Newsflash: Jaeger Lecoultre Tribute Minute Repeater. A new Reverso, a new Minute Repeater.
A new Reverso and a new Minute Repeater?
Certainly not, for two reasons:
We cannot forget that in 1994, Jaeger Lecoultre issued, for the first time, a minute repeater in a Reverso, which was quite challenging, at that time, because a minute repeater needs some space to fully expresses its melody. And that was a bit the problem of this Reverso, as it was not the best sounding one.
The other Reverso which is worth being mentioned is the Reverso Minute Repeater à Rideau, unveiled in 2011. Here, the sound was much better, in quality and in " volume ", due to its way bigger case ( 55x35mm, and 12mm high ) and also because of the Trebuchet Hammers.
The Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater is closer to the Reverso from 2011. Indeed, it has the same movement, the Cal 944, which is manual winding, beating at the pace of 21, 600 vibrations per hour, offering a power reserve of 35 hours, and the Trebuchet hammers. To be complete, the Cal 944 is a Cal 849 with a modular minute repeater. So, " mechanically " speaking, it is the same.
Cosmetically, it is different, even though you find the same way to display the time ( on the recto AND on the verso ). And here, no curtain used as a trigger to activate the minute repeater.
The big difference between the " A Rideau " and the Tribute lies in the case proportions, as it is much smaller and thinner: Indeed the case is now 51, 1 x 31 mm big, and 11, 41 mm high! And it is a huge difference, as now, this watch is much more wearable than the 2011 edition:
Then, you have two different dials, one skeletonized on the recto, one plain, more sober and elegant on the verso.
Here I would have hard time deciding which " face " I prefer... The verso is more my taste, more refined, for me, but the recto lets you see the hammers in action, which is magic.
Now the big question, the most important, in my eyes or should I say in my ears: How does it sound?
When I had the opportunity to listen to the " A Rideau ", I was a bit disappointed. The sound was harsh, high in volume, but not that rich. I ave to say that it was a prototype. I could compare with the definitive watch, and it was much better tuned.
Here, the Tribute Minute Repeater seems to sound high in volume, but in a richer way... To be confirmed in the reality, which I will do as soon as possible, but, in the meantime, here is a link to allow you to hear it:
Two more details, to be complete: It is water resistant to 30 meters, which is good enough for this kind of watches. And the last thing is that it is limited to 10 pieces, which is something I don't understand. 50 pieces would have been much more interesting.
Don't ask me about the retail, I don't know it, at the moment I type these lines.
What do you think?