Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Automatic Swiss Watches

In a matter of days, the reputable Swiss watchmaker will present its slightly facelifted Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control automatic wrist watch, which (at least the version in a discreet -and also way more affordable- stainless steel body, ref. Q1548420) looks like a very nice entry-level model for those buying their first “Real Swiss Made” timekeeper.

Being just a face-lift, the refreshed watch doesn’t bring in anything revolutionary besides some cosmetic changes here and there.

The first thing that is immediately noticeable when comparing the upcoming and outgoing models is the slightly smaller body of the new watch. Being 39 millimeters in diameter and just 8.50 millimeters in height, the new body perfectly fits into the “golden standard” of a dressy watch.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control automatic watch (ref. Q1542520 in rose gold, wrist shot photo)

The hours and minutes hands were, too, replaced with more elegant dauphine-shaped hands.

The thin strips of Superluminova are gone, too, but that doesn’t seem like a great loss.

I have heard numerous complaints of actual owners that the luminous patches served little purpose, because they simply failed to accumulate enough energy during the day to be clearly visible in darkness (and there is no total darkness in the city: there is always a source of dim light, which is brighter than the lume on the watch, so that your eye cannot adapt and you can’t tell what time it is now.)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control automatic watch (ref. Q1542520 in rose gold, sapphire case back)

Well, at least the traditional blued seconds hand and the tiny date aperture are there, still on their rightful places. Ditto the three Arabic numerals and the applied hour markers that are perfectly readable on the sunburst background of the silver-toned dial.

Currently, the watch is offered only in two versions that differ only with the material of their bodies and hands. The model ref. Q1542520 is presented in elegant rose gold and the ref. Q1548420 features a more sober body in satin-finished stainless steel.

Oh, and the ultra-thin JLC caliber 899 self-winding movement is also here. Comprising 219 flawlessly-finished components, the movement stores enough energy to keep the watch going for at least 43 hours (after being fully wound,) an adequate power reserve for a watch, which is supposed to be worn on a day to day basis.

I am not sure about pricing, but if the current model is any indication, there is a good chance that the version in steel will sell for some $7000 and the model in rose gold will retail for more impressive $16,000 or more.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Automatic wrist watch in rose gold (Q1542520)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Automatic wrist watch in stainless steel (Q1548420)

See also: Ball Trainmaster Eternity Automatic

Photos: Jaeger-LeCoultre

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control automatic watch specification

Price: $15,300 (MSRP, ref. Q1542520 in rose gold)
Movement: Automatic, JLC caliber 899, 219 parts, 3.30 mm x 26.00 mm, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 32
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Circular Geneva Stripes, open-worked oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 43 hours
Case material: Stainless steel (Q1548420) or 18-carat rose gold (Q1542520)
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 39.00 mm
Case height: 8.50 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Silver-toned, sunburst finish
Numerals: Arabic
Hour markers: Applied
Hands: Dauphine-shaped, polished, rose gold or white gold
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Chocolate-toned alligator leather strap with 18-carat gold pin buckle OR black alligator leather strap with steel folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, domed, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire

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  1. I think I can see the thin strips of Superluminova hours and minutes hands, especially in the photo of the steel version. Even if they are not very useful, they are the logical companion for the hours luminous dots.
    The size decrease and the slimmer crown are steps in the right direction, imho.

  2. @ Victor.
    Perhaps you are right. Still, I don’t see a point in these strips of lume.

  3. My travel watch is a Master Control Hometime with those tiny lume strips. I can confirm they are quite useless.
    I really like the overall design, look and quality of the JLC Master Control series, despite night visibility not being good. If this is high on your priority list – look at Ball watches – not particularly elegant but super visible all night.

  4. @ YG,
    Thanks for the comment!

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