LE LOCLE, Switzerland — A Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Tourbillon Calibre 978 wristwatch has won the first timing competition in more than 35 years, gaining 909 points out of a perfect timing score of 1,000.
It was closely followed in second place by a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 with 908 points. The result certifies the Master Tourbillon as the most precise mechanical wristwatch made today, according to a press release received by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine.
The Chronometrie 2009 International timing competition for mechanical wristwatches was held to mark the 50th anniversary of the watch museum in Le Locle. This watchmaking town in
Canton Neuchâtel, Switzerland, was known in the pre-quartz-watch era for its chronometers. It was the first timing competition since the Neuchâtel observatory held the last trial in 1972.
A total of 16 watches entered the competition and six were eliminated during the 45 days of timing trials held at Switzerland’s chronometer-testing institute, COSC, in Biel and at the Besançon observatory in neighbouring France.
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.
The results of the competition, kept secret since it ended in October, were announced at a ceremony at the museum on December 3, 2009.
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.