It may not be obvious judging by the mammoth timepieces sported by many men, but being thin is a big deal in the watch world. For decades horology’s biggest houses have fought it out to be the slimmest of them all, each working tirelessly to pack more components and complications into increasingly diminishing movements.
As ever, 2019’s major watch shows brought with them a swathe of record-breakingly slender watches. Among the finest of these lean machines were three new additions to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Ultra Thin range. No movement in the collection is more than 5mm thick and the watches are, in the brand’s own words, “truly the union between lightness, finesse and functionality”.
Nowhere is this more true than in the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Enamel. Standing at just 4.72mm, the in-house calibre 868A/2 movement powers the three major hands along with four subdials displaying year, perpetual calendar, date, day, month, moon phase, moon phases in two hemispheres and a red security zone indicator. Not bad for a movement the height of two pound coins.
The Master Ultra Thin collection was given a nifty modernisation in 2013 and, aesthetically, the Perpetual Enamel doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Its white-gold case still measures 39mm while the midnight blue guilloché enamel dial retains its four symmetrical subdials — even if they have been swivelled 180 degrees to allow the moon phase indicator to sit at a more appealing six o’clock position.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has created a striking, reliable and elegant watch which squarely meets the needs of jet-setting entrepreneurs. But they’d best be quick if they want one: there are only 100 in existence.
Already got a great watch? These are the dos and don’ts of engraving it…
Join the Gentleman’s Journal Clubhouse here.