The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar, Now in Red and Black

A striking, vintage-inspired design.

Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC) has just unveiled a fresh colour option for the Master Control Chronograph Calendar. Sporting a black dial adorned with red and gold accents, the latest iteration is the chromatic opposite of the original model that featured a conservative silver dial. 

Initial thoughts

The Master Control Chronograph Calendar was released two years ago with an unsurprising silver dial that fit well with the vintage-inspired design but lacked oomph. Fortunately, JLC has addressed this with a high contrast palette that is still suitably vintage inspired but much more striking.

Vintage watches with black-and-red dials are uncommon, but they do exist. The combination is appealing, but not the most practical since red text on a black dial is hard to read due to the low contrast between the two colours. This is especially so for the calendar indications, while the pulsations scale on the periphery is probably unreadable in low light. But still, the appeal of the dial certainly makes it compelling despite the poor legality. 

Colours aside, the watch is identical to the original version, so it shares the same strengths, like the solid, old-school design, and weaknesses, like the mix of French and English on the dial.

This costs the same as the earlier version in rose gold, which is US$32,500. The price parity is certainly fair and logical. However, the price is a bit higher than it should be. While not exorbitant, the price does not represent the sort of strong value proposition that JLC was historically known for.

A more refined vintage-inspired design

The dial is a metallic black finished with a sun-ray brushed finish and carries over the design from the earlier model, featuring sub-dials at three, six, and nine for the minute counter, date and moon phase, and running seconds respectively. The rest of the dial has been updated to match the black finish with the pulsations scale and day and month displays in red. 

It is housed in an 18k pink gold case that shares the same case dimensions as the earlier model, with a diameter of 40 mm and height of 12.05 mm. The case features satin brushing on its sides and a polished, flat bezel, showcasing a tasteful combination of finishes.

Inside is the cal. 759, which is an in-house movement that incorporates all the characteristics expected of a modern, high-end calibre, including a column wheel, vertical clutch, and a free-sprung balance. The finishing is industrial but excellent in execution, resulting in an appealing view through the open back. 

Key facts and price

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar
Ref. Q413257J

Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 12.05 mm
Material: 18k pink gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: Cal. 759
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, triple calendar with moon phase, and chronograph with 30-minute counter
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 65 hours

Strap: Alligator strap with deployant buckle

Limited edition: No
Availability: At Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques and retailers
Price: US$32,500

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