Jaeger LeCoultre Master Control Calendar 40mm Review
JLC always over-delivers and aims to impress while staying modest and classy.
The Master Control collection is full of impressive watches, some more complicated than others. While I do love high-horology watches, and historically, JLC has flexed their horological muscles enough times to convince me that they are certainly capable of reaching the high goals they set for themselves. However, there is a certain charm that a more classic and practical watch provides. It is essentially the same feeling you get when discovering a simple and pleasant song that makes you feel good, and you still remember it and appreciate it decades later. The watch we are reviewing today is exactly one of those. Read on!
Saying this watch is simple is a misnomer though because the reality is that it is not so simple. It just appears to be not overly complicated. Let us begin our review with the part one will look at the most.
The dial of this watch has a clean appearance with a combination of applied numerals and applied index hour markers punctuated by a luminous dot. It features a finely printed minutes track and calendar days around the dial flange. A moon phase aperture is located at the 6 o’clock position and has an integrated small second’s sub-dial circled with a fine printed second’s track and features a blued steel small running seconds hand.
The 40mm case is 10.95mm thick. It has a polished finish on the beveled topside, lugs, and chamfered case back, and a brushed finish on the smooth curved sides of the case and sides of the lugs. The case provides up to 50m/165ft of water resistance.
A transparent sapphire case back showcases the beautifully finished, self-winding all mechanical movement and features a rose gold automatic winding rotor that is partially skeletonized with Jaeger LeCoultre’s perfectly symmetrical ‘JL’ emblem. The movement is decorated with Côtes de Genève (Geneva striping) and Perlage (a pattern with an overlapping circular radial brushed theme). It has gold-filled engravings indicating the thirty-four jewels used in the movement, the Jaeger LeCoultre logo, as well as other markings.
Some of the blued steel screws and pink watch jewels can be seen through the sapphire case back. Other decorations appear on the case itself such as the name of the collection ‘MASTER CONTROL’, the model number, JLC logo, the words Swiss Made, the Water resistance rating, and finally the ‘JLC 1000 Hours Control’ seal indicating what is arguably the most rigorous testing in the industry.
The calendar features two windows just beneath the JLC branding at the 12 o’clock position. The two windows sit side by side and the one on the left indicates the day of the week and the window on the right indicates the name of the month.
A red-tipped central calendar hand points to the day of the month and has a unique function. When the date hand reached the 15th of the month, just before the beginning of the moon phase window between the 4 and 5 o’clock position, the hand jumps across the moon phase to the 16th of the month between the 7 and 8 o’clock position so it does not obstruct the moon phase and small seconds sub-register. In between the numerals for the 15th and 16th of the month, the french words "Quantième à Date Sautante" appear which translates to 'calendar with a jumping date' ...pretty à propos.
This model has a silver dial with a step-down dial flange where the numerals and indices for the calendar date can be found. The applique index hour markers are beveled and have a polished finish; the same finish found on the Arabic-style numerals used for the 12, 3, and 9 o’clock positions.
On the right side of the case, at around the 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock positions, you will find two recessed pushers. There is another recessed pusher on the left side of the case at the 8 o’clock position. These pushers operate the calendar and moon phase functions. The watch comes with a special tool that can be used to make these changes to the calendar and moon phase complications.
The JLC Master Control Calendar 40mm is powered by the in-house JLC caliber 866AA that beats at 28,800 oscillations per hour. It is a 4Hz watch that contains 34 jewels and has an impressive power reserve of approximately 70 hours. The movement allows for hour minutes, small seconds, and day-date display. These functions are set using the crown and recessed pushers on the sides of the case.
This watch comes on a tan calf leather strap with light brown stitching and is fastened by a stainless-steel folding buckle. The clasp features an embossed logo and has a polished finish. The sides of the strap have a dark brown color and the reverse side of the strap is a light beige leather that is soft to the touch for comfortable wear.