SIHH 2019 will begin almost exactly one month from today. We’ve seen a number of exciting pre-releases from the exhibiting maisons so far, and today we received word on the Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel (Ref. Q13635E1), the first 2019 announcement from Jaeger-LeCoultre.
The past year was an interesting one for the brand with a large focus put on the establishment of the Polaris line, the first full-fledged “sport-luxury” collection for the brand (Click here and here to read our reviews on the Polaris Chronograph and Polaris Memovox) in many years. With the Polaris line set up for continued success, it’s good to see the brand returning to the Master Ultra Thin line, one of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s more successful contemporary collections that has been a mainstay for over 20 years.
The new model is limited to 100 total pieces and is most notable for the attractive guilloché blue enamel dial that was completed entirely in-house by a team of the brand’s most experienced artisans. To accomplish this dial texture, the guilloché is engine-turned by hand on the dial material before a layer of translucent blue enamel is carefully applied. Although we haven’t had the opportunity to see the model in person (we’ll provide a hands-on during/after SIHH next month), the pictures supplied highlight how the guilloché and enamel work together to create an attractive combination that appears to dance with the light and effectively complements the reflection of the polished dauphine hour and minute hands.
Jaeger-LeCoultre redesigned a number of features for this new release compared to previous iterations. The hour markers now stretch further out and are separated in two at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. Additionally, the moon phase has been completely redesigned with a perfectly round and polished white disk that comes into view in its entirety during the full moon. The annular aperture that circles the moon-phase opening is filled with a date ring that has been engraved to showcase each date in relief.
Given the name of the collection, the Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel is, indeed, ultra-thin, with a total thickness of 10.04 mm in total. That places it as slightly larger than the previous Master Ultra Thin Moon from 2011 (9.9 mm) and 2013’s Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar (9.2 mm), but smaller than 2012’s Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon (11.3 mm). There’s been a large amount of focus put on a number of other brands recent pursuit of ultra-thin watchmaking — particularly at JLC’s Richemont sibling, Piaget — but it’s important to note that Jaeger-LeCoultre is no slouch in this department either. In 2013 when the brand celebrated its 180th anniversary, the firm unveiled what was at the time the world’s thinnest watch with the platinum Master Ultra-Thin Jubilee limited edition that measured in at 4.05-mm thick. There’s no doubt that Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the few brands that can boast true ultra-thin watchmaking pedigree.
Inside the 39-mm white gold case is the automatic Caliber 925/2 that offers up a 70-hour power reserve and is visible through an exhibition caseback. The 100-piece limited edition is priced at $35,800.