Introduced in 1992, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Collection has always been the classic model of the brand, with a focus on technical rigour, certification and visual restraint. Its name comes from the fact that it was the first of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s collections to benefit from its pioneering ‘1000 Hours Control’ certification. In constant evolution since its launch, today the Maison unveils its four proposals for 2020. So, let’s take a look at the 2020 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Collection.
This new Master Control Collection has to be seen as a subtle evolution, a modernisation of the range with a casual twist, rather than a complete overhaul. As many of you know, its name comes from JLC’s own ‘1000 Hours Control’ certification, a series of tests on the cased-up watch (not just its movement) to guarantee its perfect execution and its precision. It is one of the most stringent testing protocols in the industry today and every model in this new collection has passed the tests.
The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Collection is articulated around four new references, differentiated only by their complications. Regarding the design, the classic codes of the Master Control have been kept, including the typical combination of triangular applied indexes, Arabic numerals and luminous dots. The overall shape of the cases, available in steel or in JLC’s new alloy, Le Grand Rose gold (better resistance to corrosion and to colour fading), has also been retained, yet modernised. For instance, while the 40mm diameter has been kept for all four models, the bezel is also thinner, allowing for a more open dial and a slender look. The cases are finished with a combination of brushed (casebands) and polished surfaces (bezel and top of the lugs).
All models feature a sunray-brushed, silvery-white dial, brushed dauphine hands with a thin line of lume, luminous dots and blued accents (hands or moon). The casual touch is given by new, less formal straps, made of Novonappa calf leather, coloured in tan. This soft, matte-finished skin acquires a distinctive patina over time. The watches are equipped with a Presto Spring lug attachment and a simple clip for removing and refitting the deployant buckle.
Technically speaking, the 2020 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Collection also benefits from mechanical updates, with a reworked version of the in-house Calibre 899, the pillar of the collection. Upgrades include a silicon escapement, a redesigned barrel and various energy-saving enhancements. This results in a power reserve of 70 hours (vs. 38h before).
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date
The first model in this 2020 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Collection is the classic Date model, with H-M-S in the centre and a date window at 6 o’clock. With its thickness just below 9mm, it makes for an elegant, restrained watch that feels slightly more modern and slender than the previous version. The main update concerns the movement, as the Calibre 899 has been deeply reworked with new silicon escapement and pallets, new oils and a redesigned barrel to accommodate a stronger and longer mainspring – with now 70h power reserve. It should be priced between EUR 6,500 and EUR 7,000 (to be confirmed).
Specs: 40mm x 8.78mm – stainless steel case – sapphire crystal front and caseback – 50m water-resistant – in-house, automatic Calibre 899 (new generation) – 70h power reserve, 4Hz frequency – hours, minutes, seconds, date – Novonappa calf leather strap – reference Q4018420
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar
The second watch in this new Master Control collection is an all-time classic triple calendar with moon phase indicator. The display is elegant and balanced, echoing watches from the 1940s, with a peripheral date, two windows at 12 for the weekday and the month and a semi-circular moon, in blue, at 6 o’clock with a small seconds inside. The case measures 40mm in diameter and 10.95mm in height. Just like the movement of the date model, its Calibre 866 has been upgraded with silicon parts and 70h power reserve. A mechanical twist has also been added; a new jumping complication. Every month, the date hand makes a 90-degree leap from the 15th to the 16th, in order not to obscure the moon phase display. It should be priced at approximately EUR 10,000 in steel (to be confirmed).
Specs: 40mm x 10.95mm – stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold case – sapphire crystal front and caseback – 50m water-resistant – in-house, automatic Calibre 866 (new generation) – 70h power reserve, 4Hz frequency – hours, minutes, small seconds, triple calendar, moon phases – Novonappa calf leather strap – reference Q4148420 (steel) and Q4142520 (gold)
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Geographic
For its third model, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control collection takes on the brand’s signature “Geographic” multi-time-zone display. Utilised in multiple collections, this advanced traveller’s watch not only features the hour of a second time zone but includes a complete sub-dial with minutes and hours and with a 24-hour night/day indicator. In an arched aperture at 6 o’clock, it displays the city name relating to the zone. This gives travellers the option of setting the second time by location. Finally, it comes with date and power reserve sub-dials for a complex layout. The new-generation Calibre 939 increases the power reserve of the Master Control Geographic to 70 hours. It should be priced at approximately EUR 11,500 in steel (to be confirmed).
Specs: 40mm x 10.96mm – stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold case – sapphire crystal front and caseback – 50m water-resistant – in-house, automatic Calibre 939 (new generation) – 70h power reserve, 4Hz frequency – hours, minutes, seconds, date, second time-zone, night-day indicator, city indication, power reserve – Novonappa calf leather strap – reference Q4128420 (steel) and Q4122520 (gold)
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar
Last but not least, and probably the most attractive of the watches in this 2020 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control collection is a combination of a chronograph with a triple calendar and moon, powered by a newly developed movement, the Calibre 759. It comes as a replacement to the classic chronograph with date. This movement, based on the well-known calibre 751, is an integrated, automatic column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch, a moon phase indicator, and a 65-hour power reserve. The dial of this Master Control Chronograph Calendar combines two classic sub-dials – small seconds and 30-minute counter – as well as a date/moon at 6 o’clock and two apertures for the weekday and the month. The dial is framed by a pulsometer scale. This 40mm watch remains relatively thin at 12mm and is available in steel or in gold. Price not revealed yet.
Specs: 40mm x 12.05mm – stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold case – sapphire crystal front and caseback – 50m water-resistant – in-house, automatic Calibre 759 – 65h power reserve, 4Hz frequency – hours, minutes, small seconds, triple calendar with moon, chronograph with pulsometer – Novonappa calf leather strap – reference Q4138420 (steel) and Q4132520 (gold)
More details at www.jaeger-lecoultre.com.