Named for the fact that it was the first of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s collections to have the ‘1000 Hours Control’ certification, the longstanding Master Control collection is getting some attention this year with newly tweaked Date, Calendar, and Geographic models, plus the new Master Control Chronograph Calendar. Featuring a newly developed movement which combines a (column-wheel) chronograph with a triple calendar and moon phase for the first time, it adds a useful multiple complication piece into the collection.
The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Collection models share particular attributes that may be familiar such as triangular applied indices, Arabic numerals, lumed dots, a sunray brushed silvery-white dial, brushed dauphine hands with lume, and blue accents.
The cases, in stainless steel or in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s new alloy Le Grand Rose gold® gold, are 40mm but with a thinner bezel compared to their predecessors. The cases are finished with a combination of brushed (case bands) and polished surfaces (bezel and top of the lugs). There are also mechanical updates in the form of a reworked calibres with a (new) silicon escapement, a redesigned barrel, and other changes that have increased the power reserve.
All of these new models are available on tan coloured Novonappa calf leather with a Presto Spring lug attachment and a simple clip for removing and refitting the deployant. Each Master Control watch carries an 8-year warranty in addition to the 1,000 Hours Control certification.
Of the foursome, the new Master Control Chronograph Calendar is the most interesting, so let’s take a look at it first. In a nutshell, this fine-looking new piece has the following functions – time, small seconds, a triple calendar with date, day and month indications, a moon phase indication, and the chronograph, all in a clean, classic package.
The bi-compax chronograph takes a very traditional form, with the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and the running seconds sub dial at 9 o’clock, along with a central chronograph seconds hands. The moon phase and date indicator at 6 o’clock is balanced by the day and month windows at 12 o’clock. Circling around the circumference is a pulsometer scale on the flange.
As mentioned, it uses a new movement, the automatic Calibre 759, which has a base Calibre 751. Beating at 28,800 VPH, it features a column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch, and has a 65 hour power reserve.
The case, in stainless steel or the new 18kt Le Grand Rose gold®, is 40mm with a thickness of 12.05mm. It has sapphire crystal on the front and case back, and it is water resistant to 50m. It comes on either a Novonappa® calf or alligator strap with a matching metal buckle. The RRP for the new Master Control Chronograph Calendar is AUD 24,600 (including GST).
Now, onto the ‘tweaked’ models. The new entry level Date comes only in stainless steel, and in a 40mm case with a thickness of 8.78mm. As mentioned, the biggest change is the reworked Calibre 899 which has a much longer power reserve, and you will be able to see it through the open case back. It comes on a Novonappa calf strap and has an RRP of AUD 11,400.
Next up is the new Master Control Calendar, with the eternally popular classical triple calendar and moon phase functions. I mentioned that these new Master Controls have a thinner bezel, and if you compare this new Calendar with the thicker bezelled ones, the new one definitely looks more contmporary.
As per the Date model, the Calibre 866 has been upgraded with a silicon escapement and has a 70 hour power reserve. There is a further upgrade to the movement in the form of a new jumping complication – every month the date hand makes a 90 degree leap from the 15th to the 16th so as to not obscure the moon phase display. Coming on a Novonappa calf strap, the 40mm case (10.95mm thick) is available in stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold®. The steel model’s RRP is AUD 18,700.
The fourth and final new Master Control is the new Geographic, with its date, second time zone, 24 time zones and large power reserve indicator on the dial. A key part of the Master Control collection, this new one retains the look and layout of the previous references, including the city aperture which is perhaps its most distinctive feature. In keeping with the theme of the new Master Controls, the grey or silvery-white dial (depending on the case material) is sunray-brushed. It has a wide convex flange on which the elongated triangular indices are set.
Inside the 40mm case (thickness of 10.96mm) The use of the new automatic Calibre 939, which beats at 28,800VPH, increases the power reserve of the Master Control Geographic to 70 hours. Coming on either a Novonappa® calf or alligator strap, the stainless steel option has an RRP of AUD 17,400 and the Grand Rose gold®, AUD 35,900.
These are part of the general collection, but if we go back a couple of years, you may recall this very attractive trio of vintage-inspired Master Controls released in 2017.
[Photo credit: Jaeger-LeCoultre]