For 2020 Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced a redesigned Master Control watch collection consisting of four new models.
The original Master Control line which debuted in 1992 was the first watch collection from Jaeger-LeCoultre to receive the rigorous “1000 Hours Control” certification, which also inspired its name. The long process — that subsequently became a standard for all Jaeger-LeCoultre timepieces — tests the entire cased-up watch not just the movement (as opposed to COSC does for “chronometer” certification), for a period of one thousand hours.
This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s head designer, Lionel Favre, and his team restyled the nearly thirty-year-old collection for what the company calls the “urban sophisticate.”
There are four new Master Control models for 2020, all featuring 40 mm diameter cases that have been reshaped with thin outwardly sloped fixed bezels and more dynamically curved lugs. Satin brushing on the case flanks is complemented by a polished bezel, crown, and lugs. Relief engravings that have polished raised elements set against frosted surfaces offer a new level of detail on the edge of sapphire caseback — which offers a view of the movement’s beautiful vertical Geneva stripes, perlage mainplate, chamfered edges, blued screws, and skeletonized pink gold-plated oscillating weight.
The dial of each model has been redesigned with a streamlined contemporary aesthetic that includes a combination of applied Arabic numerals and dagger-shaped faceted indices, coupled with the Master Control’s signature Dauphine-shaped hour and minute hands. Blued auxiliary hands for most of the subdials, and the center seconds hand, stand in stark contrast to the so-called “tone-on-tone” sunray brushed silvery-white dials and their matching hands and indices (the hands and indices are rose gold-plated on the 18K rose gold models).
All of the movements driving the four new references have been enhanced with new maximum power reserves between 65-70 hours depending on the model. According to Jaeger-LeCoultre the goal in redesigning the movements was to improve reliability, power reserve, and longterm performance. The improvements were made by integrating a silicon escapement, redesigning the mainspring barrel, and other “various energy-saving enhancements” into each of the four calibers.
In addition to the stainless steel cases shown, Jaeger-LeCoultre is offering three of the four new Master Control timepieces in a proprietary 18K gold alloy called Le Grand Rose gold®. The addition of palladium to the metal’s proprietary formula, the exact details of which remain a closely guarded secret, prevents oxidation and ensures that the radiant color will not fade over the years like typical rose gold tends to do.
Complementing the steel cases is a matte finished tan-colored Novonappa® calf leather strap that’s produced in France through a vegetable-based tanning process that retains the natural variations of the hides and that gains a distinctive patina over time. A more classical black or chocolate brown alligator leather strap comes standard Le Grand Rose gold® cases – although they can also be fitted with a Novonappa strap if preferred. A quick-release system is used for all straps as well as a simple clip for removing the deployant buckle.
The Master Control Chronograph Calendar comes in a 40 mm x 12.05 mm case and is powered by caliber 759 with a 65-hour power reserve and has a water-resistance rating of 50 meters. Functions including hours, minutes, small seconds, calendar with date, day and month indications, moon phases, chronograph. (Ref. Q4138420 – stainless steel, Q4132520 – Le Grand Rose gold®) Retail is $14,500 in steel or $26,000 in rose gold.
The Master Control Geographic comes in a 40 mm x 10.96 mm case and is powered by the next-generation caliber 939 which has 70-hours of power reserve and a 50-meter water-resistance rating. Functions include hours/minutes/seconds, date, second time zone, 24-hour display, 24 time zones, power reserve indication. (Ref. Q4128420 – stainless steel, Q4122520 – Le Grand Rose gold®) Retail is $12,200 in steel or $23,700 in rose gold.
The Master Control Calendar comes in a 40 mm x 10.95 mm case and is powered by the next-generation caliber 866 which has a 70-hour power reserve and has a 50-meter water-resistance rating. Functions include hours, minutes, small seconds, day, jumping date, month, moon phases. (Ref. Q4148420 – stainless steel, Q4142520 – Le Grand Rose gold®) Retail is $11,000 in steel and $21,100 is rose gold.
The Master Control Date comes in a 40 mm x 8.78 mm case and is powered by the next-generation caliber 899 and has a 50-meter water-resistance rating. Functions include hours, minutes, seconds, date. (Ref. Q4018420) Retail is $6,700.
The Master Control collection timepieces carry an 8-year warranty in addition to the 1,000 Hours Control certification and are available for sale now.
Learn more at Jaeger-LeCoultre.