Understated & simply stunning
There are five things that I absolutely love about Jaeger-LeCoultre watches. Numbers one, two, and three are all focused on design–they’re timeless, they’re elegant, and the design is always perfectly balanced. Number four, they’re technically masterful. And number five, they tend to fly under the radar. I’ve had the chance to check out two pieces from the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Collection and share them with you here today.
While the Reverso is certainly Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most recognizable watch, the Master Control Collection has been quietly brilliant since it launched in 1992. In my opinion, this is an overlooked gem that, once you discover and really get to know it, really shows you the range of Jaeger-LeCoultre as a brand.
Despite the Reverso’s beginnings a sport watch designed for polo players, it’s evolved into the epitome of elegance, refinement, and sophistication. That often manifests itself as a very formal watch and, therefore, Jaeger-LeCoultre a very formal brand.However, the Master Control Collection, along with the recently reimagined Polaris, actually shows one of the company’s biggest strengths is classic, versatile, and beautiful round watches.
I was able to get my hands on two of my favorites from the collection (not my personal watches, unfortunately) and we’re going to take a look at them in detail.
Master Control Calendar
First up is the Master Control Calendar, reference Q4142520 powered by caliber 866. At 40mm in diameter and just under 11mm thick, it’s a great contemporary-sized watch. The dial is silver with sunray finish, and it contrasts nicely against the pink-gold case. The watch also available in stainless steel, if you prefer.
It has applied indexes with lume plots on both the dial and inserts on the hour and minute hands. If you’re wondering, it’s water-resistant to 50mm. Though, you probably wouldn’t be taking it for a swim.
Let’s talk more about this dial. It’s absolutely gorgeous and, in my opinion, perfectly balanced. At six o’clock is a sub-seconds dial with a running seconds hand, which also houses the beautiful moonphase complication.
This is a calendar watch, too. Apertures for the day of the week sit below the JLC signature on the left for the day of the week on the left and the month on the right. Date laid out in a ring around the dial and indicated by a red-tipped hand. Everything is easily set with pushers on either side of the case.
But, one of the coolest and most understated features you never knew you wanted in a watch is how, between 15 and 16, the hand jumps over the moonphase so it never obscures the dial. It’s that kind of attention to detail that really sets Jaeger-LeCoultre apart.
This is an automatic movement with a power reserve of 70 hours. Chronometer certified–1000 hour Master Control certification.
One the wrist, this watch is just perfect. It feels great and looks amazing and unassuming, with a low-key elegance for daily wear.
In pink gold, $24,900
In steel, $11,000
Master Control Calendar Chronograph
I was honestly prepared to not like this watch at all. But, my opinion changed when I saw it in person.
This is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar Chronograph, reference Q4138420, powered by the JLC caliber 759. This watch is also available in pink gold, though, I must say, I do really like it in steel. It’s got a 40mm case diameter with a thickness of just over 12mm–also a contemporary, but still very wearable, size. 50 meters of water resistance and a power reserve of 65 hours.
The most beautiful thing about this watch, obviously, is the dial–so let’s take a closer look.
It has a silver sunray finish with a pulsation scale around the dial. As in the first piece, It’s got applied indexes. Lume insets on both hour and minute hands and around the dial at three, six, nine, and 12. There’s a brilliant, cobalt blue chronograph hand, with pushers at two and four.
At three o’clock is the chronograph minutes register. At nine is a small running seconds dials. Under the Jaeger-LeCoultre signature at 12, we have the day aperture on the left and the month on the right. And then at six o’clock, we have the date indicator, which encircles the moonphase.
On the wrist, this watch also wears really, really well. It’s got a little bit of heft, which feels quite nice to strap on. You know something is there. But, again, this is such an elegantly designed piece it doesn’t call attention to itself. And that’s what I love about it.
In steel (as shown here), $15,200
In Le Grand rose gold, $28,500
Thanks for reading.