Watches & Wonders 2020: Jaeger-LeCoultre’s New Master Control Collection
A new design, new complications, new straps, and a brand-new gold alloy redefine La Grande Maison’s Master Control collection.
The relaunch of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Control collection takes design cues from the past to forge a new reality.
Master Control Modernized Design Codes
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s collections are always in constant evolution as La Grande Maison loves nothing more than to mix tradition with its latest technical innovations. The Master Control collection is no exception with a brand-new design this year, both inside and out, that sees the restyling of almost every single element.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s designers took inspiration from the maison’s round watches from the 1950s, such as the Futurmatic, the Powermatic, and the Memovox, and given them a unique, contemporary twist. The first models to be presented are an automatic Master Control Date and a Master Control Calendar with a triple display calendar and a moon phase.
Le Grand Rose Gold
In addition to the modernization of the Master Control’s design codes, Jaeger-LeCoultre is also unveiling an innovation in the collection with the presentation of a new alloy of pink gold called Le Grand Rose gold.
This proprietary gold has an outstanding sheen and depth of color thanks to the addition of palladium, which also helps guard against oxidation and ensures that the gold will keep its radiance over time. The Master Control collection will also be available in a steel version as in the past.
New Novonappa calfskin straps
Another of the new stylistic touches to the collection is a strap in Novonappa – a soft calfskin leather that comes in a natural tan-color with a matte finish.
Available on the Master Control’s steel models, Novonappa is produced by one of the finest tanneries in France and is colored using a vegetable-based tanning process that helps retain the natural variations of the hide. The strap is also admired for the distinctive patina it develops over time.
The Master Control is also fitted with the brand’s Presto Spring lug attachment that allows a quick change of strap without the need for any tools.
Updated Master Control Movements
Major updates have also been made on the movement side. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Caliber 899, the high-performing pillar of the Master Control collection, has been revised and re-engineered to include an increased power reserve of 70 hours. Additionally, it has better performance and reliability thanks to a whole host of improvements. These include a new silicon escapement, a redesigned barrel, a newly designed central-seconds wheel that eliminates shaking, and new titanium fixing screws (instead of steel) for the oscillating wheel, providing numerous energy-saving enhancements.
Master Control Date
The 2020 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date showcases all these improvements in a 40mm stainless steel case that is just 8.78mm thick.
The timepiece comes fitted with a silvery-white dial featuring a sunray finish and applied indices. It is powered by the new generation automatic Caliber 899, mentioned above, is water-resistant to 50 meters, and is fitted with the Novonappa calfskin strap.
Master Control Calendar
The 2020 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar was inspired by the triple calendars of the 1940s and 1950s, bringing this fascinating complication into the 21st century. It comes in a 40mm x 10.95mm case with the choice of stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold.
With the date marked around the periphery and indicated by a red-tipped hand, the dial layout is very similar to the historic models. The days and months are displayed in the upper part of the dial, while the moon phase and small seconds are positioned in the lower half.
There is something surprisingly new, however: a new jumping date complication, which leaps from the 15th to the 16th to avoid obscuring the moon phase.
The Master Control Calendar is powered by the new generation Caliber 866, featuring all the same technical updates and enhancements as the Caliber 899, as well as an increased 70-hour power reserve. The timepiece is available on a Novonappa strap for the steel version and an alligator strap for the Le Grand Rose gold model.
Jaeger-LeCoultre pays homage to some of its most emblematic complications with these two new Master Control references, and we can’t wait to see what else the brand has to unveil on the new Watches & Wonders platform.
(Images provided by Jaeger-LeCoultre)