The name Memovox has been associated with Jaeger-LeCoultre for more than 70 years, being one of the most famous (and also one of the last) alarm watches on the market. The brand has established a tradition by releasing watches equipped with this function ranging from classic timepieces to sports watches. One of the most appealing recent models to surface with the buzzing alarm was the limited edition Master Control Memovox Timer with its blue dial, engraved areas and timer function. The watch now returns in a new version, mixing warm tones of gold with an elegant black dial.
Whenever you hear (pun intended) the name Memovox at Jaeger-LeCoultre, you know that it has to do with an alarm function. Somewhat overlooked these days, this striking complication might be the simplest when it comes to sound functions, but it remains fascinating due to its entirely mechanical nature. Our editor Rebecca wrote a relatively comprehensive history and background brief regarding the complication, which you might be interested in reading here. JLC’s first Memovox – “the voice of memory” – watch came out in 1950. The function was popular among businessmen who needed to time meetings, but the real popularity of the complication came in 1959 with the Memovox Deep Sea and in 1968 with the Memovox Polaris, two watches that took the alarm complication underwater, where the buzzing sound became a security feature to remind you that time and oxygen were running short… Pretty cool and still in use today with the modern interpretation of the Memovox Polaris.
The alarm function is also part of the most classic collection at Jaeger-LeCoultre, namely the Master Control. You can find it in the standard model, which has been reviewed here, and also in the limited edition version combined with a timer function here. What to expect from the Memovox Timer? First, and classically, you have the two crowns on the right side of the case, one to set the time and wind the movement, and the crown at 2 o’clock is used to set the alarm via the internal disc. The new thing here is the “Timer” in the name. Located in the centre of the dial on a disc with a granular background and raised polished numerals, the indicator of the timer is the small hand with a red tip. The idea behind the timer is to signal the time you have left before any kind of event.
In many regards, the new gold Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox Timer of 2022 is identical to the steel and blue model of 2020. It’s all about materials and colours, while proportions, finishing and mechanics are the same as before. As such, the watch now shows an 18k pink gold case with a polished bezel and lugs while the flanks are brushed. The size is spot-on, with a 40mm diameter and 12.39mm height. There are sapphire crystals on both sides, and the case offers a decent 50m water-resistance.
The other novelty in this warm and elegant limited edition of the Master Control Memovox Timer is the dial. Still attractive with its two-tone colour, retro vibe, trapezoid-shaped indices and Arabic numerals (reminiscent of the first Memovox watches), concentric rings and dauphine hands, it is now black and dark grey, with gold-coloured elements all over – markers, tracks, hands and even the handsome tri-dimensional timer element with its numerals in positive relief. The date window at 3 o’clock adds to the daily practicality, and the small dots on the periphery and a thin line inside the hands are treated with luminescent material.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox Timer is an elegant watch on the wrist, with proportions that are clearly not to be blamed. It is worn on a classic (maybe too classic) black alligator strap with black stitching, closed by a gold pin buckle. The execution is, as you’d expect from JLC, refined and precise.
Under the sapphire caseback is the well-known calibre 956AA, an automatic movement produced in-house and that is part of the new generation of calibres of the brand. It has been comprehensively re-engineered compared to previous engines, being 15% slimmer. Also, previous Memovox models had the gong attached to the closed caseback; the new Master Control case has a transparent sapphire caseback and a new strike-works system. You can see the hammer in action as it strikes the peripheral gong tucked into the side of the case. The 271-part movement beats at a 4Hz (28,800vph) frequency and can store up to 45 hours of energy.
Availability & Price
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox Timer Pink Gold limited edition (reference Q410257J) will be produced in 100 pieces only, available exclusively from the brand’s boutiques. It will be priced at EUR 35,100 (incl. taxes). For more details, please visit jaeger-lecoultre.com.