The New Blue Dials of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Control Date and Master Control Calendar (Live Pics & Price)
Rich blue sunray-brushed dials add a contemporary flair to the classic sobriety of the Master Control.
The identity kit of the Master Control collection is a mix of technical rigour with stylistic restraint, drawing on inspiration from classic round timepieces made by Jaeger-Le Coultre in the 1950s. Not perhaps the sexiest name for a collection, JLC’s Master Control refers to the fact that this collection was the first to undergo the brand’s pioneering “1,000 Hour” control certification. Thirty years have passed since the introduction of the Master Control and two limited-edition models from the collection, the Master Control Date and Master Control Calendar, break away from the classic silver dials and appear with new blue faces.
Two years ago, the Master Control collection underwent a subtle evolution to modernise the 40mm case of all its models with a thinner sloping bezel. More importantly, though, and in line with the technical focus of the collection, the Master Control was fitted with reworked and upgraded calibres boosting the power reserve from 38 to 70 hours. The only update to the Master Control Date and Calendar models is the incorporation of new blue dials; the case size, finishings and technical specifications remain unchanged. However, it’s quite surprising what a difference the blue dial makes. Compared to the classic silver dials of former editions, the glossy blue dials give the watch a more contemporary, casual vibe.
The Master control date
The simplest model in the line-up is this classic time-and-date where the pure lines and no-nonsense design of the Master Control truly shine. Recalling the sober elegance of JLC’s round 1950s models, the faceted dauphine hands and dart-shaped indices on the uncluttered dial capture the vintage spirit perfectly.
The silky blue sunray-brushed dial plays with the light, changing from light blue to darker blue depending on the angle. However, the silver-coloured faceted and applied indices and Arabic numerals at 12, 6 and 9 are a little lost against the blue background. To assist legibility, the minute track is depicted against a lighter blue background with white markings and the signature luminous dots at every hour. The faceted dauphine hour and minute hands also have a thin strip of lume down their spines. Matching the colour scheme of the minute track, the date window has a light blue background with white transferred numerals.
In line with the aesthetic upgrades conducted on the Master Control line in 2020, the 40mm stainless steel case features a thinner, sloping bezel and the more pronounced curve of the bevelled lugs lets the watch sit closer on the wrist. The thickness of 8.78mm gives the watch a more elegant profile enhanced with its blend of brushed case flanks and polished bezel and lugs.
Equipped with JLC’s self-winding new-generation calibre 899 with a silicon escapement and a redesigned barrel to house a longer mainspring, the movement delivers a robust 70-hour power reserve. The sapphire caseback reveals the refined finishings, including the openworked gold rotor with thick Côtes de Genève that are reproduced on the bridges and the circular graining on the base plate.
The Master Control Date comes with a matching blue calfskin strap with blue stitching and a quick-change mechanism. It is a limited edition of 800 pieces, priced at EUR 9,100.
Quick facts: 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 – blue calfskin strap with folding buckle – reference Q4018480 – EUR 9,100 – limited to 800 pieces
The Master Control Calendar
The particularity of this triple calendar is the jumping peripheral date hand that performs a leap from the 15th to the 16th of each month to ensure the moon phase display is not obscured. The well-balanced arrangement of the functions, with two rectangular apertures for the day of the week and month, the peripheral pointer date and the moon phase with seconds at 6 o’clock harks back to a 1940s JLC Triple Date Moonphase model.
The 40mm stainless steel case responds to the design upgrade of 2020 and features a thinner bezel and bevelled, curved case lugs. Gleaming polished finishings on the bezel and lugs contrast with the brushed case flanks. With its more complicated movement, the case is slightly thicker with a height of 10.95mm and has two recessed pushers in the case band on either side of the crown and another on the left side of the case. These pushers are used to adjust the calendar and moon phase functions with the special tool provided.
Again, the legibility of the blue sunray-brushed dial is enhanced with a light blue minutes scale with white markings and luminous hour dots and the faceted dauphine hour and minute hands are treated with a sliver of Super-LumiNova.
A slender date hand with a red-lacquered tip extends to the peripheral date ring and makes a 90°degree jump between the 15th and 16th of every month. Two red arrows indicate the jumping date area, and the words QUANTIEME à DATE SAUTANTE are printed in white to match the date numerals, save for the number 31, which is picked out in red to match the tip of the jumping date hand and the arrows.
In keeping with the all-blue colour scheme, the day of the week and month apertures have blue backgrounds with white inscriptions. Even the moon phase aperture and the snailed small seconds track have been tinted blue.
Like the calibre powering the date model, the automatic movement inside the Master Control Calendar was upgraded in 2020 with silicon parts. JLC’s in-house calibre 866 is directly inspired by the brand’s historical Triple Calendar timepieces but with 21st-century technology. The new barrel design delivers a robust power reserve of 70 hours. A sapphire caseback reveals the openworked gold rotor and the refined finishings of the movement.
The Master Control Calendar comes with a matching blue calfskin strap with blue stitching and a quick-change mechanism. It is also a limited edition of 800 pieces, priced at EUR 13,700.
Quick facts: 40mm x 10.95mm – stainless steel – 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 – blue calfskin strap with folding buckle – reference Q4148480 – EUR 13,700 – limited edition of 800 pieces
More information at www.jaeger-lecoultre.com.
No disrespect to the author but the lighting in these photos is horrendous, you can barely make out the details. I presume you had a bad review environment and not much time?
@khakilife – indeed, we had a few minutes with the watches during the Geneva fair, in a room with terrible light…
Agreed. I have seen the watch in person and the photos here can hardly bring out the high contrast between the light blue ring against the dark blue dial, which looks really fantastic! The silver watch hands also stand out quite well with the blue dial comparing with the standard version of silver colour dial. The change of the colour really makes the watch looks much “younger” and modern. I suggest the readers go to the JLC official website to see this watch.
The Master Control line certainly needs something… I’d have started by lopping 2mm off them rather than buying in wholesale to 2019 blue. I say this as a complete JLC fanboy. The 40mm MCs have too much space on the dial, making them look bland and clinical. The Geopysic and Chrono work best, but would still be improved by being smaller. Only Cartier and ALS seem to dodge the Richemont ‘Big it up’ edict that blights IWC, VC and JLC. But the blue is nice enough and gives the watch a bit of spark.
How does the shade of blue compare to the Blue MUT and the Polaris?
I am a JLC devotee, and own a number of the watches, including a [pristine] 37 mm ‘Master Moon’ triple calendar/moonphase in stainless steel with a black dial from the early 2000s. I’m also usually partial to blue dials. Nonetheless, nothing about this new model makes me want to run out and buy one, or swap my old Master Moon for the new kid on the block.
The light blue minute track strikes me as a horrid idea; it makes an already somewhat busy face busier still, and I imagine in person also accentuates the larger 40 mm size.
I’ll take a pass.
Not so impressive. 37mm perhaps is better size, however the 37mm case was too thick. New design is not so good in recognisation by eyes catching coz. day-date windows is same color with dial. The moonphase gets same bad contrast, it could be much nicer if the moon was yellow.
The technically superb advantages are jumping moonphase of the day hands, power 70hr.