This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre has tapped into a defining part of the brand’s history, to bring two new contemporary style timepieces into the Master Control Collection. The minute repeater and Memovox alarm have been part of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s history since almost 70 years ago when the first Memovox watches were released.
The story of the Memovox goes back to the late 1940s when as the post-war economies recovered, a new generation of inventiveness began to emerge throughout the world. The new technologies that inspired innovation also paved the way for new industries and likewise, cities to expand. With this expansion and growth, Jaeger-LeCoultre mastered the art of chiming mechanisms to develop an alarm watch. This alarm watch was not only very practical but much suitable to the times.
Although the alarm is arguably a very charming and useful function in timepieces and complications, it still remains to this day as a rarity in horology. Since Jaeger-LeCoultre’s initial release of the Memovox, it has become a reference point for wristwatch alarm complications, paving the way for watches that have used alarms for urban lifestyles and underwater sports.
Belonging to the Master Control Collection, Jaeger-LeCoultre has now released the Master Control Memovox and Master Control Memovox Timer.
MASTER CONTROL MEMOVOX
The Master Control Memovox is a date and alarm complication timepiece with refined and modern dial design. This modern-day Master Control Memovox was inspired by the uncluttered and simplistic dial of the 1950 Memovox timepiece. On a 40mm Master control case, the Master Control Memovox features a sunray dial and applied indexes with a silver finish. The only colour shown on the dial is the blue second’s hand, which certainly pops against the silver background.
MASTER CONTROL MEMOVOX TIMER
Over the decades since Memovox’s creation, Jaeger-LeCoultre has added a variety of functions to the Memovox’s models. Some of these functions included a world time-zone indicator and a parking-meter reminder! In the same spirit of innovation, the engineers at Jaeger-LeCoultre have now come up with another useful function for the latest Memovox timepiece: the Timer.
The Timer allows the owner to set the alarm based on the number of hours that needs to elapse before the alarm rings. A perfect example of this is the number of hours required for sleep on a given night before the alarm can ring. The alarm can also be set the traditional way, which is based on a specific time. The different methods are linked, so that whichever alarm method the owner chooses to use, the other method will automatically move to the corresponding position.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Control Memovox Timer is similar to the Memovox model as it comes in the 40mm case. The dial on the Master Control Memovox Timer, however, comes with two concentric rings, which have two shades of blue in sunray finish. The inner ring on the dial is engraved in bas-relief with polished numerals. On the inner ring, the elapsed hours-until-alarm are indicated with the small red-tipped hand with the JL logo. The outer edge of that ring includes the Memovox’s signature triangular maker, which points to the time at which the alarm will ring.
Both the Master Control Memovox and Memovox Timer come with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s self-winding 956 calibre, which has been completely revised. Previous generations of Memovoxs timepieces came with a closed case-back, to which the gong was attached, however, this year’s models would see the new Master Control case with a transparent sapphire case-back. This will allow the owner to enjoy watching the hammer in action. Having an open caseback, however, meant that the striking mechanism needed to be completely redesigned. This redesign saw the engineers opting to attached the mechanism to the side of the case instead.
The pink gold rotor with the Côtes de Genève finish is also skeletonised and left open so that an unobstructed view of the striking mechanism can be seen. One striking feature has left unchanged, however, the “school bell” sound of the alarm, which is iconic to Memovox models. The redesigned calibre 956 gives out a power reserve of approximately 45 hours for both models. Both models also come with a water resistance of 50 meters (5 Bar).
Bringing back traditional watchmaking with useful functions, the latest Memovox models in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Collection is a welcome rarity in modern-day horology. The Master Collection Memovox Timer is the only limited edition piece out of the two models, with a run of only 250 pieces being made.