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Jaeger-LeCoultre delivers twin power and precision with updated Duometre family

Two power sources mean that daily timekeeping is not disrupted when complications are activated.

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Watches and Wonders presentation was all about striving for precision in every discipline — art, engineering and manufacturing — throughout its history.

A glowing red furnace at the centre of its booth was a reminder that precision from expert craftsmen has been evolving since the days blacksmiths were working with metals for the earliest timekeepers.

Front and centre this year are a collection of Duometre watches, a line first produced as a chronograph in 2007, that has evolved into a sophisticated range spanning chronographs, annual calendars and perpetual calendars with horological flourishes including tourbillons and moonphase displays.

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A blacksmith’s forge at the centre of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Watches and Wonders booth was a reminder that precision workmanship has been a centuries-old mission for the watchmaker.

Duometre movements have, effectively, two independent mechanisms synchronised by a single regulator that improves their accuracy. One mechanism is dedicated to complications while the second handles hours, minutes and seconds.

By effectively separating power into two streams the Duometre system delivers constant power that is not affected when a complication is operating.

Most references in the 2024 Duometre collection are in precious metals, shades of 18ct gold or platinum, but the entry-level piece, a blue-dialled Duometre Quantieme Lunaire (calendar and moonphase), comes in steel with a price tag of €40,000+tax.

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The watch has three subdials showing hours and minutes at 2 o’clock, days of the month at 10 o’clock and a rapidly-rotating one-second counter at 6 o’clock, with each second divided into sixths. There is also a central second hand.

JLC has updated the circular case across the Duometre line into a form described as a contemporary interpretation of the savonette pocket watches created by the maison in the 19th century.

Next up in the collection is a new Duometre Chronograph Moon, which is powered by a new Calibre 391.

Here the management of power is used to bring greater precision to a mono-pusher chronograph, which can measure time down to one sixth of a second and, by contrast, to a moon phase, which completes a cycle every 29.53 days.

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There is a version in 18ct gold with a silver dial priced at €65,000+tax or a copper-colour dial piece in a platinum case for €80,000+tax.

The dial layout is similar, with subdials at 2, 6 and 9, but here the time is upper left with a day/night indication and the upper right display combines 12-hour and 60-minute chronograph counters.

There are two power reserve indicators showing zero to 50 hours for each of two barrels, either side of the sixth of a second counter. Central seconds and a blue chronograph hand complete the dial.

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Top of the line is the Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual that uses a Calibre 388 with an entirely new tourbillon that spins on three axes that improves accuracy and make it look like a spinning top to the left of the dial.

Balancing the face to the right is the time display in hours and minutes with a big date. Months and the year are in a smaller subdial to the bottom of the watch face, alongside one power reserve. The other power reserve is at the top of the dial, next to days of the week and a moonphase.

The Heliotourbillon Perpetual is a limited edition of 20 pieces priced at €400,000.

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