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Jaeger LeCoultre Master Control Watch Review

Updated on January 5, 2015

Master and Control

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Control watches provide a round answer to the rectangular case of Reverso models. This collection is the ultimate high-end Swiss line of watches, similar in spirit to the classic Vacheron Constantin Patrimony, Blancpain Villeret, and Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars. It can also be considered a direct competitor of Pateke Philippe Complicated and Calatrava items.

The timepieces arrive in radically clean or highly complicated designs, with many in-between variations. Some of the most elaborate pieces include openworked dials, enamel rendering on the face, and a tourbillon regulator.

Complications

Master Control watches include the following complications: the above mentioned tourbillon, a power reserve (eight days), a perpetual calendar, world time, dual time, moon phases, and ultra-thin cases (more a feature of design than a complication).

The majority of the watches contain an automatic movement – a departure from the largely hand-wound Reverso, a collection whose square profile bespeaks its conservative spirit.

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Movement

The classic Master Control is a bared to basics model with a central seconds hand and a single date complication -- a pure dress watch. The white dial glares almost defiantly, saying only two words: Jaeger LeCoultre.

There's an undercurrent of horological pathos in this simple watch, and it seeps into the other models in this collection. In more complicated timepieces this pathos finds outlet in symbolic representations of pride, defiance, and irreverence -- each watch displaying its own unique character.

I think that had Napoleon lived today, he would have been wearing Jaeger LeCoultre, not Breguet.

Design

Jaeger LeCoultre employ various visual elements in the Master Control. The collection does not shun color, often red or brown, offset by blue hands of the multiple subsidiary dials. The dials combine apertures with subdials and pointer complications, arranging them in slightly and deliberately imbalanced configurations that please the eye.

The faces can incorporate black, gray, or white colors that act as a neutral background for the red and blue indices and markers. Face backdrop often constitutes a complex grid that when examined closely reveals the intent of facilitating legibility.

The cases comprise a perfect circle, with a somewhat wide bezel and matching, symmetrical, strong lugs. The bezel's width provides a clear sense of confidence and reliability evident even in the ultra thin models.

When JLC stress their movements' reliability, they leave it up to the customers to receive a similar impression from the design – but do everything in their hands to ensure that the right impressions are made.

Materials

Watches arrive in pink gold, platinum and stainless steel, usually outfitted with brown or black Alligator leather straps.

The relatively limited range of materials serves to remind that this is a traditionalist collection. It doesn't avoid latest technology, but neither does it purport to flaunt it. Gradual assimilation, dispersed across the different models, becomes the way of the Master Control.

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