New Master Control Models
A trio of killer classics unveiled by Jaeger LeCoultre
WRITTEN BY JUSTIN MASTINE-FROST
MAY 11, 2020
For a good while now, Jaeger LeCoultre has been one of my personal all-around favorite brands in the luxury watch sphere. From their casual Polaris, to the iconic Reverso, to the beautiful and complex Duometre collection, they are constantly releasing sleek, timeless and well executed watches for every occasion. This year it’s the Master collection’s time to shine, as the brand just unveiled three new releases worthy of coveting. They’re all fitted with in-house calibers, which is the norm for JLC, but one includes a new and very clever complication that makes you ask, why didn’t anyone think of this before?
MASTER CONTROL CHRONOGRAPH CALENDAR Starting with the big gun of the pack, this is the first time in a while that we’re seeing a new triple calendar chronograph on the market. As you’ll note on its dial, it has windows at 12 o’clock indicating the day and month, coupled with a moonphase indication and a pointer hand that indicates the date on the perimeter of the dial. Powered by the new automatic caliber 759, the Master Control Chronograph Calendar is good for a power reserve of 65 hours. This is the first time we’re seeing this complication in a modern JLC, as it has become incredibly uncommon compared to its heyday in the ‘50s and ‘60s. At 40mm in diameter, it’s a versatile and comfortable piece that would make a perfect daily wearer regardless of the occasion.
MASTER CONTROL CALENDAR At first glance you would say that this piece is the same as the last, less a chronograph complication, but this is our little surprise. Also 40mm in diameter, cased in steel, and fitted with a silver sunray dial, the clever trick here is the date complication. This piece uses a pointer date hand, which normally would indicate the 1st through the 31st around the perimeter of the dial evenly spaced. In the case of the Master Control Calendar, Jaeger LeCoultre decided that they wanted to avoid obstructing their moonphase complication, so the date hand will jump from one side of the moonphase subdial to the other as the date changes over from the 15th to the 16th. A jumping complication of any sort is tricky to execute and can be a drain on a power reserve, however this piece is still good for a 70-hour power reserve.
MASTER CONTROL DATE Last but not least we have the simplest offering of the trio, which is a simple and dressy piece with no more than a date complication to its name. This lack of complication keeps the piece compact, still 40mm across, however it is a relatively slender 8.78mm thick. Jaeger LeCoultre opted to fit a silicon escapement to the new Master Control Date’s movement, and between this and other tweaks were able to also give this model a healthy power reserve of 70 hours. Its steel case uses a mix of polished and brushed finishes, and the design of its dial and indices have a subdued vintage charm reminiscent of ‘50s dress watches. That said, it’s nowhere near as overt as other vintage reissue pieces we’ve seen, further helping this model stand the test of time.