Jaeger-LeCoultre released at SIHH 2019 a dream dress watch, the Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon. I presented it to you, a while ago, the official press release here. While breaking some of the rules when it comes to the size and the display (of the dress watch canons), I cannot get over the idea that maybe some of the rules are meant to be broken. While some might argue “de rigueur”, I can bet, in the end, nobody will reproach its dress watch appearance. These are my thoughts and feelings about this marvellous piece.
Review: Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon
The Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon was presented at SIHH 2019. It is an updated version of a timepiece belonging to the Master Collection by Jaeger-LeCoultre. The piece presented today was the one available to the press from the above mentioned fair. Please make exception yarns and lint and occasional fingerprints.
Elegance is its middle name
For a collection launched more than 25 years ago, the Master is still going strong. Jaeger-LeCoultre brings new interesting addition every year. The Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon is one of those remarkable pieces.
The Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon comes in a pink gold 40mm case. After the material, the second touch of elegance comes from the thickness of 10.7mm. You might say – not the thinnest out there. True, but you cannot deny its balanced appearance.
The polished case is discreet but, by all means, elegant. The case body is continued by athletic lugs designed with a deep chamfering on the exterior side. The three steps bezel has the middle point angled.
The pink gold crown is adorned with the embossed Jaeger-LeCoultre logo.
Sublime! Nothing more, nothing less…
The Ultra Thin Tourbillon comes with a superb dial. Simplicity is only an intended feeling. The Eggshell beige dial is tastefully decorated. The fine graining is a good scene for the gilded, applied elements, that gently fill the dial surface.
Leaving for a moment the visible tourbillon aside, the dial elements are delightfully gentle and elegant. The golden hours’ indexes are longer than the ones met at the previous versions. The pyramidal shapes stretch to the hours’ hand without touching it. On the other hand, the minutes’ track is marked by delicate, gilded, applied spherical bullets. The minutes’ hands hoovers above the indexes, reaching up to the track’s exterior boundary. The dauphine hands are half polished, half longitudinal brushed. A finish faithfully kept in the Master Collection.
I have to admit that the beauty of the tourbillon makes the rest of the dial unimportant. The tourbillon’s construction is done using components in three colours: blue, gold and silver. The gold top bridge is mirror polished and makes a nice introduction to the tourbillon. The cage reminds me of the last century’s Art Nouveau. The beautiful construction is finished with brushed surfaces and chamfered edges. All are kept together using thermally blued screws.
Surrounded on the dial by a stepped down printed seconds’ track, the passing seconds are displayed by a blued, three arms piece.
A Master from the master of calibres
There is no secret in the fact that Jaeger-LeCoultre was an important supplier for several Haute and High-end Horlogerie brands. As a result, the brand’s movements inspire maturity.
The Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon is powered by the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 978G. As expected, the finishes are nice.
The decorations start with a large, hand-applied perlage on the main plate. The movement’s impeccable Côtes de Genève on the bridges is sun-rayed. The starting point is the tourbillon’s centre. The outer perimeter is decorated with circular Geneva waves.
The mounting screws are polished and thermally blued. The contrast of the screws’ shade of blue, the gold filled engraving and the gold rotor on the rhodium background makes a show by itself.
An interesting decoration detail is the gold skeletonised rotor. It is hand hammered, bevelled and polished. An impressive amount of work for this component. From the technical point of view, the interesting part comes from the mount on ceramic ball bearings. Though not new, the ceramic balls are lighter and do not require lubrication.
The Calibre 978G is an automatic mechanical movement with 48 hours of power reserve from a single barrel design. It is regulated by a one-minute tourbillon with the help of a 4Hz balance spring. Rather typical specifications’ list.
The final words
I do consider the Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon the ultimate dream dress watch. Regardless of the arguing over the dress watch “specs”, as long as some sports Geneva brands (I don’t give names, but Rolex) has become socially accepted (you can argue that too, but I have seen so many occasions where reputable collectors were wristed with the mentioned brand…), the reviewed pice has nothing to prove. It is in his element in the designated category. An elegant watch, quite subtle if I ignore the visible tourbillon, that doubles as a small seconds indication, the Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon is a delight. That light dial with gilded indexes is a nice match for the exquisite tourbillon.
As wrist presence, the watch is comfortable. Lighter as expected. The legibility is good. In relative low light, the dial is still visible. But, in the end, it is only meant to give a slight idea of how fast the time is passing when you are having fun. If you are not having fun, you can always immerse yourself in the beauty of the tourbillon.
Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Specifications and Price
- Pink Gold,
- Water-resistance: 5 bar,
- Diameter: 40mm,
- Thickness: 10.7mm
- Tourbillon (with seconds display)
- gilded appliqué hour-markers,
- dauphine hands
- Automatic, self-winding,
- Components: 271,
- Vibrations per hour: 28800,
- Jewels: 33,
- Barrel: 1,
- Height: 6.50 mm
- Germany: €70.500 (incl. VAT)
- UK: £63,500 (incl. tax)
- US: $70,500 (excl. tax)
- China: ¥545,000 (incl. tax)
- Japan: ￥8,370,000 (incl. tax)
For more information, please visit the Jaeger-LeCoultre Website.
Article originally published on Watch I Love Magazine.