How would you define a classical, dress watch? Sit down for a minute and ask the question to yourself and to people next to you… The definition will certainly evolve around a rather small, elegantly shaped, most probably slim and in gold watch. Then, what complication do you want to see on the dial? A chronograph or a rotating bezel? Certainly not. What about a moon-phases indication? And what about a date? That could be quite nice, don’t you think. Well, if that’s what you’re looking for, we might have a solution for you. Here is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon 39 Boutique Edition.
This watch is nothing about a proper novelty. It’s even a watch that we reviewed recently (short after SIHH 2015) in a stainless steel / black dial combination. What we said about this watch was simple: “This watch is neither a tourbillon, nor a minute repeater or a skeleton chronograph. Instead, it shows what Jaeger-LeCoultre does on a daily basis, the watches that are really produced and sold.” It’s in fact the best example of a classical Jaeger-LeCoultre: technically a quite simple watch (even if the movement isn’t void of interest), with a clean and balanced dial and a rather slim profile. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon 39 was already available (since SIHH 2012) in several editions: in stainless steel with a choice of silver or black dial or in pink gold with a very classical Eggshell beige dial (with or without diamonds on the bezel). It is also possible to have this elegant timepiece in another edition, this time only purchasable in official boutiques, with a 18k pink gold case and a slate dial – and to be honest, without renewing the concept, it looks properly good.
The case of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon is in the tradition of the Master collection: a clean design, with a fully mirror polished finish (quite sensitive to scratches…) and a slim bevelled bezel that leaves a large aperture for the dial. The lugs are typical with their facetted shape that tapered to the end. The dimensions are reasonable, with a 39mm diameter and a 9.9mm height. Of course, it remains far from the 3.6mm height of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Squelette or the 4mm of Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin 1907. However, a watch measuring less than 10mm in height is always synonym of elegance and has the ability to be worn under a cuff. Same goes for the diameter that allows for a discreet presence on the wrist.
On the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon, the use of 18k pink gold allows a more luxurious and warm feeling than the black dial / stainless steel edition, which can be a bit cold with its monochromatic look. The best remains the combination with this slightly domed dial that here features a soft sunburst pattern and a warm slate grey tone (that can be seen as anthracite grey or dark brown, depending on the ambient light). The facetted minute and hour hands, as well as the long and thin second hand and the date pointer are matching with the case. The small dots for the minutes all around the dial and the 12 hour markers are also using pink gold. Finally, the moon and the stars are gilded. The result is a warm contrast between the bright gold and the dark dial, which never feels ostentatious. It remains a discreet but luxurious timepiece, suitable for every occasions.
The discreetness and elegance of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon also comes from the classical display, with a moon indicator located at 6 and circled with a date, pointed by a hand. This allows for a balanced and simple look – which feels a bit outdated and vintage, like a 1960s timepiece (something that the domed dial, the applied indexes and the facetted hands emphasize). A bit of complication but not too much, the right dosage of inscriptions (even if the “automatic” at 6 feels a bit inappropriate and not needed) and the extra-warmness of the slate dial: certainly the best combo possible on this watch.
Underneath the sapphire caseback of the Jaeger-Lecoultre Master Ultra-Thin Moon 39 ticks an in-house movement, developed and manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre. The calibre 925 is only 4.9 mm thick (don’t forget that we’re in front of a self-winding movement, thus featuring a rotor on the top, and 2 complications on the top). It indicates hours, minutes, seconds, moon-phases and date. It comprises 246 parts, of which 30 jewels, and delivers 43 hours of power reserve when fully wound. Finishing is pleasant with circular Geneva stripes, blued screws, polished bevelled angles on the bridges and circular graining on the main plate. The main feature of this Jaeger Calibre 925 is its certification, the ‘Master Control 1000 Hours’, meaning that it is tried and tested on precision and reliability for 1,000 hours (nearly 6 weeks), before being delivered to the client. The Manufacture tests and certifies finished watches, reproducing the conditions of real life wear – not only the movements are tested, like in the case of COSC.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon 39 Boutique Edition is, as suggested by its name, only available in the official boutiques of the brand (boutique finder here). It is priced at 16.800 Euros or 17.300 USD. More details on Jaeger-Lecoultre.com.