbillon’. During this period, different brands have successively released their own tourbillon watch with a longitudinal structure. At that time, the tourbillon was always regarded as an extremely complicated and unique craft. Theoretically, at the time, only the top watch brands in the world were able to make extremely delicate tourbillon watches, and it was not something that everyone could have. The emergence of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Tourbillon pushed the development design of the tourbillon to a whole new level, and became the leader in this ‘war.’
Speaking of the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand, the spherical tourbillon No. 1 is undoubtedly a unique masterpiece in the Jaeger-LeCoultre product line. Since 1890, the Jaeger-LeCoultre workshop in the Jura Valley began to produce super complicated watch series. The Tudor 1 is the first attempt of Jaeger-LeCoultre to use super complicated functions on the watch. The movement is composed of no less than 679 parts, which has special historical significance. Four complications are particularly dazzling in this movement: a spherical tourbillon, a perpetual calendar, a double retrograde month display, and a time equation. On top of these amazing features, the Cal. 177 movement also has an 8-day power reserve. All of this, from the initial assembly to the final adjustment, is done by a watchmaker.
The name of the Tuo Tuo 1 originates from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most proud achievement in 2003: a spherical tourbillon rotating around two axes. The invention of the tourbillon, as we all know, is to balance the effect of gravity on the balance wheel and cause the travel time error. But this 19th century device invented by Mr. Breguet is only limited to pocket watches. For a wristwatch that constantly changes its orientation, such an invention cannot meet the needs of daily wear. It can be said that after inventing a set of tourbillons that can run in two axes, Jaeger-LeCoultre really invented a tourbillon suitable for wristwatches.
Of the 90 parts of the spherical tourbillon, the steps from grinding to polishing and final assembly are all done by hand, adding less than one gram in weight. Only the best watchmakers can participate in the production of this fine art. At the same time, the design of the entire watch is done by the most advanced CNC machine tools. Its in-depth research and frequent testing made it possible for the entire system to run impeccably and perfectly when the first spherical tourbillon prototype was assembled.
On the back of the watch, behind the sapphire glass is a retrograde leap year indicator needle. The back of the entire movement is made of German silver, which makes the entire movement look more atmospheric and uneven. The making of the dial is also a great achievement for Jaeger-LeCoultre. It adopts a full-hollow gold sandstone dial and is decorated with a circular pattern. It is even more rare to present the structure that was originally used to fix complex functions in a hollowed out form. Through the front sapphire glass, the blue lacquered hands elegantly touch the dial, which complements the dial. The artist who designed this watch carved every part with extremely delicate brush strokes, and a little carelessness would break the whole part. The manufacture of the sapphire dial is also extremely delicate, with the front and back sides polished, and almost no bevel can be seen. The thickened mirror surface reaching the 6 o’clock position makes it possible for the viewer to enjoy the stunning posture of the tourbillon under the glass at any angle.
Based on this, Jaeger-LeCoultre also released bi-wing tourbillon watches and other watches in the SIHH Geneva International High-end Watch & Clock International Salon in 2012, but none of them had the prestige of the Tuo 1. In my opinion, the Tudor 1 has every reason to be Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most important complication watch of this century. The performance of the Tudor 1 at the auction house further proves this view, even higher than the retail price at that time. For a watch that is not Patek Philippe, such a performance is undoubtedly very amazing. Investigating the reason, it may be that the production of the Tudor series was scarce, and the styles presented by the Tudor 1 and Tudor 2 and the later launched Tudor 3 are quite different. It is worth noting that when the Tourbillon 1 was released in 2003, the spherical tourbillon products on the market were extremely scarce. Among them, the only substitutes were Greubel Forsey and Frank Mille, but two All models do not have the ornamental and complicated features of the Tudor 1. In addition, the release of the Tudor 1 in 2004 is in the middle of the tourbillon’s popularity in the last century, so the Tudor 1 can rise to become the ultimate watch of this period.
In November 2017, the world’s last one of the 30 pieces of the Tudor 1 was announced for sale, and there was only one in Greater China. In addition to buying this watch again at the auction house, you can only purchase Jaeger-LeCoultre and Jaeger-LeCoultre on three sides at the same time to apply for possession of the Tudor 1. It took Jaeger-LeCoultre nearly 15 years to complete the production of the entire limited product. But there are only a few people who can see this amazing work with their own eyes, but I believe Jaeger-LeCoultre has no intention of satisfying those buyers who can afford this expensive watch, and more often, it is timed In the long course of history, struggle, breakthrough, and challenge all impossible determinations.