Jaeger-LeCoultre did everything right at 2017 SIHH. Their collection surprised and delighted in equal measure with a little something for everyone, from high-end tourbillons to fresh takes on the feminine Rendez-Vous, and sexy new variants of old favourites (we’re looking at you, black and pink gold Master Compressor). But it was the trio of watches comprising the refreshed Master range that really stole the show. That’s not just thanks to their undeniably handsome looks, but also their smart pricing, and the fact JLC seems willing to listen to what consumers want, and offer an on-trend addition to their typically timeless fare.
In my opinion, one of the best is the revivified Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control collection. For the past 25 years, these clean, round watches have been the starting point for many who’ve wanted to get into the brand, but (for whatever reason) haven’t heeded the call of the Reverso. These new Master Controls are pitch perfect heritage-ish watches that do everything right. The collection includes a dual time and a chronograph that we’ll show you down the track, but for now we’d like to focus on the Master Control Date.
Having been launched in 2007, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre is roughly as new a concept as the iPhone. Over the past decade, JLC has developed the Duomètre into a successful platform for showcasing their creativity and mechanical prowess within the confines of a generally traditional, classically minded, and complicated wristwatch. As the next step in their evolution, JLC has made the small but very noticeable change of fitting a dark grey magnetite dial. Available on three classic Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre models in pink gold, the dark dial is a small change with a considerable effect.
As far as origin stories go, the Reverso has one of the best. Back in the 1930s, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most famous model was conceived to withstand the rigours of polo, thanks to its ingenious flip-over case design. When the mallets started swinging and balls went flying, the watch could safely bury its face until the action was over, using its caseback as protection.
Jaeger-LeCoultre commemorates the 60th anniversary of their first automatic Memovox with the new Master Memovox Boutique Edition.
The charm of the Memovox will always be that, while its face is of a seemingly discreet classical timepiece, its movement hides a complication that is of great utility.
When it was first given to the world, the Memovox was Jaeger-LeCoultre’s answer to an increasing demand for mechanical alarm watches. This was the year 1950 — in the post-war era. Just five short years after the end of World War II, these were times of renewed ambition. People held important jobs and professions now that required for them to remain aware of their schedules in order to stay productive and lucrative.
Therein a wristwatch that was able to help remind the wearer of elapsed time by buzzing out the end of, say a stipulated amount of time, would prove immensely useful in making sure that one was not spending more time that allotted on a particular task.
I am unware as to whether this was the intended intention — but it is well known that as a result of how the mechanism of the Memovox alarm was designed — the sound that it produced when sounding an alarm was more a buzz than a gong that is typical of yet another well sought after complication, which is the minute repeater.