If you haven’t come across it before you’ll be forgiven for thinking the Master Control is an archival Jaeger LeCoultre design. Its triangular indices, traditional case shape and overall, less-is-more approach to design, is more akin to the design codes of the early 20th century than the garish 90’s.
Introduced in 1992, the Master Control has been a stalwart of the Le Sentier brands arsenal and been used as a base for multiple complications and functions since. The name derives from JLC’s own 1000 hours certification, which is one of the most rigorous tests within the industry for precision and execution, therefore making the collection somewhat a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
For 2020, JLC have introduced four modernised iterations to this collection, sticking with the classic design while employing minute contemporary upgrades. Aesthetically the main upgrades come in the form of a slightly thinner bezel, so although the watches retain their 40mm case size, more dial space is visible resulting in a more refined look.
There is also a new tanned Novonappa calf leather strap which contrasts the sunray silver dial and brushed and polished steel case nicely. All four of the models will also be available in a rose gold variant which we are yet to see images of.
Mechanically, most of the collection keeps JLC’s 899 calibre but improves it by inserting a silicone hairspring, upgrading the barrel and tweaking other efficient energy saving technologies to give the watch a power reserve of 70 hours.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date
The three handed iteration of this watch is the most wearable at 9mm thin and we’re guessing it will sit on the wrist nicely when paired with the new leather strap. Featuring the date window at 6 o’clock and luminous dots above the triangular indices, it is refined without being boring; and with the generous power reserve upgrade it’s a tempting proposition. Like all the collection the Master Control Date will be available in either a steel or Le Grand Rose gold case.
Case: 40mm diameter x 8.78mm thickness, stainless steel | Water resistance: 50m ( bar) | Ref: Q4018420 | Movement: Calibre 899, in-house, automatic, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Power reserve: 70h | Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date | Strap: Novonappa calf leather | Price/availability: TBC
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar
The dial gets a little busier with the Calendar model as expected, but the display is certainly balanced. The month and day windows occupy the top half of the dial while the beautifully executed moonphase sits centrally on the lower half. The date display covers the outer edges of the dial and to ensure the moonphase isn’t obscured at any point, a jumping date hand complication has been added.
Case: 40mm diameter x 8.78mm thickness, stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold | Water resistance: 50m ( bar) | Ref: Q4148420 (steel) and Q4142520 (gold) | Movement: Calibre 866, in-house, automatic, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Power reserve: 70h | Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, triple calendar, moon phases | Strap: Novonappa calf leather | Price/availability: TBC
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Geographic
One of JLC’s most iconic complications is their elegant solution to a world time watch – the Geographic. The second timezone subdial sits at 6 o’clock with the desired city just below it. Simply use the crown at 10 o’clock to set and you’re away. You also have neat night-day and power reserve indicators on the left half of the dial, letting you know not to call at silly hours. Overall, the asymmetric styling is true to the DNA of other JLC’s and although the size is a little more rotund at 11mm thick, it’s very svelte for a travel watch.
Case: 40mm diameter x 10.96mm thickness, stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold | Water resistance: 50m ( bar) | Ref: Q4128420 (steel) and Q4122520 (gold) | Movement: Calibre 939, in-house, automatic, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Power reserve: 70h | Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, power reserve, second time-zone, night-day indicator, city indication | Strap: Novonappa calf leather | Price/availability: TBC
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar
Packaging in a chronograph and annual calendar, the last of the foursome is the thickest of the bunch at 12mm. The movement inside is JLC’s 759 calibre which features a column wheel chronograph & clutch mechanism and will wind up to a 65 hour power reserve. The dial is incredibly well-balanced featuring sunken subdials and an external pulsation scale to use in tandem with the chronograph. The pushers are also relatively unobtrusive and although we don’t have pictures of it, we’re longing to see this piece in rose gold with its open sapphire caseback.
Case: 40mm diameter x 12.05mm thickness, stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold | Water resistance: 50m ( bar) | Ref: Q4138420 (steel) and Q4132520 (gold) | Movement: Calibre 759, in-house, automatic, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Power reserve: 65h | Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, triple calendar with moon, chronograph with pulsometer | Strap: Novonappa calf leather | Price/availability: $14,500 (steel) and $26,000 (Le Grand Rose gold)
More details at Jaeger LeCoultre’s website.