Minute repeaters are getting to be more and more common in new releases; they’re the belle of the horological ball that every haute horology house wants to take for a spin. Yet quietly at the back sits Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Memovox, one of the most influential chiming watches ever built showing that alarms are still a hell of a lot more useful, especially in its latest guise, the Master Control Memovox.
The most recent Memovox was the Polaris model, but the name goes back 70-odd years and has been a cornerstone of JLC’s watchmaking as much as any Reverso. Now, with the advent of the new Master Control case shape, it’s about time we saw a new Memovox, too.
There are two new models here, one a permanent addition to the fledgling collection, one a fitting limited edition to welcome the Memovox in.
The permanent model, the Master Control Memovox, fits in nicely with its four complicated stablemates. That means a 40mm stainless steel case and a restrained – not to mention downright lovely – tone-on-tone dial with a blue central seconds.
The alarm function itself is as subtle as ever; simply use the crown at 2 o’clock to set the central disc to when you want a reminder and wait. At the appointed time, the Calibre 956 movement will leave no doubt that you’re probably running late. It’s simple, easy to use and, unlikely most chimes, useful.
The Master Control Memovox Timer Limited Edition is a little more interesting. For one, the full silver dial is replaced with two-tone blue with silver at the centre. That’s not all though, as this new watch includes an entirely new Timer complication.
You can set the Memovox as normal, to go off at a certain time; however, using the little red logo hand against the relief numerals at the centre, you can also set it to go off after a particular number of hours have elapsed. On the one hand, you can ping yourself that another Zoom meeting is about to start; on the other that there’s six hours to go for that slow-roasted pork joint.
It too is powered by the Calibre 956, though obviously with a slight addition or two. Old news. What’s new is the open case back that lets you see the chime at work, decorated with a pink gold rotor. With a power reserve of 45 hours, it’s a beauty.
Unfortunately, while the Master Control Memovox is an unlimited member of the collection, the Timer is limited to just 250 pieces. At £13,900, it’s also a surprising amount of haute horology for the money. If you need an alarm to remind you to grab one, you’ve probably missed it already.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Master Control Memovox
Ref: Q4118420 (Memovox); Q410848J (Memovox Timer)
Case/Dial: 40mm diameter x 12.39mm height, stainless steel
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 956, in-house, automatic, 23 jewels
Functions: Hours and minutes, seconds, date, alarm function (Memovox) and timer indication
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 45h
Strap: Blue alligator leather
Price: £13,900 (Memovox Timer) and £10,300 (Master Control Memovox), Memovox Timer is limited to 250 pieces and a boutique exclusive
More details at Jaeger-LeCoultre.