A moon phase, if well-designed, can be one of the most charming watch complications, and the engineering that goes into one is incredible in and of itself. However, the complication is by no means a new one, and finding modern moon phase designs that truly stick out from the crowd can be a tough proposition.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s newest offering ahead of SIHH 2019, the Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel, ups the ante with an incredibly elegant take on the complication. As JLC is one of the few Manufacturers offering gem-setting, engraving, guillochage and enameling in its workshops, the brand was able to call on two of these techniques to develop an incredibly thin, beautiful new piece with a guilloché enamel dial (guilloché is a decorative technique in which intricate geometric patterns are engraved onto watch parts, such as dials and cases).
The Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel is a limited series of 100 pieces that feature hand-guilloché enamel dials in a beautiful, translucent deep blue. Producing an enamel dial is difficult enough, but, as JLC put it, “performing the guillochage work and the application of the translucent blue enamel layer requires an incomparable level of meticulous attention” (which, according to my thesaurus, is an elegant way of saying, “Making these is insanely hard.”)
In addition to its striking new dial, the Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel also features an incredibly thin (10.04mm) white gold case, the JLC Caliber 925 automatic movement with 70-hour power reserve, newly redesigned hour markers and a newly redesigned moon phase for improved clarity and detail. At 39mm, the case is also the perfect size for a modern dress watch.
Of course, there’s already a complete collection of Master Ultra Thin Moon watches in the JLC lineup, all of which are beautiful. But, to our minds, the hand-guilloché enamel dial takes this particular execution to the new level.