Watches and Wonders 2024: Jaeger-Lecoultre Presents Its Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar In A Fresh Look

Watches and Wonders 2024: Jaeger-Lecoultre Presents Its Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar In A Fresh Look

THM Desk
9 Apr 2024 |
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Imagine the watch of your dreams: a sleek sub-40mm timepiece with a design that flawlessly balances simplicity and legibility. You wish for perfectly proportionate sub-dials, and, crucially, an ultra-thin case showcasing a stunning movement visible through a sapphire case back. To top it all off, you dream of a complicated, a really complicated calendar mechanism. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar effortlessly meets these criteria, and then some. At the Watches and Wonders 2024, Jaeger-LeCoultre gives the timepiece an aesthetic redesign while amping up its power reserve.

 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar

Jaeger-LeCoultre: The Watchmaker’s Watchmaker
Jaeger-LeCoultre stands as a beacon of innovative solutions to watchmaking challenges. Renowned as the watchmaker's watchmaker, the brand has supplied movements to prestigious names such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin. In this remarkable feat, Jaeger-LeCoultre has provided the beating hearts to the timepieces of these esteemed brands. When you are making the best look even better, it’s hard to earn a reputation of your own. For a brand that has long been an industry supplier of some of the greatest and most famous movements ever produced, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s own capabilities have somewhat remained hidden from view. 

 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar Movement

Of course, people know of Jaeger-LeCoultre particularly from its style icon, the Reverso, and the fact that the Maison is not just a watchmaker, but an engineering powerhouse, is known to a few. A decade after its inception, Jaeger-LeCoultre revolutionized precision by introducing the first instrument capable of measuring a micron - a mere thousandth of a millimeter. When a watchmaker reshapes the very definition of accuracy, you know they mean serious business.

Forever Timekeeping with Precision Perpetuity
One timepiece that exhibitsJaeger-LeCoultre’s true mechanical prowess is the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar. Perpetual calendar wristwatches are magical. These tiny smart machines are mechanical computers in an era of digital everything that can steal our identity and probably pretty soon take our jobs. The Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar which originally debuted at SIHH 2013 comes as a relief by letting us know that there's something that can do a practical job for us without actually co-opting our entire existence.

 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar Lifestyle

These petite machines, the size of a coin on your wrist, know the difference between all those weirdly measured months of the Gregorian calendar and leap years. When it comes to perpetual calendars, it's too easy to accomplish this with microprocessors and integrated circuits, but I think this is one area, where the only way to do it and preserve that sense of wonder, is to do it with wheels, levers and springs, as do the 330 components in the Caliber 868 of the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar released at Watches and Wonders 2024.
The latest generation iteration of the perpetual calendar mechanism which sits as a Kurt Klaus module atop a Jaeger-LeCoultre base caliber adorns refined elements. The 2024 iteration gets reconstructed escapement and pallets to minimize friction and preserve energy. The subtle modifications however yield a significant jump in power reserve which now gets 70 hours of autonomy as compared to the 38 hours of the former.

 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar movement close-up

Refining the Ultra-Refined Timepiece
The meticulously over-engineered masterpiece gets cloaked in the finest drape. The 2024 collection introduced at Watches and Wonders gets a trio of pink gold iterations with one featuring a diamond set bezel, and a lone steel variant. With a thickness of only 9.2mm, the 39mm timepiece effortlessly slips under a cuff, thanks to its remarkably slim caliber 896. The revised proportions enhance its wearability and make it appeal to wrists of all sizes.

 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar Wristshot

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar is a testament to unparalleled attention to detail. Explore its dial, and you'll discover a world of exquisite craftsmanship - from the dial’s silky finish intertwined with polished and elongated markers to the Dauphine hands which get a mix of polished and satin finish on each facet and the deeply captivating moonphase complication, which now gets a higher detail for its starry sky. Furthermore, the watch boasts typical Jaeger-LeCoultre touches, such as the security zone indicator, which now gets a makeover in red, perfectly aligned with holes in the hands to ensure omnipresent visibility - a small yet remarkable detail that enhances the timepiece’s finesse.

The line-up gets a novel hue of a gradient midnight blue dial paired with the pink gold case. The main real-estate of the dial features a sunray-brushing which stands in a fitting contrast to the azure finishing of the ultra-fine engraved sub-registers making it the showstopper of the lot. The remaining duo of pink gold cases gets a pairing of classic eggshell dials while the lone steel case gets a minimalist silver sunrayed face.

A Casual Vibe for a Complicated Piece
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar remains the kind of perpetual calendar I'd want to wear every day, both for the durability of its mechanism and the sleekness of its profile. This timepiece is a handsome demonstrator and a competent ambassador of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s technical and aesthetic aptitude. As a fitting tribute to the excellence of the manufacture, the latest line-up of the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar collection introduced at Watches and Wonders 2024 exhibits a perfect union of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s traditional codes of complication, thinness and aesthetic refinement.

Technical Details
Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar
Case: Pink gold; pink gold with diamond-set bezel (60 diamonds ~ 0.85 carats); steel
Dimensions: 39 mm x 9.2 mm
Calibre: Automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 868
Frequency: 28,800
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, perpetual calendar (day, date, month, year) with red security zone, moon phases
General Information
Power reserve: 70 hours
Dial: Gradient blue sunray; eggshell; silver sunray
Strap: Black alligator (pink gold case with eggshell dial, steel case) / Blue alligator (pink gold case with midnight blue dial)
Water resistance: 5 bar
Q114258J – Pink gold with midnight blue dial
Q1142510 – Pink gold with eggshell dial
Q1142501 – Pink gold with diamonds and eggshell dial
Q114842J – Steel with silver sunrayed dial