Celebrating its 30th anniversary.
First conceived in 1992, Master Control is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s finest in terms of accuracy and reliability, with every watch undergoing 1,000 hours of in-house quality control testing. While the rigorous test was fairly new at the time, it has become the standard for all Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC) watches.
But the main control line is always there. Facelifted in 2020, the Master Control watches have grown modestly in size to suit contemporary countries, but they retain the restrained design of the original collection. Most models feature a matte silver dial, but on the 30th anniversary of the collection, JLC is introducing the Master Control Date and Master Control Calendar with a three-tone blue dial.
My first impression of the watch is positive. Blue is a modern color that pushes the aesthetic towards a more casual style, rather than the retro-formal look of the standard silver dial model.
It’s worth noting that the limited-edition pair isn’t just a color change. Thoughtful design is evident in the details, especially the three-tone finish of the dial. While blue is found almost everywhere in watchmaking, tri-tone blue is unusual and attractive. The calendar window shows a blue disc that matches the dial.
Both fashion replica watches are otherwise identical to the regular versions, which is a great start. Equipped with the brand’s latest-generation movement, the pair has a power reserve of up to 70 hours and a simple and attractive back decoration.
Arguably, the only feature that goes against these two new watches is their price. Both are 10-20% more expensive than the standard version with the silver dial. While the price for the standard model is reasonable given JLC’s status, the premium for the blue dial feels too high, since they’re making enough of them — 800 each — that the blue dial probably won’t cost as much as the standard Silver dials are way too expensive.
Like all JLC watches, Master Control relies entirely on in-house movements, which is no surprise, as the brand has historically been more of a supplier of movements to top brands like Patek Philippe and IWC than of its own Watches are manufactured under the name. The know-how behind the brand’s various stable movements, most of which are the thinnest of their kind. For example, the Master Control Date is one of the thinnest automatic transmissions in its price range with a case thickness of less than 9mm.
Of the duo, the Date is more appealing with its clean styling, which pairs well with the slim case. There’s no shortage of watches with blue dials, but few find the effortless elegance here – the blue dial features quarters of Arabic numerals for an effortlessly sharp feel.
The 10.95mm thick calendar might be less elegant, but it’s certainly more interesting.
The date hand makes a novel 90-degree jump every month from “15” to “16”, so the date hand never stops at the small seconds or moon phase, a feature not available on previous models.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control
Ref. Q4018480 (date)
refer to. Q4148480 (Calendar)
Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 8.78mm (date); 10.95mm (calendar)
Water resistance: 50 m
Movement: Carl. 899 AC (date); Carl. 866 AA (calendar)
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds and date; calendar with additional date, month and moon phase
Frequency: 28,800 beats/hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours
Strap: Calfskin with folding clasp