Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Heliotourbillon Perpetual Is Constructed On Three Axes

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Heliotourbillon Perpetual Is Constructed On Three Axes

Jaeger-LeCoultre unites these two lines of development, to create the Duomètre Heliotourbillon Perpetual. 

Pushing the boundaries of inventiveness further than ever, the new Calibre 388 features an entirely new tourbillon construction: one that spins on three axes to create a ‘spinning top’ effect. Beating at a frequency of 4Hz (28,800 vph) to further enhance chronometry, Calibre 388 also incorporates a perpetual calendar with a grande date indication. 

Incorporating almost eight decades of accumulated expertise in the tourbillon regulating mechanism, the Duomètre Heliotourbillon Perpetual, features a newly developed tourbillon configuration that rotates on three axes. In doing so, it creates a completely new kinematic effect for Jaeger-LeCoultre resembling a spinning top. 

Initially devised for pocket-watches, the traditional tourbillon, which spins on a single axis, does not compensate for the effects of gravity in all positions. Having understood that an additional axis of rotation must be added in order to be more effective in all positions that a wrist-worn watch may adopt, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s engineers developed the dual-axis Gyrotourbillon, and various other tourbillon configurations, each fitted with differently shaped hairsprings. 

Fitted with a cylindrical hairspring, the Heliotourbillon takes this thinking further, with a newly developed construction comprising three titanium cages rotating on three axes. The first cage is set at a 90-degree angle to the balance wheel and rotates perpendicular to it. The second cage is set at 90 degrees to the first (thus, on the same plane as the balance wheel). Together, these two cages are constrained by an axis tilted at 40 degrees and make a full rotation in 30 seconds. The third cage is perpendicular to the second and makes a full rotation in 60 seconds. Supported on ceramic ball bearings to minimise friction, the tourbillon consists of 163 components and weighs less than 0.7 grams. 

A feature of Calibre 388 is that the hours and minutes can be set either backwards or forwards without compromising the perpetual calendar. Because normally, a perpetual calendar is set through the passing of time (the hour and minute hands), adjusting the time backwards desynchronises and can damage the calendar mechanism. In Calibre 388, the relationship between the winding and calendar assemblies is such that the perpetual calendar mechanism moves forwards only and cannot be dragged backwards when the time is set backwards. 

Other notable features of Calibre 388 include a Grande Date display: a classical yet rare complication sought-after by watch connoisseurs, it is set at the 3 o’clock position on the hours-and-minutes sub-dial, ensuring great legibility. The year indication shows the last digit of a leap year in red – a Jaeger-LeCoultre patent – and the moon-phase indication is accurate to 122 years. 

On the dial of the Duomètre Heliotourbillon Perpetual, the triangular arrangement that directly expresses the underlying mechanism with its two barrels and gear trains has been turned 90 degrees, as if the winding crown forms the apex of the triangle, the time display is flanked by the two power reserves, and the ‘base’ of the triangle is formed by the moon-phase indicator and days on one side and the months and years on the other. 

On the vertical axis, the two sides of the dial are separated by a gold bridge with contrasting areas of microblasting and bevelling, creating an intriguing play of light – and echoing the finishes on the watch case. The left-hand side of the dial is open-worked to provide a fascinating view of the tourbillon performing its ‘spinning top’ rotation – a kinematic effect created by the combination of the three cages rotating on different axes and at different speeds. A sapphire crystal window in the side of the case offers another way to view this captivating mechanical show. 

Measuring 44 mm in diameter, the case is a complex structure of 34 separate parts and the lugs are screwed rather than integrated, to enable multiple finishing techniques. A mixture of polished, brushed and micro-blasted surfaces creates a fascinating play of light with every movement of the wrist. The apparent simplicity of the case belies its complexity of detail, which perfectly complements the complexity of the calibre within. 

With its extreme mechanical sophistication, innovative tourbillon and highly refined aesthetics, the Duomètre Heliotourbillon Perpetual represents a new adventure in the Maison’s quest for precision, as well as its boundless creativity. 

Technical Specifications:


Case: Pink Gold 750/1000 (18 carats) 

Dimensions: 44 mm x 14.7 mm thick 

Calibre: Manually-wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 388 

Functions: Hours and Minutes, Seconds, Heliotourbillon, Perpetual calendar (Day, Date, Month, Year), Moon phases, Two power reserves 

Power Reserve: 50 hours for each barrel 

Front dial: Silver opaline 

Water resistance: 3 bar 

Strap: Brown alligator leather with small-scale alligator lining 

Reference: Q6202420 

Price: Upon request

For more information please visit Jaeger-LeCoultre

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