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Leroy - Chronometre Observatoire

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Leroy has a relevant space in the history of watchmaking and chronometry. Its origins date back to 1713 when master watchmaker Julien Le Roy joined the select circle of the Corporation des Horlogers parisiens. Marie-Antoinette, Proust, Matisse, Napoleon, Queen Victoria, Roosevelt, Chopin, Nobel, Bugatti, aviation pioneers Charles Lindbergh and Santos-Dumont are just some of the illustrious owners of a watch manufactured by Leroy. During its history, Leroy won a record 384 gold medals in chronometry competitions.

This year, at Baselworld 2015, Leroy offered a preview of two exciting new timepieces, the Chronomètre Observatoire and the Chronomètre à Tourbillon. There was lot of buzz about them and we are glad to finally share with our readers official pictures, technical specifications and pricing of the new Leroy Chronomètre Observatoire. The Chronomètre à Tourbillon will be covered as soon as we will receive full details.

The Chronomètre Observatoire is a timepiece that will be received with enthusiasm by collectors and connoisseurs which appreciate traditional watchmaking techniques.

The refined solid 925 silver dial is captivating with its precious hand-guilloché "barleycorn" motifs inspired by 19th century Leroy pocket watches and the applied Arabic numerals made of gold and delicately cabochonné (hand-polished and domed). The openworked steel hands are based on an exclusive Leroy design.

A small subdial at 6 o’clock shows the passing of the seconds by means of a "duplex" jump (thus named in tribute to Pierre Le Roy and his Duplex escapement) consisting in a short jump followed by a longer one.

At 9 o'clock, a lozenge-shaped aperture - small enough not to disturb the aesthetic balance of the dial - reveals the disc providing the 98-hour power-reserve indication. From 0 to 60 hours, the disc remains the same colour as the dial, while from 60 to 80 hours, it switches to white; beyond 80 hours it appears in red to signal that the autonomy is nearly at the end.

The dials come in a choice of five colours: opaline silver-toned, Leroy blue, Leroy champagne, rosé champagne and slate grey. The hour-markers match the colour of the gold case, while blue, rhodiumed or black gold hands may be selected according to the customer’s personal preferences.

The classic round case is available in two sizes (38 mm and 40 mm with a thickness of 9.7 mm and 10.50 mm respectively) and three versions: palladium-coated (non rhodiumed) white gold, red gold and a two-tone variation.

The case is composed of three parts: a satin-brushed bezel, a circular saint-brushed case middle and polished gadroons. The glareproofed sapphire crystal case-back enables the owner to admire the movement and its hand-crafted finishes.

The new Leroy Chronomètre Observatoire is equipped with the new-generation hand-wound L200 movement entirely developed and built in the Leroy Manufacture in Le Sentier which features an escapement with direct impulse on the balance (1 impulse/1 oscillation) that transmits constant energy to the regulating organ and ensures excellent rating precision.

The balance with its 4 adjustment screws is equipped with a balance-spring produced by a company belonging to the Festina Group and comprising an unusual double terminal curve. The combination of inward and outwards curves is conducive to isochronism by enabling perfectly concentric deployment in a vertical position and eliminating any potential imbalances described in watchmaking literature as the"Grossmann effect".

The calibre oscillates at a rate of 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz) and features parallel-mounted twin barrels and 42 jewels including four synthetic diamond jewels.

The finishes are outstanding. The bridges are bevelled and frosted. All the screws are blued from the outset to avoid oxidation, while the screw heads are specular-polished. Even the profiles of the collets are polished. The pinion leaves are polished using a wooden grinding wheel and the ratchet-wheels finished using the "Mât de Genève" (Geneva Mast) process, an ancient decorative technique that gives them an anthracite colour.

The timepiece is matched to a hand-sewn alcantara-lined alligator leather strap secured by a pin buckle or folding clasp.

Each Leroy Chronomètre Observatoire watch is individually numbered and delivered with it own chronometer rating certificate issued by the Besançon Observatory. The price, for all versions, is Swiss Francs 35,000 before taxes.

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