The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Collection was introduced in 1992 and has since been the classic, slightly vintage branch of the brand. The collection combines an impressive technical rigour with a stylistic approach inspired by classic round timepieces made by JLC in the 1950s. And of course, there’s the fact that these watches undergo the brand’s 1000 Hours Control certification. The Master Control was refreshed in 2020 with a more streamlined and more contemporary design, yet with the same timeless attire as before. Available in several versions with different calibres, it’s time for this somewhat formal collection to become more versatile, as the Master Control Calendar and the Master Control Chronograph Calendar now come with interchangeable stainless steel bracelets (and leather straps).
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control is the best definition of a classic luxury watch at Jaeger-LeCoultre. Restrained, elegant, discreet and timeless, it combines the brand’s expertise in certified and highly controlled movements with complications and excellent execution. The name Master Control refers to the fact that it was the first collection to undergo the brand’s 1000 Hours Control certification, which tests the cased-up watch and comes with an eight-year warranty. Over the years, there have been many complications, such as time-and-date, calendar with moon phase, or the signature Memovox Alarm. And there’s also the flagship watch, the Master Control Chronograph Calendar, that came in 2020 with an unprecedented combination of complications.
Until now, the steel watches in this collection – apart from the two limited editions Memovox Timer in steel or gold and the recently introduced blue editions – were only available on a light brown leather strap. Not a bad combination at all, giving these rigorous watches a more casual and vintage appeal, but not the most versatile option. The answer comes this year, as two of the most successful version of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control, the Calendar and the Chronograph Calendar, now come in a full steel attire, with a new metallic bracelet and quick-exchange device.
What matters in this context is the addition of this new stainless steel bracelet. The construction is excellent, with H-links that are polished and mid-links with brushed surfaces. As you’d expect from such luxury models, sizing is done by the mean of screws (and not pins) and the bracelet is closed by a triple folding clasp with a security push-button release. The overall finishing is in line with the rest of the case. Note that the bracelet is equipped with quick-release spring bars, so you can quickly and effortlessly remove it and then install the light brown leather strap – which is included – without the need for tools. The strap comes with its own folding clasp.
The addition of this steel bracelet to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control collection drastically changes the look of the watches, going from elegant casual to far more modern and sporty. A good option for summer days and weekends. And when you go back to business, just strap on the brown strap.
Master Control Calendar
This evolution of the collection concerns two watches for the moment. First, the Master Control Calendar. This edition, with its balanced and interesting display, plays on classic cues. The stainless steel case, shared with all models from the range, has a classic design with a sloped bezel and thin lugs that are ergonomically curved for a comfortable fit. The case measures a reasonable 40mm with a height of 10.95mm.
The silver-brushed dial of this Master Control Calendar is typical of vintage complete calendar models, with a symmetrical design. Two apertures at 12 o’clock show the day and month, while the sub-counter at 6 o’clock is used for the phases of the Moon and the seconds. The date is radially displayed with an elongated central hand. Powering this version is the modern calibre 866AA, an automatic movement with a silicon escapement and a comfortable 70-hour power reserve. The movement and the watch have been tested according to the 1000 Hours Control system.
This new edition of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar (ref. Q4148120) is delivered with a steel bracelet and a leather strap and retails for EUR 15,400.
Quick facts: 40mm x 10.95mm – stainless steel case, brushed/polished, sapphire crystals front and back, 50m water-resistant – silver-brushed dial – calibre 866AA automatic, in-house, 70h power reserve, 4Hz frequency – hours/minutes/seconds, date, day, month, moon phases – interchangeable stainless steel bracelet and brown Novonappa calf leather strap – reference Q4148120 – EUR 15,400
Master Control Chronograph Calendar
The second watch to incorporate these evolutions is the highly desirable Master Control Chronograph Calendar, a cool combination of an integrated column-wheel chronograph with a complete calendar, which you can also see in the video on top of this article. The stainless steel retains all attributes of the collection, with restrained dimensions despite the complexity of the watch. Indeed, at 40mm in diameter, 12.05mm in height and 47mm lug-to-lug, it is certainly on the compact side for this combination of functions.
The silver-brushed dial relies on a classic tri-compax layout for the chronograph, with the day and month indications placed at 12 o’clock and the date around the moon phase at 6 o’clock. This dial is clean and legible, despite the numerous indications and has a subtle, refined nature. All the indications are thin, not overly bold or contrasted. The dial is very quiet and elegant. Inside the case is the automatic calibre 759, an integrated column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch and a complete calendar and moon phases module. It also comes with a silicon escapement and can store up to 65 hours of power. Once again, it has undergone the 1000 Hours Control system.
This new edition of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar (ref. Q413812J) is delivered with a steel bracelet and a leather strap and retails for EUR 18,100.
Quick facts: 40mm x 12.05mm – stainless steel case, brushed/polished, sapphire crystals front and back, 50m water-resistant – silver-brushed dial – calibre 759 automatic chronograph, in-house, 65h power reserve, 4Hz frequency – hours/minutes/seconds, date, day, month, moon phases, chronograph – interchangeable stainless steel bracelet and brown Novonappa calf leather strap – reference Q413812J – EUR 18,100
For more details, please visit www.jaeger-lecoultre.com.