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Although the Reverso stands as Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most recognised icon, the Master Control collection, taking its namesake from the then-new 1,000-Hour Control certification created a classically beautiful line of round watches which formed yet another one of the brand’s emblematic watchmaking pillars.

Introduced in 1992, the Master Control series revolutionised the way in which reliability of automatic wristwatches were tested. With an arduous period lasting six weeks, the watches are cased and rigorously examined under many different conditions, a system subsequently incorporated throughout the full range of watches and which are an exemplar of the Maison’s fine watchmaking promise to its customers.

Thirty years since the collection it inspired was born, the Master Control Date and Master Control Calendar have eschewed its classic silver, almost opaline, dials for a trendy new blue face.

All New Master Control Calendar

In 2020, the collection embarked on a major redesign, giving the series a more contemporary look with a thinner sloping bezel as well as making major upgrades internally with the new JLC calibre 866 which saw its power reserve extended to 70 hours up from the previous 38 hours.

In addition to the new energy efficient silicon escape wheel and pallet, other thoughtful improvements like not having the date pointer obscure the beautiful moon phase display meant that the red-tipped hand made a leap from the 15th of the month, across the “Quantieme a Date Sautante” text to the 16th, which meant that the moon phase and small seconds sub dial is never bisected by the date hand; a small yet effective detail that increases the design clarity of the Master Control Calendar.

Furthermore, tipping the scales at just under 11mm, the clean and balanced layout of calendar functions via 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 is reminiscent of the vintage JLC Triple Date Moonphase model from the 1940s.

Two recessed pushers in the mid case on flanking the crown and another on the left side of the case are used to adjust the calendar and moon phase functions should it become necessary if one lets the power reserve run out.

The latest editions of the Master Control Date and Master Control Calendar retain the aesthetic upgrades introduced two years ago: a 40mm stainless steel case with a refined bezel, a more sophisticated profile enhanced a blend of brushed case flanks and polished bezel, not to mention bevelled lugs with a more pronounced curve that allowed for a more exquisite taper closer to the wrist.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar

In full alignment with this unceasing commitment to timeless quality, the new Master Control Date and Master Control Calendar distinguished with deep-blue dials with a sunray-brushed finish, now represent the essence of the Le Sentier manufacture’s contemporary elegant watchmaking repertoire – subtle, powerful and high performing.

Master Control Date

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control DateThe simplest, arguably purest model in the collection, the Master Control Date is where the design language and practical sophistication of the Master Control shine the brightest. Recalling elegance personified in the Grand Maison’s 1950s models, the classic time and date time is as traditional as a dress watch gets.

All the essential codes of the Master Collection can be found in both Master Control Date and the Master Control Calendar. These include aesthetic elements such as the combination of applied Arabic numerals with faceted dart markers for the hours, indicated by faceted dauphine hour and minute hands.

Legibility and readability are greatly emphasised, using minute scales in a subtly contrasting lighter blue, with distinct minute divisions intercut with dot markers in Super-LumiNova for an intuitive and precise indication of the time.

Like the date and month indications of the Calendar model, the Master Control Date features a date complication which follows the colour scheme of the minute track: a light blue background with white transferred numerals.

Both the Master Control Date and the Master Control Calendar come with matching blue straps in calf leather. These straps have been fitted with a quick-change mechanism, allowing the wearer to easily switch between a range of straps for a completely different look. Each model is limited to 800 pieces



Case 40mm stainless steel with 50 metres of water resistance
Movement Automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 866AA with 70 hours of power reserve
Price EUR 13,700



Case 40mm stainless steel with 50 metres of water resistance
Movement Automatic JaegerLeCoultre Calibre 899AC with 70 hours of power reserve
Price EUR 9,100

(Images: Jaeger-LeCoultre)

This story first appeared on Augustman Singapore 

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