30 years ago, Jaeger-LeCoultre launched the Master Control: a handsome, classically-styled watch that set a new standard for horological excellence. Its launch marked the beginning of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 1000 Hours Control certification, which is regarded as one of the most gruelling quality control regimes in watchmaking.
These days, JLC puts all its watches through the 1000 Hours Control certification process – but the Master Control remains a beacon of quality and restrained elegance in a watch industry that increasingly cuts corners and celebrates brashness over build quality.
We reckon it’s JLC’s most underrated watch, and one of the best value-for-money luxury watch propositions on the market. But JLC’s latest update to the Master Control might just bring the Master Control out from under the radar and into the spotlight, where it deserves to be.
Meet the new Master Control Date and the Master Control Calendar in blue – a subtle change to the landmark watch that makes all the difference.
Let’s break it down. The new blue dials feature a sunray finish, complemented by minute scales in a subtly contrasting lighter blue to aid legibility. The date window of the Master Control Date is also in blue, while the Master Control Calendar features white-on-blue day and month indications, a blue date ring, plus a blue moonphase disc framed within a small seconds subdial.
Both the Master Control Date and the Master Control Calendar come with matching blue straps in calf leather, which features JLC’s easy-to-use quick-change mechanism. If you haven’t got the picture by now, there’s a lot of blue.
Not much has changed under the hood, which is by no means a bad thing: both the Master Control Date and Calendar are 40mm in diameter and boast in-house JLC automatic movements with 70-hour power reserves and open casebacks.
We’re particularly enamoured by the Master Control Calendar. It’s always been a truly impressive watch but the blue colour scheme makes it feel even more luxurious. It just screams haute horlogerie.
You might ask, why are we going so nutty over this colour change? Well, It’s hard to understate just how much this new blue dial elevates the Master Control.
JLC has always been called “the watchmaker’s watchmaker” and in many ways, the Master Control is the watch fan’s watch. It’s understated, mature and of course, impeccably built in a way that outshines even the most fastidious Swiss watch brands.
This dapper blue look softens the somewhat austere vibe of the Master Control; makes it more casual; more approachable. It’s also clear that JLC is aiming for a unisex audience with this watch – a clever move that we think will work.
Both variants are limited editions of 800 pieces each. Find out more at Jaeger-LeCoultre’s online boutique here.