A bit of Richemont attention is appropriate in these post-BaselWorld days in my opinion. So for this week I pick my late father’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Perpetual Calendar as 52Mondayz watch.
He bought this watch in the millennium year 2000, and it was a variation to the regular Master Perpetual with silver dial. This model with black dial was only in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s collection for one or two years.
Most ‘Master Control 1000 Hours’ models, like the Master Moon, Master Geographique and the Master Réserve de Marche, became available later with a black dial for one or two years in that period.
The black dial gives the watch a slightly sporty character which suits the stainless steel casing well. And the black dial version, in contrary to the silver dial version, has a sapphire case back through which the beautiful 889/440/2 caliber can be admired. This caliber is only 4.55 mm thin, has a diameter of 26 mm and has 50 jewels. The frequency is 28.800/h and the power reserve 38 hours.
With a casing thickness of only 10.1 mm this watch has very sleek appearance. It’s helped as well by the form the casing was build in, the sides of the watch are only half of the total thickness. This can be very well seen at the position of the crown which seems to be positioned half way under the watch. The diameter of the watch is a very comfy 37.2 mm, it’s sapphire crystal is slightly domed and the watch is waterproof to 50 meters.
Perpetual calendar watches are often considered classic complicated timepieces. So it’s not often seen that a perpetual calendar has luminous hands and hour marking dots – which is perhaps more contemporary. This watch has both, which I consider very suitable for a watch with a black dial and stainless steel casing. However the version with silver dial, and even the version with rose gold casing, from the same series have these tritium accents as well.
The hour and minute hands are sophisticatedly half-polished and half-matt. Because of this they’re very well readable under almost all (low) light conditions. All other hands are polished steel (or probably white gold). The printing in the dial is silverish-white, and the tritium dots are finely rounded by red circles.
The perpetual calendar indicates the date, day and month by hands, and the moon by a rotating dark blue disc including shining gold stars and moon. The cherry on the pie is the two digit year window; much nicer than any sort of leap year indication.
A small window has been made in the dial, just above the center. In this window a rotating disc can be seen, indicating white throughout the day, and red in the hours around midnight. This is to indicate that during these hours the perpetual calendar can not be set without damaging or deregulating the movement. Something always lurking at most other perpetual calendars.
It’s nice to see that Jaeger-LeCoultre last year went pretty much back with their new Master Perpetual Calendar to the design and lay out of this watch. It seems that just the dial – or more the perpetual calendar – was rotated 180 degrees. Further the casing of the new Master Perpetual is with 39 mm slightly larger, and there is no luminous material used anymore. Robert-Jan’s review on this watch can be found here.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre reference number for this, to me very handsome, watch is 140.8.80.S. Seventeen years ago it was sold just below the equivalent of approximately € 10.000,=. For this price the watch still can be found nowadays, pre-owned of course. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s current Master Perpetual Calendar has a price tag of double that amount.
Gerard has been in the watch industry for over two decades now. He owned a watch shop in The Hague, The Netherlands, and besides that he has journalistic and photographic activities in the field of watches. Collecting watches since he... read more