L. LEROY - Art Deco Puts Its Stamp On The Osmior Tourbillon
LEROY combines the grand complication of watchmaking with the traditional art of skeletonization, two skills in which it excels. Already tried and tested and always sublimated, this new version of the Tourbillon Automatic regulator now offers an openworked decoration in the original Art Deco style, whose graphic lines have been borrowed from the abundant artistic movement of the beginning of the last century. LEROY is demonstrating its expertise, which is based on nearly 250 years of history.
The 18-carat gold case is punctuated on the side with a superimposition of engraved triangles. The rigour gives rhythm to the dial with a series of symmetrical and repetitive openworkings that invade the space like a mirror effect between the tourbillon cage at 12 o’clock and the hour counter at 6 o’clock. The minutes are indicated by a long blue central hand. Beneath these geometric figures, one can see the components of an ultra-complex and finely polished, angled and decorated movement. On the back, the decoration is just as refined, the oscillating weight is cut out like a lace and bears the interlaced initials “LL”.
Part of the “OSMIOR” collection, a line that brings together the great complications of LEROY, this timepiece combines the strength of cutting-edge technology with the lightness of a handcrafted decoration. The name “OSMIOR” refers to an ancient metal alloy composed mainly of gold. It is grey in color with a slight blue tinge and is reminiscent of platinum. This precious material was regularly used by LEROY to make the cases of its highly complicated watches. It is therefore natural that the latter chose this name, which is strongly rooted in its history, to designate its traditional line. Horological and neoclassical in nature, it perfectly expresses all the values of elegance and finesse reflected in LEROY watches.
Individually numbered, this Tourbillon Régulateur Automatique movement is highlighted by these “skeleton” cut-outs, which are executed entirely by hand. Each part of the movement is patiently cut with a small hand saw, then filed and bevelled. Few artists still hold the secret of such an infinitely delicate manual production. Worldwide, they can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Just for the manual cutting of the parts, without the assembly and adjustments, each movement requires nearly two months of work. In total, between the manufacture of the movement and the casing, six months of work are required.
The term regulator originated from the master clock used by watchmaking workshops to make the final adjustment of the parts before delivery. In order to simplify the comparison of the indications between the pieces in work and the reference regulator, the latter generally displayed the hour, minute and second separately. As a historical supplier to most national observatories around the world (from the end of the 19th century), LEROY produced a large number of these control tools for various scientific and industrial uses. A regulator equipped with a tourbillon, a true emblem of its chronometric mastery, has therefore quite naturally found its place in the new collection of the House.
The first tourbillon system was patented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801. It compensates for the deviations in rate caused by the disruptive effect of the earth’s gravity on the watch’s regulating organ. It is one of the most ingenious mechanical combinations, but also one of the most complex to achieve in watchmaking. LEROY offers an ultra-contemporary interpretation of this mythical system by integrating a full-diamond escapement (lever and wheel). This allows the entire mechanism to become much lighter and harder. The very high performance as well as the chronometric stability (isochronism) of the timepiece can thus be guaranteed for a much longer period of time than with classic systems.