We do get our share of impressive timepieces to wear, however a watch that is, or is almost, the thinnest watch in the world, still impresses. Hugely! That’s what the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin 1907, that was introduced earlier this year during the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva. Thin as a razor, superbly legible and very stylish. We’ve reviewed this 4,05 mm thick (or thin) watch for you.
Beforehand we wondered how it would feel on the wrist. With just over 4 mm in height it could well be fragile and maybe even “scary” thin to wear. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin 1907 is the second iteration of this ultra-thin timepiece from the Grande Maison of the Vallée de Joux. The first version, executed in platinum, was introduced as part of the 180 years Jubilee Collection that Jaeger-LeCoultre launched as tribute to Antoine LeCoultre in 2013. The new Master Ultra Thin 1907 comes in a 39mm pink gold case that is just 4,05mm thick.
This watch was not created just like that. It was inspired on an old pocket watch. Not just an old pocket watch but the world’s thinnest pocket watch that to this date holds that record. Rewind to 1903, when Edmond Jaeger, who later became the “Jaeger” part of the brand’s name, was watchmaker to the French Navy. As such he challenged Swiss watch manufacturers to develop and produce the ultra-thin movements that he had invented.
It was Antoine LeCoultre’s grandson, Jacques-David LeCoultre, who accepted the challenge and manufactured a collection of ultra-thin pocket watches, including the world’s thinnest that was equipped with the LeCoultre Calibre 145. In 1937 the collaboration between Edmond Jaeger and Jacques-David LeCoultre led to renaming the company to Jaeger-LeCoultre and that name was printed on the dial.
Did you know that due to a complicated system of import duties in certain countries, notably the United States of America, Jaeger-LeCoultre sold watches in North America for decades under the LeCoultre label. In Europe and the rest of the world their watches were signed Jaeger-LeCoultre. The movements fitted into both the LeCoultre and the Jaeger-LeCoultre signed watches are identical. It wasn’t until 1985, before the name Jaeger-LeCoultre was adopted uniformly around the world.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Jubilee was the thinnest wrist watch in the world at the time of introduction. Now it’s been surpassed by Piaget’s Altiplano 38mm 900P. So although the newest Master Ultra-Thin 1907 is not the world’s thinnest watch, with a height of 4,05 mm in is extremely thin.
Inside ticks the world’s thinnest manually wound movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 849. It comprises 123 parts and is just 1,85mm in height. For comparison, take a ruler and check his thin 2mm is. The movement is even thinner, and when fully wound it has a power reserve of 35 hours. I think that’s very impressive!
To keep the case slim, JLC opted for a so-called knife-shape case. That means it’s thickest part (if you can call 4,05 mm thick) contains the movement, the (snap-on) case back and sapphire crystal. The case back is solid, because adding a sapphire pane to it, with immediately increase the thickness. The part around the case is thinner and used to screw the lugs onto. The case is strapped to the wrist with a glossy brown alligator strap, without any visible stitching, and a pink gold tang buckle.
The dial is white with a finely grained surface, and features printed minute dots, stick hour markers, with double stick markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The choice to go for printed markers is simple: applied markers would need additional height (the hands may not touch the markers) and that would be against the whole point of this watch. The hands are so-called dauphine hands, and typical for JLC, one side is sandblasted (or micro-blasted, hence not shiny) while the other half is polished.
On the wrist the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin wears superbly comfortable. It’s very light and ultra thin. One thing that slightly bothered me, is that the lugs are not bend downwards, and because of that the tips can be a bit sharp for your shirt, especially when the cuff is a bit tight.
Concluding, this ultra-thin, über-stylish beauty is a perfect classic dress watch. Even with a less formal attire it looks very good. The pink gold case and hands have a lovely warm glow and that offsets beautiful against the finely grained white dial. Since the only watch that is thinner, Piaget’s Altiplano 38mm 900P, is not a classic dress watch, this JLC is probably the thinnest classic dress watch on the market. It retails for just over € 15.000 Euros (including tax). If you want the thinnest classic dress watch on the market, than look no further.
More info at the Jaeger-LeCoultre website.