HANDS-ON : Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Enamel White Gold

At the beginning of this year Jaeger-LeCoultre announced a micro collection of three new limited edition models in their Master Ultra Thin line. The Tourbillon (fifty pieces), Perpetual Calendar (one hundred pieces), and Moon (one hundred pieces), all in white gold cases with guilloché blue enamel dials. We wrote about the last of this at the time. All three share not just the same case metal and dial material/ decoration, but they are also all design updates, with new looks and layouts.

Of the three new pieces I would choose the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Enamel, in large part because of the dial changes, and it is this piece which is the subject of today’s post.

The case of the new Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Enamel is the same as previous models i.e. 39mm, but it is now 10.44mm thick, as compared to the previous 9.20mm. This is due to the thickness of the new enamel dial. Yes it may be argued that this is not exactly ‘ultra’ thin, but if you are looking at the Master Ultra Thin collection, you do know what to expect, and they are still slim dress watches.

At its heart is the automatic Calibre 868, which is the movement that has been used for the previous variants of the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual, as Calibre 868/1. Now, as Calibre 868A/2, it has been re-arranged, flipped, and the year aperture moved from the broader body of the dial to within the month sub dial. This also lends itself to a more symmetrical dial aesthetic and larger sub dials. Beating at 28,800VPH, the thirty-eight hour power reserve of the Calibre 868/1 has been ramped up to an impressive seventy hours for the 868/2.

The new look places the day at 3 o’clock, date at 9 o’clock, month and year at 12 o’clock, and at 6 o’clock, a newly expanded and styled moon phase that shows the moon in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The moon phase indicator has a polished starry sky as a backdrop and new indications, in relief, of the waxing/ waning phases on a new frosted track. The new tracks around all the sub dials are a particularly attractive new feature.

As well as the new moon phases/ Southern Hemisphere features, there is a feature of note – a very small indicator at the base of the hour and minute hands near the centre pinion area. This is a safety feature; do not adjust the calendar when the indicator is blue.

The blue enamel dial has a sunburst guilloché pattern on the main part, and a hobnail pattern within the calendar sub dials. As is the case with the two other new limited edition Master Ultra Thin models, the Perpetual Enamel has longer and thinner hour markers. As I noted in my earlier post, the shape of these reflect the sunray lines of the dial pattern as well.

This watch and its two siblings are part of the blue dial ‘trend’ that I have noted happening this year. What would be interesting to me is to see a variant of these three with a white or cream dial, in a yellow or rose gold case.

The RRP for this limited edition Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Enamel is 56,000 EUR (including tax).

For a look at a blue-dialled perpetual calendar released this year from Richemont stablemate Vacheron Constantin, the Patrimony Pereptual Calendar, go to this link.  Audemars Piguet also released a blue hued perpetual calendar this year, about which you can find more information here.

Categories: Hands-on, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Limited Editions, SIHH 2019, Sydney, Watch Profile, watches


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