An Exceptional Grand Complication
The Grande Sonnerie mechanism far surpasses the striking-mechanism of any other complication. With 200 repeater calibres developed since 1833, its untiring inventiveness and its constant research into the field of striking-work, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s exceptional mastery has created a magnificent movement that features a Grande Sonnerie with Westminster chimes, designed to ring out the longest melody ever played by any watch with a striking-mechanism, and all this combined with a perpetual calendar and a flying tourbillon. Containing over 1300 parts and the product of a 5-year development process, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 182 is the most complex and the most sophisticated movement ever created for a wristwatch to date.
The Most Advanced of Musical Timepieces
The Hybris Mechanica à Grande Sonnerie features the longest melody such a grand complication has ever chimed with full (four) Westminster Chimes, powered by a maximum of 12-hour power reserve in Grande Sonnerie mode.
The Longest Westminster Carillon
Whereas the existing Westminster Carillons consisting of four permutations of four pitches, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Grande Sonnerie strikes six different permutations at the full hour (and one, two and three at each quarter).
The striking modes can be changed with the higher pusher at 4 o’clock. It sets the musical mechanism to “Grande Sonnerie”, “Petite sonnerie” or “Silence”.
In the petite sonnerie mode, the timepiece strikes three permutations at the full hours with four Westminster Chimes, and switches to the silence mode after six hours of activation.
The minute repeater function can be activated on request by pushing the button situated at the centre of the crown (only available when silence mode is selected). Still using the four gongs; it strikes the time using a series of four tones. Firstly the hours are struck by the low-note gong, then the quarters with the corresponding permutations series (one, two and three) and finally the minutes elapsed since the last quarter by the high-note gong.
The Trébuchet Hammers
Patent-pending mechanism, the four ‘Trébuchet Hammer’ can be seen striking on the backside. They devised a dual-axis-system with a special joint on a moveable arm.
Upon activation, the hammers are accelerated until they touch a small finger, whereupon a second moveable arm is released, thus helping to accelerate the hammers further shortly before the impact. This method utilizes around 80 percent of the force applied by the spring, whilst traditional hammer systems only deliver a mere 10 to 30 percent of the power originally applied.
The watchmakers also fitted a spiral spring for calibration and in this way created an easy method of adjusting the hammers with one screw.
The Infernal Tower
The whole repeating mechanism is located in a single, three-tiered tower of 5.15 millimeters height and dubbed the ‘Infernal Tower’ by the watchmakers due to its complex construction.
The different levels are made up of the minute snail, three quarter snails (one for each quarter in an hour), the hour snail and their corresponding cams. By this novel arrangement, the watchmakers for the first time were able to eliminate the need for a so-called ‘surprise piece’ which prevents chiming watches from chiming the last quarter hour in minutes instead of the new hour.
The Crystal Gongs
First used in the Master Minute Repeater of 2007, the patented ‘crystal gong’ features gongs attached to a layer of metallic foil coated onto the watch’s crystal to deliver the best possible sound. Made of a special, secret alloy, they are manufactured completely in one piece from the gong foot through to the whole wire; their cross section being square and not round in order to provide a larger contact point for the hammer which in turn can strike more forcefully.
The crystal glass is then pressed into the case made of white gold – a case-material with one of the highest acoustic yield – sealing the watch.
The Flying Tourbillon
The flying tourbillon is cantilevered and thus held only at the underside.
The whole mechanism, which consists of 73 parts, measures 12.42 millimetres in diameter and 3.85 in height.
The lightweight titanium cage, placed on a lubricant-free ceramic ball bearing, is reduced to its bare essence and the 10-millimeter diameter balance wheel is fitted with four regulating screws, ten weight screws and a balance spring with Breguet over coil beating at 4 Hertz.
The Retrograde Perpetual Calendar
The perpetual calendar mechanism features retrograde hands for all functions from date, month and weekday. A small leap year indication rounds off the calendar function.
The instant mechanism is programmed until the year 2100, and in any case can be adjusted via push pieces hidden in the case between the lugs at 12 o’clock.
27 complications, Over 1300 Components
1 Westminster Carillon
2 4 crystal-gongs
3 Grande sonnerie
4 Petite sonnerie
6 Minute repeater
7-8 Flying tourbillon
9-10 Perpetual and instant calendar
12 Retrograde days
14 Retrograde months
16 Retrograde date
17 Jumping hour and minutes
18 Regulation device with inertia-blocks
19 Strike power reserve indicator
20 Watch power reserve indicator
21 Secured incremental hours setting (forward)
22-23 Secured incremental minutes setting forward and backward
24 Striking mode selector
25 Instant minute repeater activation
26 Automatic modes’ switch
Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 182 Duomètre Dual-Wing Calibre
• mechanical hand winding Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 182,
• over 1300 parts, diameter 37 millimeters, height 10.42 millimeters,
• follows the dual wing concept of the Duomètre Line: geometrically the two barrels are integrated in the dual wing concept, in which one gear train stands in for the timing device and a separate one for the striking mechanism
• Horological functions: 50 hours of power reserve
• Grande sonnerie mode: maximum of 12 hours of power reserve
• completely redesigned and improved concepts of functions and movement layout
• 13 patents pending,
• easy operation of time setting and carillon through four push-pieces at 2 and 4 o’clock and one in the crown, setting of the Perpetual Calendar through pushers between the lugs at 12 o’clock
Hybris Mechanica 55 Safe
The presentation of the Hybris Mechanica 55 trilogy will be as useful as it is secure: the beautifully leather coated safe from a top German maker has a total weight of around 1200 kilograms, measuring 1 meter in width and 1.5 meters in height, will safeguard the precious watches if they are not worn.
Underneath the sophisticated surface lie the most advanced security materials, easily able to fulfill all insurance requirements. Fitted with an electronic locking system, the safe is code-secured and has a built-in electronic winding machine for the three watches as well as eight further automatic winding systems for other timepieces.
As the final icing on the cake, the manufacture installed a special, piezo-driven sound system in the safe, so that the actual chiming of the Hybris Mechanica à Grande Sonnerie can be heard from the outside even with the safe securely locked.