In 1992, Jaeger-LeCoultre first debuted its Master Control line, and to celebrate 25 years, JLC is launching three new commemorative editions — the Master Control Date, Master Chronograph and Master Geographic — each repping vintage style and relatively modest price tags, considering most of the high-end absurdity SIHH has yielded so far.
The Master Control Date is not only the entry point into this collection, but also the entry point into mechanical Jaeger-LeCoultre watches. At $5,700, it undercuts the standard Master Control Date by over $1,000 and adds a beautiful silver and white “sector” dial with blue accents and open hands in the process. It’s powered by JLC’s thin, workhorse caliber 889/1 automatic and the stainless steel case couldn’t be more perfectly sized at 39mm in diameter and 8.5mm thick.
For those craving complications with the same vintage looks, the design can be had in chronograph and dual-timezone flavors. The former gets JLC’s caliber 751G, an automatic chronograph with a 65-hour power reserve. Subsequently, the watch gets a slight bump in size to 40mm in diameter and 12.1mm thick and will retail for $8,000. The latter gets caliber 939B/1, which bestows the Master Control with a subdial and indicator that can display a second time zone. The Master Geographic will come in at 39mm in diameter and 11.8mm thick, with a $9,400 pricetag.
For a show that has debuted some of the most expensive and radically-designed watches we’ve ever seen, it’s nice to see Jaeger-LeCoultre bring us back down to earth with something a bit more modest. Especially considering that the overall industry is trending towards smaller, more affordable watches with vintage looks, it’s a solid precursor to what we can expect to see from the rest of the watch industry in 2017.