Jaeger-Lecoultre Watches & Wonders 2020: A new Master Control Collection.

Apr 24, 2020,12:32 PM
 



The unveiling of a collection, in such conditions, is not an easy exercise. What to do? How the message will be welcomed when most of the people is living such an extraordinary moment, lockdown, fearing for their health and seeing Economy going down in a fatal way? People may have other priorities than watches, indeed...

Jaeger-Lecoultre opted for a partial unveiling of the novelties. More will come all along the year, for sure. But for the moment, the Manufacture opted for highlighting 5 new models, or more precisely, one iteration, the Reverso One which comes with a different dial, and 4 novelties, the Master Control Date, the Master Control Calendar, the Master Control Geographic, and the Master Control Chronograph Calendar. 

When you read these names, you will tell me that these are not new models, at the exception of the Master Control Chronograph Calendar... The names don't change, indeed, we all know them very well, as they are classics in the catalog for decades, some of them, even, are modern interpretations of watches from the Forties, Fifties or Sixties, such as the Triple Calendar or the Geomatic. 

The Ref 2721: 


The Geomatic: 


You can be deceived by these names, indeed. But they are true novelties. Why? Because they all have some common points, a new case, a new rose gold alloy,  a new movement and some important technical improvements, a new dial ( for the Chronograph Calendar ) or redesigned ( for others ). And these are in depth changes, as we will see. 

1/ THE MASTER CONTROL DATE. 


Among the new Master Control watches unveiled here, this one certainly is the most understated, discrete, sober and intellectual one. 

The dial doesn't show major changes. The hands are enjoying a different shape, the applied 6 / 9 / 12 seem a bit more centered, and that's all I see from the official pictures.








The case has been totally redesigned, and that is a major improvement. The new case gains in class and elegance, while the former started to be a bit outdated. 

Look at this profile, now... Isn't that convincing? 


The lugs are generously bevelled, which is another good point. And the bezel seems to be slimmer, too. A very good point, in my opinion. 

The case size is 40 mm big, and 8, 78 mm high. 

The other good thing is the movement. It still is the Cal 899, but deeply reworked, it receives a new silicon escapement and pallet, a redesigned barrel, and new oils have been used, among a few other things. 




All that for what? For a substantially bigger power reserve, which is 70 hours, now. You certainly remember that Jaeger Lecoultre increased the power reserve of the 2019 Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar Guilloché blue enamel to 70 hours. It seems that the Manufacture is spreading that longer power reserve to other movements and watches!

2/ THE MASTER CONTROL CALENDAR: 


Of course, this new version receives the new case, with the same dimension than the Master Control Date, but 2 mm thicker ( 10, 95 mm ), which is immediately noticeable on the picture:


So, I will rather focus on the new dial and the subtle changes, here. 

First of all, the applied indices and hour markers are more centered. Then, the day and month windows seem ( I say seem because I have to see that in the real life ) closer to each other than on the former model. 



The date pointer has changed. It is still red, but it is not crescent moon shaped anymore. The Manufacture opted for their logo. Nice move. 


The second hand is blue now, to give more life to the dial. 


Another detail, the moon phase has been reworked, and the thinner seconds ring, surrounding it, doesn't have the 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 indication anymore. I regret the mention " automatique " written on the moon phase sub dial. It was not necessary, and ruins the purity of this dial, a bit, in my opinion. 


Now, the big change is the date ring... The date jumps from the 15th to the 16th, in order to come over the moon phase. A system which was first used in the Master Tourbillon in 2005. 

As for the movement, the automatic Cal 866 sees its power reserve increased to 70 hours, as well, with the same technical improvements we detailed for the Cal 899.




This Master Control Calendar is available in steel, of course but also in rose gold, and here I have to add that the Manufacture chose a new alloy, with the addition of Palladium, to offer more depth and to avoid oxydation. This new allow is called " Le Grand Rose gold ".








One detail I like a lot, on the rose gold version: The red Day and Month. I wish Jaeger Lecoultre did the same for the steel version! 

3/ THE MASTER CONTROL GEOGRAPHIQUE:


The Master Géographique is a classic for 20 years, now. It had different cases and dials, since its unveiling. 

The new Master Control Géographique receives a new case, which is very close in dimensions to the Master Control Calendar, just 0, 01 mm higher ( 10, 96 mm ). 



Those who know the Master Géographique well won't be disoriented with the new dial, as the overall design is the same, but with some details which are the following: 


- New Dauphine minute and hour hands. 

- The 12 / 24 hours of the night and day indicator is in blue.


- The triangle pointing to the selected city is slimmer. 


- The cities window is shaped differently.


- The graduation of the power reserve is different, with a Red Zero, and with a more sober " power " instead of " reserve de marche ".


- My favorite detail: Applied 3 / 9 / 12, instead of just the 12, previously.

- The minute ring is totally different, as we now have a convex flange with applied hour markers which hug it! 

- A Red 31 in the subdial dedicated to the date.

- The crosshairs of the subdial dedicated to the second time zone is removed. 

And now we have a sunray decorated dial. 

The automatic movement is the Cal 939 with the new 70 hours power reserve due to the technical improvements already discussed. 




It is also available in Le Grand Rose gold. 





4/ MASTER CONTROL CHRONOGRAPH CALENDAR:


With the Master Control Chronograph Calendar, we have a true new watch. A first for the Manufacture, the combination of a complete calendar with a moon phase AND a chronograph in a wrist watch, and I am not sure Lecoultre and Jaeger Lecoultre did it in a pocket watch. 

A new watch, and a milestone in terms of elegant and classicism, as you will soon see through the official pictures I received. 

Of course, this Chronograph Calendar receives the new Master case which is, like the three others, 40 mm big, but thicker, with a 12, 05 mm height. 


The Chronograph Calendar shares the same elements of decoration for its dial: Sunburst dial, circular decoration for the subdials, heated blue hands for the small seconds and 30 minute chronograph counter, a new moon phase, applied slim triangular indices and 12, Dauphine hands.











This dial is a milestone in terms of elegance and symmetry. Another nod to the past, the pulsometric scale, which allows this watch to be called a " Doctor's watch ". 


The chronograph movement is well known, as it belongs to the Cal 75x family, but here, with the triple date and moon phase modules. Automatic, of course, as any Cal 75x, this Cal 759 offers a power reserve of 65 hours. It doesn't receive the technical improvements seen in the three other watches discussed above. 



Most probably an instant Classic, available in Le Grand rose gold, too. 








I can't wait to see this Chronograph Calendar with a black dial! 

5/ A new Reverso One: THE REVERSO ONE RED WINE: 


A sublime Ladies's watch, this Reverso One Red Wine, but... 

Sublime, because of the dial, which is really terrific with this red lacquer over the sunburst guilloché. 

I am fine with diamonds, too. Ok. 

The case as superb proportions. We are closer to the Reverso One Duetto than to the Cordonnet, with a 40 x 20 x 7, 9 mm case. 

If there is a BUT, it is because of the movement, which is... Quarts, like in the Reverso One Cordonnet, the Cal 657. Ladies could have the choice between a Quartz and a manual winding movement. I regret that they have to deal with a Quartz only. 

Here are the pictures.








CONCLUSION:

As I told you, this presentation is just a first wave of unveilings, not the total collection for this year. I am sure we'll see other novelties in different categories, from the affordable to the exclusive, such as the new Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication, but that will deserve a different article.

What I like, with these 4 novelties, is  that Jaeger Lecoultre reworked the Master Control Line,  with this new case, which is much more elegant than the former one which needed to be refreshed, and these very interesting technical improvements on the movements. 

It is a serious step, very consistent with Jaeger Lecoultre's philosophy. 

For the rest, I am like you, waiting for some wow factor. Which may well happen in the last 8 months of this terrible year. 

Looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts,

Best.

Nicolas








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Comments: view entire thread

 

this pure or minimalist dials are really well done...

 
 By: mahesh : April 24th, 2020-12:40
i like the Master Control Calendar Chrono - with the splash of blue hands...very well played. also the MC Date - very very good daily beater i would say. in all cases...the only think that irks me is the 'automatique' Thanks for sharing Nico ! Best, mahes... 

Thanks, my friend. [nt]

 
 By: amanico : April 24th, 2020-13:04

Nicolas, thanks for the very detailed report.

 
 By: Reuven Malter : April 24th, 2020-12:41
I am really in love with these updates. JLC could not have done much better - bravo! I am particularly in love with the Chrono Calendar, a fantastic yet affordable piece. They have not done any shortcuts here, by improving almost every detail. This is qui... 

No alligator strap. One reason could be a change of culture

 
 By: Reuven Malter : April 24th, 2020-13:17
We see in Carlifornia with a general ban. Just A few years ago, this piece would have gotten a gator strap for sure.

Yep, very much in line with a modern

 
 By: Reuven Malter : April 24th, 2020-13:33
More casual style.

What I feel. [nt]

 
 By: amanico : April 24th, 2020-13:34

The calendar chrono is the star of this show IMO

 
 By: descartes1 : April 24th, 2020-12:49
A very compelling watch. I just wish the profiles of all of these would be slimmer, a complaint that I also had with the predecessor calendar and geographic pieces.

it looks great

 
 By: Tyo : April 24th, 2020-13:08
I think I really really like the Master Control Chronograph Calendar. I need to see it in metal

Excellent report.

 
 By: M4 : April 24th, 2020-13:10
JLC has done a fine job updating the Master Control lineup. The 3-hand/date and chronograph calendar models are my favorites. Thank you for the thorough review. M4

Nicely (re)designed, nothing surprising, nothing shocking, a pretty good job

 
 By: foversta : April 24th, 2020-13:14
The question is to know if we are not expecting a bit more. Anyway, this is the perfect type of watch for a special W&W and a special period... I mean a transition period Thanks Fx

Love all the dail layouts ! Which is rare for my likings for this brand.

 
 By: M@ster : April 24th, 2020-13:25
Only 2 small points of critic / - Off center crown but less visible (on the MC Date and the MC Chrono) - And previous mentioned Automatic script on the dial (but no deal breaker) Love especially the Chronograph Calandar and the MC Calandar. Well done Jaeg... 

Wow!

 
 By: 997c4gts : April 24th, 2020-13:32
Great review Nico! That Chrono Calendar and the Calendar both in RG really pop with the red day/month. Love the order where you leave the best till last!

Any chance we have some sport pieces?

 
 By: Tyo : April 24th, 2020-13:38
I’d love a new designed sport line, with Chronograph, gmt or time only

Ok I will try and be thorough with my thoughts...

 
 By: holdemchamp1225 : April 24th, 2020-14:30
First, I do understand that there were improvements made aesthetically and technically. I commend JLC for at least doing that. From these new releases for men in the Master line I prefer the new Master Chronograph Calendar as it combines the most practica... 

Yes of course those 2 or 3 but I understand if they did not. I just would like to see something more innovative as that would show the direction the brand wants to take 🤷‍♂️

 
 By: holdemchamp1225 : April 24th, 2020-15:12
This year has been crazy so far with COVID-19. I was hoping to see something which could turn it around a bit 😁😉

Agreed. [nt]

 
 By: amanico : April 24th, 2020-23:44

No Duometre!?

 
 By: cory : April 24th, 2020-19:01
Ha ha... the wait continues friend.

Really...

 
 By: cory : April 24th, 2020-20:36
This time round or later in the year?

Yeah I did... it’s really special!

 
 By: cory : April 25th, 2020-00:14
I just want to see some new Duometres. Don’t we all. We have waited long enough.

Very nice, and thank you for the report.

 
 By: vitalsigns : April 24th, 2020-15:35
Nothing to really raise the passions here, but a solid effort by JLC. A refresh of a core product line such as the basic Master series of watches is always welcome, if done right. And JLC mostly seems to have gotten it right. It is disappointing that JLC ... 

Hi, John, thanks for your very interesting observations. As for the improvements on the Cal 759, maybe JLC didn't feel the urge to do so because of the 65 hours of power reserve?

 
 By: amanico : April 25th, 2020-00:19
Which are too close to the 70 hours of the new movements? As for your design suggestion, I cannot agree more. 12 + JL + Jaeger Lecoultre, there is one line which is too much. I agree with your suggestion! And as for the Reverso, I am in total agreement. T... 

Agreed, John. [nt]

 
 By: amanico : April 25th, 2020-23:08

not the WT, but the UT.

 
 By: Tyo : April 25th, 2020-05:32
another one I'd love to see improve is the MASTER ULTRA THIN PERPETUAL, I don't appreciate the moonphase. The new one is more beautiful.

More than once I almost pulled the trigger

 
 By: Tyo : April 25th, 2020-10:34
But I’m 100% satisfied by the dial ...  

Why? [nt]

 
 By: amanico : April 25th, 2020-10:44

I meant “ I’m not “

 
 By: Tyo : April 25th, 2020-10:50
I’m not pleased with the hands, the font used and the moonphase. We are very closed to my perfect QP from JLC.

Ah ok, I see. [nt]

 
 By: amanico : April 25th, 2020-23:09

I just noticed the Master Control watches come with quick change straps.

 
 By: M4 : April 24th, 2020-16:36
In my opinion, this is long overdue and a big plus for those of us who like tinkering with straps (which is all of us, right?) Kudos to JLC for this customer-friendly touch. M4

Thank you very much for this beautiful and extensive write up.

 
 By: MJ1987 : April 24th, 2020-17:10
I for one know that I NEED the MC Calendar. Love everything about it and it solved my issue with the older version where we had four lume plots with no lumed hands lol. Any idea if the dates jump between the regular days and what’s the accuracy of the Moo... 

Does the date change instantaneously or does it drag? Same question with the day and month.

 
 By: MJ1987 : April 25th, 2020-06:16
The MUT Moonphase guilloche had an updated movement with a new Moonphase that’s accurate to one day every 122 years. I was wondering if this one got the same moon accuracy update.

Beautiful, but no single heart beat of excitement

 
 By: Gelato Monster : April 24th, 2020-22:19
Well maybe the red reverso for a wife as a Condition Precedent before the my purchase after exciting launches form everyone come out

Let's wait and see Counselor

 
 By: Gelato Monster : April 25th, 2020-03:44
😀

;) [nt]

 
 By: amanico : April 25th, 2020-04:26

The Master Control Chronograph Calendar

 
 By: MTR : April 25th, 2020-00:59
is a real beauty. Especially in this gold alloy. I have no problem with the “automatique”. Yes, this information on the dial is not necessary and redundant, but it fills the space on the subdial in a perfect way which looks much better for me than it woul... 

A good effort from JLC.

 
 By: jlux : April 25th, 2020-05:57
Especially the Master Control Chronograph is really nice.

An important update to an important line...

 
 By: jmpTT : April 25th, 2020-06:28
The aesthetics of this outstanding line were never exactly my cup of tea, but I have a lot of respect for this collection and some of its past standouts, like the Master Ultra Thin. The incremental improvements made by JLC will hopefully to bring a new ge... 

Very nicely done JLC !!! Thanks Nicolas for posting.

 
 By: dms : April 25th, 2020-09:07
Am I the only one disturbed with the position of the crown in the profile photos?

The calendar chronograph is amazing but...

 
 By: aWtchslvr : April 25th, 2020-09:31
...there are two minor things I dislike. The seconds hand should be silver (I suppose they did it blue for symmetry) and either For 30 pulsations in french or automayique in english. Anyway I can not stop looking at it😃😃

Thank you, amanico!

 
 By: Bounce781 : April 25th, 2020-16:34
I am liking this direction a lot! The triple calendar is a winner for me. I love the date indicator jump “15-16@ - very cool! Can’t wait to see them in the metal! Thank you for the comprehensive review!

JLC read my mind! Working from home day after day I was thinking I needed a calendar watch 😁

 
 By: Fastwong : April 25th, 2020-20:54
I always thought the day of week complication was more suited for retirees or those living a life of leisure but after a couple weeks of pandemic lockdown I am absolutely starting to lose track of the days 🙄 Thanks for posting the detailed pics! The updat... 

Thank you for the great write-up

 
 By: benlee338 : April 25th, 2020-21:04
I am particularly drawn to the Master Calendar Chronograph. Is it the first time JLC put this up this combo-complication ?

Always incredible insight to history and new releases Nico!

 
 By: darrony : April 25th, 2020-21:46
I like the date ring marker and the idea of the jump across the 15 and 16th. Of course the Chrono calendar looks incredible as well. Well done JLC! Interesting they used the blue hand for the running seconds as well as the 30 minute timer. Both pieces are... 

I like the improvements to the Master Control collection

 
 By: rnaden : April 25th, 2020-22:23
For one, the case was due for a refresh a long time ago and I’m glad they did it this time and with a longer power reserve even if that wasn’t a problem for me. The calendar is my favourite and the JLC logo as the date pointer is a very nice touch. I can ... 

I am waiting

 
 By: riversidebird / henry : April 25th, 2020-23:37
for a new 36 to 37mm Master Ultra Thin (40mm is too disproportionate for an MUT) steel version, and a 39mm Memovox (hopefully in burgundy colour).

Very nice, if only the chronograph...

 
 By: Anatol : April 28th, 2020-01:44
...had a 12hour chrono scale instead of the running second! I really do not understand this functionally inferior configuration! Especially since the last Master Chronograph had a 12h stopping scale! So the chrono will not be on my list but the full calen... 

I look forward to the New Chrono

 
 By: Mostel : April 28th, 2020-17:03
I ask for either NO DATE OR (I would prefer this) Use the dial at 6 to contain BOTH a circular calendar like the Chrono tri-cal... AND An HR counter.... within... Ohhhhh... that would be SOOO hard to resist, no??? Would this not be the most perfect JLC CH... 

Is there a black dial for the Master Control Chronograph Calendar?

 
 By: gup502 : April 29th, 2020-08:15
My personal preference is a black dial will make it exceptionally attractive. The reverso red wine for the ladies seems too little too late.

Very nice presentation and review...

 
 By: nacelle : May 1st, 2020-22:17
...lots to digest!

Partially, yes. [nt]

 
 By: amanico : May 18th, 2020-10:51

Hi

 
 By: iulianbutum : May 18th, 2020-13:37
Hi to all ,my name is Julius, I’m new here and must say I love this wonderful forum.I was watching the beautiful pictures of the new JLC watches and I couldn’t not notice on Master Control Chronograph Calendar that lume plot at 9 o’clock is well off cente... 

Hi Julius, welcome here, first. As for your question, I checked the pictures once again, and yes the lume plots are slightly off centered with the triangular markers at 9 and at 3 o clock.

 
 By: amanico : May 18th, 2020-13:43
This is something I will see in the details when I am able to see the definitive watches, in the real life, and not only these official pictures. Best and congrats on your MC Diving Chrono! Nicolas

Hi Nicolas

 
 By: iulianbutum : May 18th, 2020-14:31
Thank you for your prompt response,I think that even when you’ll see the watches in real I doubt you’ll see the same watch that appears in the pictures ,so what I’m saying is that in any case something like this should not appear in JLC official reliese p...