The Master Control collection is one of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s signature lines. From the maison’s 2017 novelties itself, you could quite confidently tell that the intention was to create timepieces that focus on the most relevant parts, clearing away the elements that act more as accessories in the overall design. The clean lines and to the point look of the Master Control collection also makes it easily identifiable.
For 2020, Jaeger-LeCoultre is relaunching its Master Control Collection with four new timepieces – Master Control Date, Master Control Calendar, Master Control Geographic and Master Control Chronograph Calendar – all featuring upgraded calibres, new complications, a new case design / material – with a casual twist.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date Ref. Q4018420
Inspired by classic round watches of the 1950s, such as the Futurematic, PowerMatic and Memovox models, the new Master Control Date is the most basic of the new Master Control timepieces. It is offered in a 40mm polished and satin-finished stainless steel case (1mm larger than the 2017 Master Control Date) with an outwardly sloping bezel and dynamically curved lugs, exuding a kind of elegance that is relaxed and understated. Thanks to its slim movement, which we’ll get to in a minute, the Master Control Date is just 8.78mm thick.
The most recognisable feature of this watch is the cool silver sunray finished dial, with its elongated triangular shaped applied indexes and semi skeletonised Dauphine hands. A date window is neatly positioned at 3 o clock while the blue central seconds hand brings a pop of colour to the face. Overall you’ll find the colour scheme quite neutral and rather subtle, making it the perfect everyday piece. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s designers have reinterpreted the Maison’s classical codes in a streamlined and modern style, in order to highlight each model’s complications.
Beating inside the Master Control Date is a re-engineered new generation Calibre 899 automatic mechanical movement which features a new escapement and pallets: reconstructed in a slightly modified shape, they are made of silicon to minimise friction and thus consume less energy. The central-seconds wheel has been redesigned to eliminate shaking; the fixing screws of the oscillating wheel are made of highly resistant titanium, rather than steel; and new oils, specifically formulated for the new materials, have been used. A power reserve of 70 hours is now possible thanks to the redesigned barrel which accommodates a stronger and longer mainspring without increasing the 3.3mm height of the movement. Refined details abound, including bas-relief engravings on the back bezel and a sapphire crystal case-back to reveal the finely finished and decorated movements.
At $11,400 Australian Dollars, the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date Ref. Q4018420 is a solid package. It is worn on a tan Novonappa® calf leather strap. Produced by the finest tannery in France, through a vegetable-based tanning process that retains the natural variations of the hides, Novonappa gains a distinctive patina over time. Thanks to a Presto Spring lug attachment and a simple clip for removing and refitting the deployant buckle, the Novonappa straps can be quickly changed, without the need for any tool.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar Ref. Q4148420 (Stainless Steel) and Ref. Q4142520 (Le Grand Rose gold®)
In the 1940s and ’50s Jaeger-LeCoultre was renowned for its triple calendar moon-phase movements, and the new Master Control Calendar brings that tradition into the 21st century. With a case measuring 40mm x 10.95mm, it is offered in either steel or Le Grand Rose gold® – Jaeger-LeCoultre’s new special ‘secret’ pink gold alloy. Not only does the new pink gold alloy give a remarkable sheen and depth of colour, it also guards against oxidation and ensures the radiant colour does not fade over the years. This is all thanks to the addition of palladium to the metal’s proprietary formula.
The dial on the Master Control Calendar is very well balanced and extremely easy to read. The dates are marked around the periphery, indicated by a red-tipped hand, the days and months are displayed in the upper part of the dial, and the
moon-phase is set within the small seconds subdial at 6 o clock. All the calendar displays are set by the pusher which sits on the right side of the case. Other details include the outwardly sloping bezel, curved lugs, the cool silver sun-ray finished dial, elongated triangular shaped applied indexes and semi skeletonised Dauphine hands. As for the date display, Jaeger-LeCoultre has added a fresh new twist here. As well as updating Calibre 866 with the same performance-enhancing improvements made to Calibre 899, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s engineers have added a delightful new jumping complication. Every month, the date hand makes a 90-degree leap from the 15th to the 16th, in order not to obscure the moon-phase display.
Worn on a tan Novonappa® calf leather strap or a classic black / chocolate brown alligator leather strap for a more formal allure to the Le Grand Rose gold® cases, the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar Ref. Q4148420 (Stainless Steel) and Ref. Q4142520 (Le Grand Rose gold®) are priced at $18,700 and $ (TBC Shortly) Australian Dollars respectively.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Geographic
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Control Geographic unveiled at Watches & Wonders 2020 is essentially a travel watch. Rather than indicating only the hour of a second time zone, the Geographic also has a 24-hour night/day indicator and, in an aperture at the bottom of the dial, displays the city name relating to the zone. This gives the travellers the option of setting the second time by location rather than needing to calculate the time difference. The date and power reserve indicator sit bang opposite each other at 3 and 9 o clock respectively. Adding a pop of colour is the heat-blued steel hands. Encased in the stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold 40mm case is a silver sunray brushed dial featuring elongated triangular indexes. The profile of each index has been shaped to fit perfectly flush with the curve where the flange meets the dial – a challenge to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s artisans but entirely in keeping with the Maison’s attention to detail. A new-generation Calibre 939 increases the power reserve of the Master Control Geographic to 70 hours. And finally, the watch is presented on a Novonappa® calf or alligator leather strap (For the Le Grand Rose gold Version).
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar
We’ve saved the best for the last. The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar is by far the most attractive of the four watches unveiled and features for the very first time in a Jaeger-LeCoultre timepiece, a chronograph with a triple calendar display and a moon-phase. The new Calibre 759 features a column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch, a moon-phase indicator, and a 65-hour power reserve.
With a balanced dial layout that combines the familiarity of two classical complications – a triple calendar and a bi-compax chronograph – Jaeger-LeCoultre’s designers have made the reading of the displays straightforward and intuitive, despite the complexity of the information shown. The 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock is balanced by the running seconds subdial at 9 o’clock, while the day and month windows in the top part of dial are balanced by the moon-phase and date indicator at 6 o’clock. A pulsometer scale resides on the outer edge of the dial. The chronograph push-pieces flanking the crown control the central seconds hand and the 30-minute counter. A Novonappa® calf or alligator leather strap compliments the 40mm stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold case exceptionally well.
Like all Jaeger-LeCoultre timepieces, the Master Control watches carry an 8-year warranty in addition to the *1,000 Hours Control certification.
*The “1,000 Hour Test” by Jaeger‑LeCoultre
The Jaeger‑LeCoultre Manufacture pays special attention to the quality and final testing of its watches. The 1,000 Hour Control is a program of internal certification tests for each of the models in the collection as well as internal production tests of watches that exceed official chronometry tests. The program includes movement testing before and after casing the watch and extends throughout the entire watch assembly, according to conditions that closely assimilate daily wear. The “1,000 Hour Control” mention or seal engraved on the back of a watch attests that each of the models in the collection has successfully passed all certification tests and that the watch has passed all the production tests that ensure its regularity, resistance to temperature changes and atmospheric pressure, robustness to shocks and magnetic fields, as well as waterproofing tests.
When launching a new watch model, a tailored certification program is carried out to confirm the watch’s correct design for its everyday use. Depending on the character of the timepiece (sport, classic, evening) the certification includes chronometric testing, fall resistance, climatic hazard resistance, waterproofing and accelerated aging of the watch and its strap.
During the various stages of movement assembly and after its casing, each watch is individually tested according to chronometric, power reserve, temperature change resistance, waterproofing and everyday vibration criteria. The functions are manually activated by an expert who also ensures that the watch meets Jaeger-LeCoultre’s aesthetic criteria.