Unfortunately, a 37mm looks kind of silly on my 7.5″ wrist. Otherwise, a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Moon like Rob’s (friend of the show since 2004) would be a perfect timepiece for formal occasions. Although Jaeger-LeCoultre seems to have entered a different route to approach its clients since a while, with big bulky watches or with high-tech materials, this Master Moon with a diameter of 37mm and a height of just 10mm is a true classic that at least will look good on you in a few decades from now. Will the Compressor watches do to? I think not.

For around 3000 Euro, you should be able to find a nice Master Moon (young occasion) in good condition, complete with box and papers. Make sure the alligator strap comes with the original JLC?Ǭ? folding buckle and that the strap is still in good condition. A JLC replacement strap will cost you at least 250 Euro, or you can settle for a third party strap of similar quality (ABP Paris for example).

The shape of the case is very classical and the polished and satinized parts are really stunning. The dial of the Master Moon (ref.140.2.98.S) is available in either black or wite and in grey for the platinum version of this watch. The arrow shaped hour markers remind me of 1950s and 1960s timepieces and I love the combination with the printed white date index on the dial.

The movement inside this watch is a in-house Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 891/448 automatic movement, ticking at 28.800 beats per hour. These movements are tested against Jaeger’s own high standards on accuracy and therefore approved Master Control for 1000 hours. 1000 hours of testing before leaving the factory! The day, date and moonphase corrector are positioned in the side of the case. Two next to the crown (where the crown is in the center) and one corrector is located at 8 o’clock. You better buy a watch winder with this watch! After 38 hours the movement will stop ticking and if this is not becoming your everyday watch, you might find yourself busy setting this watch correctly a few times per week.

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If your wrists allow you to wear a 37mm watch, you really should consider this Jaeger-LeCoultre when spending 2500-3500 Euro on a slightly used timepiece. The only con in my opinion is the fact that the day functionality is using a moon disc hand, I am not particular a fan of those. But that’s just very personal. Otherwise, I really can’t come up with any more cons I would have against this watch. At least the colour scheme is thought through by Jaeger-LeCoulte.

Robert-Jan Broer
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Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
Robert-Jan Broer
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  • Rob

    Beautiful watch! 😉

  • That’s indeed a classic beauty, Robert-Jan. Unfortunately JLC changed the design of most models from classic to visually loud… too loud in my opinion.
    And like you also say, the size of most new models might be appreciated by some customers these days… but in a few years i think they will be dumped on the second hand market.

    My all time favorite JLC is the Master Perpetual of the same collection as this Master Moon. I hope i can afford a JLC Master Perpetual one day.

  • Rob

    Frank, I agree. I also like the previous models of the master collection. Although to some these watches maybe to small, the 37mm case is just perfect for me. And it looks great with a suit.

    @Robert-Jan: I agree with you about the moon disk hand. I’m not a fan of those either but it suits the classic design of the watch.

  • jim

    I love this watch. I recently bought it off Ebay and couldn’t be happier. Actually I could if it were easier to set the time and date. I disagree with you on 37mm looking silly on your 7.5″ wrist. My wrist measures 8.25″ and I find it to look just right. The face of the watch almost goes all the way to the edge, and the bezel is not large, giving it a larger look. I own larger watches but I fell in love with the look of the MM. I put the original JL band in the safe as it didn’t even come close to fitting and bought a beautiful tan ostrich strap to replace it. I have owned it for 3 weeks and have been told how geat it looks by more people than have ever commented on my other watches. (ss/18k datejust, speedmaster, seiko kinetic, etc.) I agree that the more recent JC watches are too loud. Bring back the classics.

  • James

    This watch is gorgeous. Even more classic to me is the related JLC Master Date. Same watch but the moonphase is replaced by a seconds subdial, supremely finished. I’ve had a Master Date for three years and it’s stunning in its elegant perfection. I wear it every day and it cannot go out of style. The hour marks shine brilliantly in the sun–they’re white gold.

    “Sophisticated” is the exact right word, and this watch is unbelievably reliable, made entirely in house, and to the highest possible standards. Hence, you never need to say that a JLC watch has an in-house movement; every watch they’ve ever made has their own movement. This is a manufacture, and they’ve sold movements to, excuse me, lesser brands of watch–IWC, Blancpain and, yes, Patek-Phillipe.

    JLC doesn’t have the absurd hype of other brands. It’s a watch for those who actually know the best, not for overblown status hounds.

    On the size issue, in my view, only a man unsure of himself or ignorant of good taste needs a huge watch on his wrist.

    Thanks Robert-Jan for posting this piece of classic horological art. Please feature more JLC’s in the future–they’re everything a connoisseur watch should be!

  • Beautiful watch – I have the platinum version, and a site dedicated to it (that include some scans of an old JL catalog on this, if you’re interested). See http://sites.google.com/site/jlcmastermoon/

  • Love the look of this watch! Classy color scheme!

  • Tim

    I have this watch in White Gold, the interesting thing is that they made the white gold model for a while with a hinged or “hunter” style case back. My watch has this style back, an 18K WG hinged case back over a display back. Wonderful time piece

  • Tonycottrell

    I have been looking for a slightly used, well cared for stainless / white dial combination. I prefer the brown strap. If anyone knows of one available, I can be contacted at tonycottrell@mac.com I have a smaller wrist and prefer this smaller case to the new Master Calendar with the 40.5mm case.