Under the Skin: A Watch Dial

We’re always banging on about the intricacies of haute horlogerie, of the painstaking craftsmanship, of the 490,234,901 jewels within the movement – but it really is true. We go under the skin of a luxury watch dial to prove there is substance over style.

The dial in question – a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Tourbillon – hinges on its titular merry-go-round mechanism weighing just 0.28g but made up of 78 parts. This horological tour de force is emblematic of the extreme complications brands will go to in perfecting a tourbillon pieces, and watches of this ilk rarely cost less than £50,000. The first of its kind was devised by Breguet (watchmakers to the flamboyant fancies of the French aristocracy), and set the benchmark formula: a ticking escapmenet that tumbles over and over, evening-out gravity’s pull on the delicate hairspring – and despite weighing just 0.28g in the Master model, is assembled from so many different components.

“It’s a major technical feat,” says Richard Phipps-Carter, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s London-based watchmaker. “And it’s wonderful to watch, majestically spinning on its axis.” We couldn’t agree more frankly, but if you won’t take our word for it, watch the short video below the jump.