Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar
This year there is a new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar featuring the updated Calibre 866. A further enhancement is the jumping pointer date indication. The dial is beautifully executed with exquisite proportions, while the movement is enriched with impressive finishing and various technical attributes.
Antoine LeCoultre (1803 – 1881) founded his eponymous company in 1833 within an area now synonymous with fine watchmaking, the Vallée de Joux. The region was known for making ébauches and movements for various watch companies. Indeed, these latter firms were often termed établisseurs.
Today, Jaeger-LeCoultre is widely known for making watches but it once supplied some of the prestigious Maisons with its superb movements. The Swiss firm has made over 1200 different calibres throughout its history, a figure surpassing the efforts of all other brands. The luxury marque is known for making ultra-thin watches, a technically challenging horological genre, as well as making movements endowed with virtually every complication known to man.
The historical Maison is a highly innovative company. While it respects traditions, it has never stopped developing new movements which advance chronometry, provide superior functionality or offer additional attributes. For example, Jaeger-LeCoultre created the first lubricant-free watch. Typically, with most mechanical watches, oils ultimately degrade and coagulate, impairing precision and reliability, hence a lubricant-free watch will undoubtedly have piqued the interest of most horophiles.
Recently, the prestigious company from Le Sentier unveiled the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar, a model inspired by triple calendar moon-phase watches of the 1940s and 50s.A delightful feature found on this latest model relates to its pointer date indication. As the pointer moves from the 15th to the 16th it jumps in one seamless leap, a theatrical moment likely to engender a smile on its wearer’s face.
The dial is classically styled with dauphine-style hour and minute hands. Two apertures reveal the day and month and there is a combined moonphase and small seconds display.
The new model features an updated version of the Calibre 866, the Calibre 866AA. This movement features 353 components and has a prodigious power reserve of 70 hours. Consistent with its elevated status, the movement is beautifully appointed with perlage, Côtes de Genève and thermally blued screws. Another highlight is the free-sprung balance which delivers superior precision when contrasted with the usual index-regulated balance.
The brand’s press release
In the 1940s and ’50s Jaeger-LeCoultre was renowned for its triple calendar moon-phase movements, and the new Master Control Calendar brings that tradition into the 21st century. With a case measuring 40mm x 10.95mm, it is offered in either steel or Le Grand Rose gold®.
The finely balanced classical layout of the dial is retained, with the dates marked around the periphery, indicated by a red-tipped hand, the days and months displayed in the upper part of the dial, and the moon-phase set within the small seconds subdial in the lower part. But there is a fresh new twist to the date display: as well as updating Calibre 866 with the same performance-enhancing improvements made to cal.899, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s engineers have added a delightful new jumping complication. Every month, the date hand makes a 90-degree leap from the 15th to the 16th, in order not to obscure the moon-phase display.