This year may be the year of the Reverso for Jaeger-LeCoultre, which is going all out to celebrate its 85th birthday, but there have been other releases that have had a little less fanfare but are still worth noting. One of these is the new Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar, now with a black dial.
The watch has the same size, features, and design of the model originally launched in 2013, only the 39mm case is now stainless steel and the dial is not cream or silver-toned, but a deep black.
For those familiar with the older JLC Perpetual this watch may seem quite different but still a bit familiar. This is because of a number of changes, the most notable of these that the perpetual calendar module has been turned 180 degrees, with the moon phase’s new position at 12 o’clock in particular, making it look quite different. Note that there is no leap year indication.
All the perpetual calendar indications are changed via a single corrector.
Inside is the same automatic 38-hour power reserve Calibre 868 Jaeger-LeCoultre movement with Côte de Genève-finished bridges, and pèrlage on the mainplate. The rotor with the ‘JL’ logo is rose gold. The previous 37mm perpetual calendar contained the Calibre 889 movement. This current movement is only 4.72mm high, with the full watch 9.2mm thick.
If you look carefully you’ll find something interesting above the central axis – an aperture in which you can see a blue/ white disc. This is an adjustment warning indicator that reminds the wearer that they cannot adjust the calendar functions when the hour and minute hand indicate a time between 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, when it turns blue. This is to avoid the possibility of damaging the wheels during the movement’s process of date changing at midnight. The disc makes a full rotation every twelve hours, and is a really neat function.
The use of a black dial does make for a less formal and sportier version of the perpetual calendar, and yes it is quite a deep black in the metal.
With an RRP of EUR 19,800, this is pretty competitively priced for admirers of Jaeger-LeCoultre to add to their collection and for those looking to get into this complication, to consider.