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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette Is Thinnest Mechanical Watch By 0.05 Millimeters

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette Is Thinnest Mechanical Watch By 0.05 Millimeters Watch Releases

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette watch is, by a margin of just 0.05 millimeters, the thinnest mechanical watch in the world. That is how far we have come: just by the thickness of a human hair, a watch can claim such a remarkable title its own. The previous record of the thinnest mechanical watch was held by the Piaget Altiplano 900P, which came in a case that was just 3.65mm thick… When we debuted the 900P here, we were honestly convinced that no one would try to produce an even thinner mechanical watch. Yet, just about two years later, Jaeger-LeCoultre narrowly beat Piaget at its own game (and remember that both Piaget and Jaeger-LeCoultre exist within the same Richemont luxury group). Do the quick math, and you’ll end up with this stunning result: the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette is a mere 3.60 millimeters thick – that is, of course, including the case, movement, dial, hands, and both sapphire crystals. It also happens to be both skeletonized and decorated as well.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette Is Thinnest Mechanical Watch By 0.05 Millimeters Watch Releases Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette Is Thinnest Mechanical Watch By 0.05 Millimeters Watch Releases

The hand-wound movement that makes this ultra-thin achievement possible is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 849ASQ, containing 119 components and 19 jewels, and offering a 33-hour power reserve. That is an extremely low power reserve compared to what we are used to seeing, but is, in fact, not bad when considering the size (or lack thereof) of the movement – it is considerably lower than the claimed 48 hours of the Piaget Altiplano 900P, though.

The caliber has been extensively (and exquisitely) skeletonized by hand, removing any and all redundant material until only the skinniest bridges are left. The movement itself is a mere 1.85 millimeters thick, again, quite incredible – so thin, in fact, that we have no doubt it could actually bend under relatively little pressure.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette Is Thinnest Mechanical Watch By 0.05 Millimeters Watch Releases Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette Is Thinnest Mechanical Watch By 0.05 Millimeters Watch Releases

Just above, you find a comparison by Jaeger-LeCoultre of the “maison’s” thinnest pieces. As you can see, diamonds are a bit of a burden in this instance: the diamond set model is a massive 4.73 millimeters thick, while those pieces with a polished precious metal (either white or pink gold) bezel are the ones capable of setting this new record.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette Is Thinnest Mechanical Watch By 0.05 Millimeters Watch Releases

We keep coming back to the Piaget, but that is because it has been a record-setter that most have likely expected to reign a lot longer as the king of “ultra-thin” watches. The Altiplano installed the movement’s components onto the case back (yes, like the Swatch, or the thinnest, 1.98 millimeter-thick Delirium Tremens quartz watch), while the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette uses a more usual movement architecture with plates, bridges, as well as two sapphire crystals allowing for a see-through experience.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette Is Thinnest Mechanical Watch By 0.05 Millimeters Watch Releases

The dials of all Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette watches have been divided into 12 chapters, improving legibility and framing the ultra thin caliber. These chapters have either been decorated with hand-engraving or patterns created with guilloche machines, and are either hand-painted with enamel (on non-bejeweled models) or, as you see just above, are in mother of pearl on the diamond-set pieces.

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette Is Thinnest Mechanical Watch By 0.05 Millimeters Watch Releases

Prices are, of course, in line with what you would expect from a record-setting watch from a major brand. While the different versions are limited to 100 numbered pieces each, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette pink gold and white gold models are $58,500 and $61,000, while their diamond-set counterparts are $72,500 and $75,000 USD, respectively. jaeger-lecoultre.com

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  • IanE

    What a strange record to go for! It must make the watches so fragile, whilst serving no real comfort/appearance advantage below about 6mm. It’s that wretched answer to why climb Everest – “because it’s there”. This is one pricey watch whose existence being rather out of my reach gives me no regrets!

  • iamcalledryan

    I really like skeletons that use the hour markers to support the movement. I own a far cheaper, but great variant by Dreyfuss & co. And then there is the Omega DeVille Skeleton, which has floating hour markers but still gets me every time.

    This JLC is very nice, hard to say which would win in a fight between this and the Altiplano

  • Malfoy

    IanE

  • iamcalledryan

    IanE an ultra-thin watch is considered one of 6 tenets of “high watchmaking” – in the industry, to be taken seriously as a player you need to master:

    Moon Phase
    Perpetual Calendar
    Split Second Chrono
    Tourbillon
    Repeater
    Ultra-thin

    But you are right, that is just the same as listing 6 very large mountains above!

  • ChristopherWAnderson

    Remember, that records is something that JLC has always had. Their Calibre 101 has been the smallest movement (versus thinnest) for a very long time, and is one a movement I would love to attain.

  • Cut the logs off & crown and the entire watch would fit inside an Rpaige watch (as they accommodate a 39 mm movement that is thicker than this whole watch). Sure is a prudy thang. I’d worry about bending it but then again it’s not a tool watch so anything James Stacey likes to do is out.

  • thornwood36

    Every brand must have to sit scratching their heads trying to thing of how to stand out in the overcrowded market.. Must be difficult to stand out from the rest, but haven’t they done well with this ? , the movement is a joy to to look at.. In blue thanks

  • kunokephalos

    Astonishing piece of work. Not just record breaking but very beautiful.. I wonder about the case material – isn’t gold too doft for such a very, very thin watch…? And if the movement is 1.85 mm, assuming that doesn’t include the hands (another 0.2 or 0.3 mm?) how thick are the crystals – 0.6 mm? Will they crack if you breathe on them? 

    My bet is that the Piaget approach of integrating the movement into the caseback can ultimately beat the JLC model (I am sure they will try) but still – amazing achievement. The funny thing is that they haven’t even marketed it as the world’s thinnest watch!

  • kunokephalos

    And by doft, I mean soft…

  • egznyc

    Meh. I like JLC a lot but this leaves me cold. Seems that it’s a waste to use so much of the face solely as a sizing ring, so to speak – only the center has hands or any mechanical goodness – and the exterior perimeter of the dial looks more like it should be on a $60 fashion watch.

  • IanE

    iamcalledryan IanE  Yes, I get that – but no-one could accuse JLC, before this piece, of not mastering ultra-thin!

  • DG Cayse

    Amazing.

  • Viralence

    I`m quite a fan of thin watches. Often I see no need for the thickness some watches have.
    It is mentioned in this article that you have no doubt the movement itself will bend under pressure, I am quite curious if the watch itself is rigid?

    Incredible piece of engineering/design nontheless

  • It’s terrific that this watch has two crystals, but I wonder, as others, how thin and fragile they may be.  The thing about such thinness is that the crown is minuscule and, being hand wound, it must be a prickly chore to wound it.

    Other than that, I don’t understand the dial.  Surely, the movement is a thing of beauty, but the chapter ring seems to be an appendix to the design of the dial.  Perhaps if the scale would be at the outer diameter and the hands be properly longer, it would look like a better integrated dial.

  • Too thin.

  • BrJean

    1. Buy two of these (with different colours if you want)….
    2. Apply some good glue…
    3. ???????
    4. Now you have a cool duoface two-timezone watch with two independent movements only 7.2 millimeters thick!

  • Rockymet

    After finally mastering the most difficult of the fourteen ways to pronounce Jaeger-LeCoultre, I say it out loud as often as possible. An elevator filled with strangers is a good place.

    Oh, and this is a beautiful watch.

  • Rockymet Too funny. The people in the elevator must think you are insane in both French and Geman!

  • Rockymet

    MarkCarson Rockymet  Now I can even pronounce Quai de I’ile

    I thought with these cultural skills I could become an international playboy but.
    The hours are awful, it’s really hard work and apparently you need some talent.

  • Rockymet MarkCarson I’m a night owl, so the hours for an “International Playboy” work for me. And I enjoy a flute of good champagne, but my old body doesn’t look the part anymore (sighs and shuffles off to take vitamins, pain relievers and supplements)…

  • Ulysses31

    The pronunciation of JLC for the non-native can only end up sounding like you’ve had some novocaine shots from the dentist.  I imagine a lot of saliva flying everywhere.  Oh yeah, the watch – it’s finely crafted and I love the movement, but too skinny for me.  I like the coloured “gills” around the edge though – there’s something you don’t see everyday, eh?  Well, anyway, not enough dump in that truck.

  • spiceballs

    Nice shape, very nice rear but too expensive for me  — – –  oh, err, the watch,

  • somethingnottaken

    I can appreciate this watch as an engineering and manufacturing accomplishment; however, I think it’s too thin – the design aesthetics were comprimised to set a record.

  • Christopher Russell

    I seem to remember a pocket-watch movement, maybe a JLC, that was/is only 1.35mm thin. Now, that would make a lovely thin and large-diameter watch.

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