A Complete Guide to the JLC Master Control Watch

Jun 22, 2021
A Complete Guide to the JLC Master Control Watch

Jaeger-LeCoultre or JLC is one of the highly revered Haute Horlogerie brands in the market. With over a century of experience in watchmaking, it is no surprise that they are such an established name today. Among their many excellent collections is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control line. It is basically a selection of watches that perfectly blends superior reliability with quintessential aesthetics. This article will serve as your ultimate guide to the JLC Master Control, tackling its history, key aspects, and many more.  

All About the JLC Master Control

Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the oldest Swiss watch manufacturers still thriving today. It all began in 1833 when Antoine LeCoultre opened his own workshop focused on timepieces. Prior to starting his small business, Antoine created a machine that aided in manufacturing watch components. Another notable detail about the brand is how they were able to create around 1,200 calibres, dating back to its foundation. This, along with many other inventions and innovations, allowed JLC to influence the watchmaking industry and change the game forever.


In the next decades that came, Jaeger-LeCoultre came out with numerous iconic models such as the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris, Jaeger-LeCoultre Master, and many more.


The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control was first introduced back in the 1990s and, believe it or not, most of the changes actually happened behind the scenes. From the very first Master Control model to the current series, certain characteristics remain the same such as its versatility, its timelessness, and the overall elegance that comes with its aesthetics. In terms of technical details, JLC continues to impress with their consistent innovations to the movement.

What makes the JLC Master Control special? 

The Master Control is just one among many of JLC’s collections. So, what makes it so special? Well, here’s a more in-depth perspective on the Master Control models in the current catalogue. There are around 12 watches with different functions, from date displays to chronographs. 


One of the distinct characteristics of the JLC Master Control is the perfect roundness of its case. This specific element was inspired by the round cases from the 1950s. In terms of materials, the Master Control makes use of either pure stainless steel or rose gold in the current selection of watches. All these elements definitely add to the classic, slightly vintage appeal of this line. 


When it comes to straps, the current JLC Master Control models only come in either calfskin or alligator leather bracelets. Again, this just enhances the timeless sophistication that this range is known for. In addition, you also get the option to purchase more straps for more customisability. 


When it comes to the dial, most of the JLC Master Control models follow a very straightforward layout. It typically features Dauphine hands and indexes on a sunray-patterned light grey dial. Meanwhile, depending on the model there’s a date window, a day and month display, a moon phase counter, and other complications. The best part is JLC made sure that all the features are clear and readable. 


In terms of movement, the Master Control models are equipped with in-house calibres that were intricately created by JLC’s craftsmen. It boasts impressive precision and reliability especially since these pieces underwent the infamous 1000 Hour Control test. 

Best Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Watches

Let’s take a closer look at some of the JLC Master Control models you can buy at this very moment. 

1. JLC Master Control Date (Ref. 4018420)

front view of JLC Master Control Date Ref. 4018420 watch

Quintessential and well-crafted are probably the best words to describe this watch. So much so that the people behind this masterpiece perceive it as watchmaking at its purest form. It only takes a single glance to feel the simplicity and elegance oozing out of this JLC Master Control Date. In addition to that, it is also a contemporary interpretation of the round wristwatches that were popular back in the 1950s. With all those elements, there really is no wonder why it such a classic-looking timepiece. 


The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date is presented in a 40mm stainless steel case paired with a Novonappa calfskin strap. Meanwhile, its light grey dial follows a very straightforward layout with luminescent Dauphine hands and hour markers. This JLC Master Control watch also has a date window at 3 o’clock and a gorgeous, transparent caseback made out of sapphire crystal.  


However, don’t let its simple look fool you. This model is powered by the JLC Calibre 899AC, following an automatic movement. It also boasts a 70-hour power reserve and a water resistance of up to 50m. With the JLC Master Control Date, you get a classic watch with impressive features, all for $7250 USD. 

2. JLC Master Control Memovox Timer (Ref. 410848J)

front view of JLC Master Control Memovox Timer Ref. 410848J watch

The JLC Master Control Memovox Timer looks like it came straight out of a sci-fi film. However, while it does have that futuristic and chic look, the inspiration behind this model actually dates back to the 1950s. It serves as a reinvention of the first Memovox alarm clock but with new and improved features. Aside from that, this watch is also a testament to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expertise when it comes to creating mechanisms. With only 250 pieces in existence, it is definitely a limited edition must-have for serious collectors out there. 


The JLC Master Control Memovox Timer comes in a 40mm stainless steel case and leather bracelet in blue. Besides the Dauphine hands and hour markers, its dial also consists of a date window at 3 o’clock and a timer/alarm disc in the middle. There is also a minute track on the outer area of the dial and a transparent case-back, showcasing the beautiful movement behind it. 


Driven by the  JLC Calibre 956AA, the Memovox Timer runs on an automatic movement with a total of 271 components and 24 jewels. Lastly, it also boasts a water resistance of up to 50m. You can get this limited edition piece for approximately $16900 USD. 

3. JLC Master Control Calendar (Ref. 4148420)

front view of JLC Master Control Calendar Ref. 4148420 watch

Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar has a very simple yet intricate layout. It has a lot of features including a rather unique date-day display. This model actually takes inspiration from triple calendar pieces but boasting a more cohesive and efficient design. This a great option for those who want something unique and functional. 


The JLC Master Control Calendar comes in a 40mm stainless steel case paired with a brown leather strap. The silver-gray dial includes Dauphine hands and hour markers with luminescent components. In addition, it also features a moon phase counter, day and month windows in the middle, and a date indicator around the dial. 


Lastly, this automatic watch is powered by the JLC Calibre 866AA with an impressive power reserve of 70 hours. Retailing for $11,900 USD, this distinct and multi-functional watch is bound to impress anyone. 

4. JLC Master Control Chronograph Calendar (Ref. 4132520)

front view of JLC Master Control Chronograph Calendar Ref. 4132520 watch

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar is quite similar to the previous model. However, there are a number of obvious differences that you’ll notice right away. The Chronograph Calendar definitely looks a lot more complicated than the Calendar version because it has more functions. This is because the watch was created with the idea of appealing to those who love distinct chronographs. 


This JLC Master Control Chronograph Calendar is presented in a 40mm pink gold case paired with a leather strap in dark brown. Aside from the classic Dauphine hands and hours markers in pink gold, the white dial also follows the same calendar and Moonphase layout as the previous model but with two additional counters. 


This model, following an automatic movement, is powered by the JLC Calibre 759. You can actually get a glimpse of the beautiful movement through its transparent caseback. Moving on, it also boasts a 65-hour power reserve and a 50m water resistance. This watch is the perfect balance between elegance and functionality, all for $29,300 USD. 

5. JLC Master Control Geographic (Ref. 4128420)

front view of JLC Master Control Geographic Ref. 4128420 watch

Here we have another model with a rather complex exterior. It is actually dubbed as the ultimate travel watch by its creators. Though it has quite a busy layout, everything about it screams intricate, multi-functional, and well-crafted. The perfect reliable timepiece for all the jet setters out there. 


The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Geographic comes in a 40mm stainless steel case and leather strap in light brown. Its silver-coloured dial includes the usual Dauphine hands and hour markers. In addition, it also boasts the following functions: a second timezone, 24-hour display, 24 time zones, and a date component. 


It is powered by a geographic calibre called the JLC Calibre 939AA, following an automatic movement. Lastly, it has a 70-hour power reserve and a water resistance of up to 50m. Priced at $13,100 USD, the JLC Master Control Geographic may just be your ideal travel companion. 

5. JLC Master Control Tourbillon Dualtime (Ref. 1562401)

front view of JLC Master Control Tourbillon Dualtime Ref. 1562401 watch

Last on our selection is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Tourbillon Dualtime. Right off the bat, you get a luxurious vibe with everything going on with the face of the watch. While it does look nothing short of extravagant, there is also no denying that it is a well-crafted, intricate timepiece. 


The JLC Master Control Tourbillon Dualtime is presented in a 41.5mm pink gold case, a leather bracelet, and a bezel adorned with diamonds. Meanwhile, its dial consists of Dauphine hands, diamond hour markers, a 24-hour counter, a Tourbillon display, and a date tracker. This is all powered by the JLC Calibre 978B, following an automatic movement. 


Retailing for approximately $95,000 USD, the JLC Master Control Tourbillon Dualtime is an excellent choice for all luxury lovers out there. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Watch

  1. Respected Brand. Being one of the oldest brands in the watchmaking world, Jaeger-LeCoultre managed to acquire quite a prestigious reputation through the decades. JLC is among one of the most respected and established luxury watch manufacturers out there. While they may not be as popular as Rolex, true timepiece connoisseurs believe that JLC watches exhibit better quality than most luxury brands. This is why the Swiss company is so highly regarded by many, especially professionals and serious collectors. If you’re the type of person who cares about brand recognition, that is not something you have to worry about when it comes to Jaeger-LeCoultre. In fact, owning a JLC Master Control watch will only show how serious you are about horology. 
  2. Undeniably Well-crafted. There’s a reason why the horology industry is usually associated with Swiss craftsmanship, especially since many of the big brands we know originated from Switzerland. It is thanks to these enduring companies that the said country is known for being the hub of all things watchmaking. JLC timepieces, being in the market for over a century now, are known for their unparalleled quality. They have been creating their own in-house calibres since they were founded. Getting your hands on a JLC Master Control is equivalent to owning an undeniably reliable, precise, and well-crafted piece. 
  3. High-grade Materials. In order to create a well-crafted watch, you would obviously need superior materials as well. The JLC Master Control makes use of high-quality elements from the case and bracelet to the inner components. For example, most Master Control models are either made out of pure steel or rose gold. In fact, many watch experts and enthusiasts believe that JLC offers better materials than other luxury brands. 
  4. Timeless Designs. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control offers a small variety of timepieces, all boasting classic designs. While some may lean towards a vintage style and others may look more futuristic, all the Master Control watches exhibit timeless elegance and versatility. These pieces are the type that you can wear even 20 years from now because they’ll never go out of style. 
  5. Great Investment. While this may not be exclusive to only Master Control models, it should not be a surprise to anyone that JLC produces watches that are considered great investments. Aside from boasting amazing quality and longevity, the Swiss brand also has relatively good resale value in comparison to others in the market. 

Final Thoughts 

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control is truly the perfect mix of timeless design and impressive features. With this line of watches, you get a beautifully crafted timepiece boasting an in-house movement and a multitude of functions. Judging by this range alone, it is no surprise why JLC is among the top and most prestigious luxury manufacturers out there. 


If you’re interested in Swiss luxury brands, check out our article on the Girard-Perregaux Laureato.

Photo credits: Jaeger-LeCoultre website

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