Master Ultra Thin: timeless essentials
Whoever said that purists are enemies of modernity? Contrary to the opinions expressed by certain grouches who prefer to live in a different age, the breakthroughs of contemporary watchmaking also serve to embellish daily life while accomplishing their task with all due precision and reliability. In 2014, Jaeger-LeCoultre unveils a new model of which every aspect illustrates a successful blend of an aesthetic delightfully evoking the heyday of classical watchmaking and the user friendliness of an ultra-thin automatic movement. In the Master Ultra Thin watch equipped with a 38.5 mm case, devotees of fine watchmaking will no longer have to face the dilemma of choosing between refinement and pleasure.
Horology’s finest hours
The Master Ultra Thin watch undeniably possesses all the attributes of the slimmest line from the Manufacture: its exquisitely classical face embodies a perfect equilibrium of which the strength lies in the sheer impossibility of adding or subtracting any element whatsoever. Absolute purity, further highlighted by the exclusive presence of essentials indications only: hours, minutes and seconds. Nonetheless, since preferences are an eminently personal matter, the Master Ultra Thin watch is available in two versions: one in pink gold and the other in steel.
On both versions, the dial features dauphine hands for the hours and minutes, with applied hour-markers interspersed with four powdered dots. The Jaeger-LeCoultre signature at 12 o’clock is topped by the JLC emblem, while the small seconds appear in an subdial at 6 o’clock. On the gold version, the dial adopts a warm eggshell white shade that makes a perfect match with the pink gold case; while the steel model features a sunburst silver-toned dial sprinkled with polished rhodiumed hour-markers. Both are teamed with an alligator leather strap – secured by a pink gold pin buckle in the first instance, and a steel folding clasp in the latter.
Ultra-thin automatic movement
The supremely elegant new case features a 38.5 millimetre diameter ensuring a smooth fit on any wrist. It is distinguished by a streamlined bezel and lugs further slimming down the face of the watch, while the transparent case-back topped by a sapphire crystal invites connoisseurs to admire the inner workings of the ultra-thin mechanism decorated in harmony with the noblest Fine Watchmaking traditions.
The automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 896 features all the qualities of resistance, performance and precision one expects from a Manufacture-made movement, expressed in a concentrated mode since it is a mere 3.98 millimetres thin. A genuine tour de force for a mechanism comprising 223 parts. Its balance beats at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
The Master Ultra Thin watch with its new case measures a total 7.58 mm thin, enabling the designers of the Manufacture to exalt the kind of pure beauty that was formerly the exclusive preserve of manually-wound timepieces. And since the circumstances of modern life sometimes involve facing unexpected situations, it is water-resistant to a depth of 50 metres.
Master Ultra Thin Date: the day and the hour
The key elements of horological minimalism are well established: a round case exuding an aura of understated distinction and svelte elegance; central hands to show the time; along with the unique expertise, wealth of ingenuity and painstaking craftsmanship required to reduce each of the parts to its simplest possible expression. The Master Ultra Thin Date watch admirably illustrates this list of criteria. Its polished pink gold 40 mm-diameter case with its tapered lugs measures just 7.4 mm thin, while its dial in a delicate eggshell white shade bears applied hour-markers doubled up at 12 o’clock. It is swept over by pink gold dauphine-type hour and minute hands, and a blued central seconds hand. A discreet and nonetheless perfectly readable aperture at 6 o’clock shows the date by means of a rotating disc. On the upper part of the dial, the Jaeger-LeCoultre signature appears beneath the brand’s famous JL emblem.
The classic elegance of the Master Ultra Thin Date is destined to find its way unscathed through time. Day after day, year after year, each time the hour hand completes two full turns of the dial, the date window will display a new number. Nonetheless, the impressive purity of its design is not the only guarantee of durability for this model, since this noble mission is shared by the automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 899 with its legendary precision and reliability. Its balance beats at the rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour, while the 22-carat gold oscillating weight segment that winds the mechanism with each wrist movement, glows with the warm radiance of gold through the sapphire-topped transparent case-back.
Before setting off upon the journey of a lifetime, the Master Ultra Thin Date further requires the watch connoisseur to perform the impatiently and pleasurably anticipated ritual of securing it to the wrist with the pink gold pin buckle – thereby joining the two parts of the alligator leather strap and sealing the destiny of an eternally seductive timepiece.
The curtain can now fall; the two new watches from the Master Ultra Thin line have already left the stage to make their way to town. Appearing in turn through chance encounters, special occasions, evenings at the theatre, professional appointments or pleasurable leisure hours, each embodies a stirring homage to precision and elegance, longevity and slenderness – a asset of qualities brilliantly and passionately cultivated for more than 180 years by the Grande Maison in the Vallée de Joux