Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar Review

by Chamath Gamage
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Ever since it was first introduced in 1992, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Control collection has been getting impressive updates that reflect the Maison’s respect for tradition and the never-ending quest for innovation. This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre relaunched the Master Control collection with some incredible timepieces that ooze class and style. Drawing inspiration from their own previous classic round watches of the 1950’s, such as Powermatic, Memovox and Futurematic models, the brand has given these new timepieces a modern update with some 21st-century flair. 

With this new collection, Jaeger-LeCoultre didn’t settle on paying homage to a single historical reference timepiece. Instead, the brand used several models, and their emblematic complications from the past as inspiration to make up the new Master Control collection. For the 21st century update, Jaeger-LeCoultre has redesigned almost every element of the Master Control line. The designers have gone the extra length to best highlight the complications of these new timepieces while showcasing their aesthetic prowess. 

Before we dive into one of the exceptional timepieces from the latest Master Control collection, it wouldn’t do it justice to know what really inspired the creation of the Master Control line back in 1992. When the collection was first launched in 1992, the Master Control Line was in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s collection of watches to carry the ‘1000 Hours Control’ certification. This is in fact what inspired the name “Master Control”. This 1000 hours of control was no easy test. The demanding process would take a full cased up Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control timepiece (which included the movement inside) and run it through a series of tests. 1000 hours of this later, the Jaeger-LeCoultre certification would be given and still to this day it would remain as one of the watch industry’s most stringent testing protocols. 

This is why the relaunch of this latest Master Control Collection is not just to revamp the design with modern codes, but to also comprehensively revise and update all the different movements in the collection, and to be put through its paces to come out with the ‘1000 hours control’ certification. 

The timepiece we have on our hands today is a true testament to Jaeger-LeCoultre dedication to upholding traditional design while having modern aesthetic appeal. The Master Control Chronograph Calendar comes packed with features and a newly developed movement, all the while being incredibly beautiful. 

Case:

The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar comes in a 40mm stainless steel case, with a water resistance of 50m (5 bar). The bezel, also stainless steel, is sloping outwards which makes it blend nicely into the case. The timepiece also features curved lugs which fits snug on the wrist when worn. The case-sides have satin-brush finishing, while the bezel, lugs and crown have a polished finish. 

The caseband also features four correctors for the different complications on this watch. Month correction is located between 2.00-3.00 position, date of the month at 3.00-4.00 position, month at 8.00 position and day correction at 10.00 position.

Month / Date Correction
Day / Moonphase Correction

The stainless steel case, along with the bezel is what adds the classy touch and dressy appeal to this timepiece. The chronograph pushers with their rectangular shape are nice and bulky too providing a sturdy touch when engaged. The case is also roughly 12.05mm thick, which certainly isn’t small, but doesn’t feel bulky when worn either. 

Design:

Jaeger-LeCoultre has kept the dial clean and refined as possible while still featuring several complications on the Master Control Chronograph Calendar. The designers have used classical design codes from the early 1950’s models and redesigned it with a more streamlined and modern style. The applied hour indexes have an elongated triangular shape, which is matched nicely by the triangular-shaped hour and minute hands. The dial itself has a silvery-white colour that has a sunray brushed finish. This silvery-white dial provides the perfect contrasting backdrop for the blue Dauphine hands used for the chronograph seconds and sub-dial hands. 

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar comes with three complications; a chronograph feature, triple calendar display and a moon-phase. This is the first time all three complications have been put together in the one timepiece by Jaeger-LeCoultre. An impressive set of complications, the chronograph and triple calendar display along with the moon-phase bring back the historical references of timepieces where combining watchmaking and astronomy together was beautiful art. 

Despite these several complications being under the one watch, the is kept relatively simple and super easy to read. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar features three sub-dial counters, with the 3 o’clock sub-dial being the 30-minute chronograph counter, 9 o’clock sub-dial the constant seconds counter and the 6 o’clock sub-dial the moon-phase indicator. The moon-phase indicator includes the date indication as well, which runs around the ring of the 6 o’clock sub-dial. The triple date complication is then finished off with the day and month indication shown underneath Jaeger-LeCoultre’s logo at the 12 o’clock position. 

Another useful feature is the pulsometric scale that runs around the dial flange. A handy feature incase you ever need to measure your pulse, the reading can be executed by simply starting the chronograph counter and stopping it after counting 30 pulse beats. The large chronograph hand will then indicate on the pulsometric scale the number of beats per minute. 

The blue and white contrasting dial is also perfectly balanced by the subtle additions of the colour red, shown on the arrow of the pulsometric scale, and the 60,30 and 31 indications of the sub-dials. This touch of colour along with the sharp design hour indexes and hands, certainly makes this timepiece very pleasing to the eye. 

Movement:

The movement that Jaeger-LeCoultre has used for the Master Control Chronograph Calendar is the brand’s in-house Calibre 759. The Calibre 759 has been newly developed for the new Master Control collection and comprises of 356 parts. Operating at a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 VpH), this self-winding column-wheel chronograph movement can offer a power reserve of up to 65 hours.

The Master Control Calendar does come with an open sapphire case back in which the Calibre 759 movement can be seen. The movement has an open-worked pink gold rotor, which has been skeletonised with the brand’s double “J” logo, as well as being decorated with the Côtes de Genève finish. 

How does it wear?

On a 6.5inch wrist, the master control chronograph Calendar 40mm casing sits thanks to the shorter lugs perfectly. With a thickness of 12.05mm, the watch can be worn with any attire any day of the week. The silvered grey sunray-brushed dial layout is easy on the eye and time can be read easily even with all the jam-packed information available. The soft calf leather strap is super comfortable on the wrist and paired with a stainless steel folding clasp is easy to operate! Over time this leather will age and will complement the overall look beautifully.

I have to say; I fell in love with this watch the second I tried it on. If there were ever one perfect watch to wear, this would be it. With a chronograph, day, date, month, Moonphase and a pulsation meter, I can’t think of any other watch with that many impressive functions look this beautiful. Normally, you’d have to own a couple of watches to get the functionality of this watch. So, if you are the market for one watch that does it all or in the process of downsizing your collection, I can’t recommend this enough!

I had the pleasure of wearing this watch just over a month to really test it out. During that time, I found this watch to be super comfortable on the wrist. If I were to be picky, I would only have a couple of small issues. First, the crown is sometimes hard to pull out to change time due to its construction and to have big fingers doesn’t help with that either. Second, changing the date/date moon phase and months can sometimes be challenging if the watch runs out of power. But fear not, I found a quick solution – a tool that you can use to set these functions on the go! By using a toothpick, you can safely set the functions without scratching the casing. These are not deal-breakers by any means just things I found during my time with the watch!

Combining simplistic aesthetic design with multiple functionalities is no easy feat. Thankfully Jaeger-LeCoultre has been able to do just that with the Master Control Chronograph Calendar, a timepiece that is bound to seduce lovers of beautiful objects. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar Specification:

Model Reference: 4138420
Case Diameter: 40mm
Dial: Silvered grey, Sunray-brushed
Case: Stainless Steel
Functions: Chronograph, , 30-minute counter, Date, Hour – Minute, Day, Month, Moon phases, Pulsimeter, Seconds
Movement: Calibre 759
Power Reserve: Min. 65 hours
Water Resistance: 5 ATM / 50 meters

Australian Retail Pricing: $23,500.00

Availability: Available now

Jaeger-LeCoultre Boutiques:

  • Melbourne – 86 Collins Street
  • Sydney – Shop 4, 84 King Street

Local Authorised dealers :

  • Brisbane – The Hour Glass
  • Melbourne – The Hour Glass and Watches of Switzerland
  • Sydney – Swiss Concept and Watches of Switzerland
  • Perth – Watches of Switzerland
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