‘Novelty’ is one of the most abused words in the watch industry. Practically, it’s used to describe the steady stream of new models and designs being produced by watchmaking brands. But on top of that, it conveys a sense of newness and — marketing departments fervently hope — excitement. For example, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 2017 novelties were their Master Control trilogy — they excited people, and rightfully so. And while this grey-dialled Master Ultra Thin Moon is a new release, it’s not really a novelty — it didn’t make headlines at SIHH, and doesn’t showcase any innovations in mechanics or material. But despite this (or perhaps because of it), this serious, ghostly grey Master Ultra Thin Moon is an exceptionally beautiful piece of watchmaking, the sort that JLC excels at. If you’re not familiar with the MUT Moon (as it’s sometimes known), here’ s the two-minute rundown. First introduced in 2012, this perfectly sized 39mm white gold dress watch is a case study on just how well Jaeger-LeCoultre does thin watchmaking. At 9.9mm tall it’s slender, but not exceptionally so, partially due to the complicated nature of the movement. On the other hand, it does feel pleasingly solid on the wrist, avoiding that anxiety-inducing… Read More
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Geophysic collection harks back to a time when nuclear tensions were taut between the Eastern and Western Bloc. A time in 1958, at the height of the Cold War, when a period of collaborative worldwide scientific experiments and excursions took place. Dubbed the International Geophysical Year. One of the more notable expeditions of the time, was a pioneering cross under the North Pole, by the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus. On the wrist of USS Nautilus commander – Captain William Anderson – was the high-tech (at the time) purpose-built Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic, designed to cope with the strong magnetic forces of the region. Now one of the most sort after vintage watches on the market. In 2014, JLC released a series of limited edition tributes to the original. Leading to the release of the Geophysic True Second in 2015. As a further tribute to the fathomless depths explored during the Geophysical Year. JLC has released a new limited edition Geophysic True Second. With its tell-tale tick passing on a backdrop of a radiant ocean blue dial. Essentially this new limited edition is identical to the previous versions. It has a 39.6mm stainless-steel case with alternating brushed and polished finishes…. Read More
Believe it or not, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is one of the original sports watches. The oft-quoted origin story about this iconic rectangle is that it was the dusty polo fields of colonial India that gave birth to the reversible watch, which could be easily flipped to protect the delicate dial during the rough and tumble of the chukka. That was way back in 1931, and in the subsequent decades the perceptions of the Reverso have, much like its ingenious case, done a complete about-face. In 2017 the Reverso stands out as one of the default black-tie watches. Nowhere is that more apparent than with this Tribute Duoface, which looks absolutely stunning in pink gold. The case size is reasonable – but by no means overwhelming – at 25.5mm wide by 42.9mm high. The one thing that shines brighter than the gold on this watch is the clever and varied use of texture. Everywhere you look there’s a different finish. The front dial is described by JLC as a slate grey, but I’d be much more inclined to refer to it as a silver, with a rich eggshell texture. Whatever you call it, it looks good. The second dial is just… Read More
I’m no prop master, but I know when I’d reach for a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso to dress a character’s wrist. It would be when they had a scene in a suit. It would be at a point in their character trajectory where they were at peak confidence, when their outward style is tapping into the classic, the iconic, the timeless. And also when the brand of badass they’re seeking to project is more brains than brawn. You suspect this was precisely the thought process of the art directors and prop masters that did just that with these kings of the screen. Pierce Brosnan. Ah, Pierce. He may have bombed as Bond but the man knows how to work black tie. The key is having an accessory in the mix that pops on the monochrome backdrop, and few accessories can compete with a gold dress watch with white face and black leather strap. The additional fact that it’s an unusual shape also catches attention. This is a five-star power play. Bravo, Brosnan. Leo. Damn, Leo! Has the boy put some thought into this outfit or what, pairing not only a dress watch and band to his formal attire, but also dial colour… Read More
It’s fair to say that, for most people, Jaeger-LeCoultre in 2017 has been synonymous with the Master Control series we’ve spoken about at length. On the one hand, these watches deserve their time in the sun; on the other hand, you might have missed the truly stylish Reversos JLC released this year. For me, the star of the swivelling show is this two-faced beauty, the Reverso Tribute Moon in steel. Last year JLC launched a Reverso subcollection – the Tribute Line – that honours the spirit of historic Reverso models, a mission the Tribute Moon well and truly delivers on, with equally beautiful night and day dials. I’m always struck by just how much watch you get with a Reverso. Of course you get one elegant watch with two distinct personalities, but on top of that you get the practically of two time zones and, in this case, the romance of a moonphase (matched with the less-romantic but eminently practical date), all in one of the most distinguished-shaped watches in the business. These pictures speak clearly to the beauty of the watch: the subtlety of the silver dial’s eggshell finish, and the richness of its twin’s clous de Paris texture, the lustre… Read More
It’s been a tough year for the luxury watch industry, and though things seem to be picking up now, the mood at SIHH in January could be described as reserved at best. One of the shining lights in a muted firmament was Jaeger-LeCoultre. Specifically, their newest Master Control release was a trilogy of watches celebrating the line’s 25th anniversary. Offered in date, chronograph and dual time configurations, these three watches shared JLC’s highly regarded movements, simple steel cases and vintage-inspired sector dials that transformed them from conservative classics into conversation starters. However, these watches didn’t just impress because of their style but also because of their refreshingly sensible price points. Other brands would do well to follow JLC’s sterling example. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Australian pricing Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date, $8300 Master Chronograph, $11,700, Master Geographic $13,900.
I’m on the record as saying “I’m not a chronograph guy”, and, by and large, that’s true. However, there are exceptions, and this year’s Master Chronograph from Jaeger-LeCoultre is definitely one of them. Like the rest of the collection, it’s a smart, simple design that’s clearly vintage in inspiration but doesn’t suffer from retro overload. In addition to the good looks, JLC has deilvered the perfectly sized package at 40mm, and the movement is, as you would expect from the brand, top notch. In fact, the only negative point for me is that such a great movement is hidden away behind a solid back. But that’s really the only hole I can pick in what is otherwise an exceptionally pretty picture. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Chronograph Australian Pricing Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Chronograph in steel, $11,700
Twenty-five years ago Jaeger-LeCoultre released the Master Control collection, a line of watches dedicated to the sort of traditional high-quality watchmaking for which the Le Sentier-based house is so well known. The pure style of the Master Control sits well with the credibility afforded by JLC’s ‘1000 Hours Control’ testing program, in which the subject watch undergoes six weeks of extensive testing, covering off everything from accuracy to impact. And while these days this sort of rigorous testing procedure is increasingly par for the course, in 1992 JLC was well ahead of the pack. The potent combination of conservative good looks, horological credibility and a fair price meant that the Master Control collection has a well-earned reputation for offering exceptional quality. This year the offering only got better, as Jaeger-LeCoultre released a trio of anniversary watches with some pretty special vintage-inspired dials. The most simple of the three is the Master Control Date, followed by the more complicated Master Chronograph. Today, though, we’re going to look at the most complex offering of the three, the travel-oriented Master Geographic. Basically the Master Geographic is a dual-time watch with a city indicator. To me, the most remarkable achievement of the watch is how… Read More