Jaeger-LeCoultre is not what I would generally consider a young man’s brand. That’s not a criticism mind you, more of a personal feeling based on anecdotal observations. That said, this year the brand is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Master Control collection with three decidedly hip-looking pieces, all featuring vintage-inspired sector dials. Presenting the Master Control Date, Master Control Chronograph, and Master Control Geographic.
None of the three are new models, per se, but rather, are reimagined, vintage-esque editions of existing pieces in the collection. What makes them stand out, of course, are the distinctive sector dials, a design which first became popular back in the 1930’s and 40’s.
For those of the uninitiated, sector dials generally feature two concentric circles, the inner for the hours and the outer for the minutes. The hour sector divides the space between these circles into 12 sections or sectors, whilst the minute sector has 60 sections, often with more prominent markings on the hours. In this instance, Jaeger-LeCoultre has chosen to use a lovely blue color for the markings on the hours, which contrasts exceptionally nicely with the silvery base color of the dial.
Master Control Date
The Master Control Date is the most understated watch of the three and is a time-only piece with date window at 3 o’clock (with the date shown in blue). Although it’s the simplest of the three, it also feels the most true to the vintage models from the 1940’s that inspired it. Presented in a 39mm stainless steel case measuring just 8.5mm thick, it wears great on the wrist and is suited to just about any occasion. Inside is the automatic, JLC caliber 899/1, offering a 38-hour power reserve. It is comprised of 219 components including a solid gold winding rotor, which is visible through the sapphire caseback.
Master Control Chronograph
The Master Control Chronograph is probably my personal favorite of the three, as the dial has a bit more personality thanks to the inclusion of the chronograph indications. Jaeger-LeCoultre has really used the blue highlights to great effect here, creating a watch that is not only legible but also quite eye-catching. Presented in a slightly larger 40mm x 12.1mm, stainless steel case, it has a bit more of a presence on the wrist, although this is not a chunky watch by any stretch. Doing the heavy lifting is the caliber 751G, an automatic chronograph which offers a 65-hour power reserve and is capable of counting up to 12 hours. Disappointingly though, unlike the other two models, the Master Control Chronograph does not feature a sapphire caseback.
Master Control Geographic
Lastly, we come to the Master Control Geographic, which, if I’m being honest, is probably my least preferred model of the three. From a functionality point of view I think it’s probably the most practical, with a second time-zone displayed in the sub-dial just above six o’clock. Beneath that is a city disk, revealed via a cut-out in the dial, which enables you to easily adjust the second timezone to your location, which I admit is pretty cool. Aesthetically though, it’s just not working for me. The balance of the dial is off and this modern style, second-time indicator seems out of place on the vintage-inspired dial. Conceptually a great idea but the execution just seems to be lacking for me. Presented in a 39mm x 11.8mm steel case, it’s powered by the caliber 939B/1.
A solid offering from Jaeger-LeCoultre, all three Master Control models will only be in production for the next year. So whilst they’re not technically limited editions, they aren’t going to be too many of them floating around, which is perfect for enthusiasts like you and I.
For more information please visit www.jaeger-lecoultre.com