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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On

One of the sexiest new 2015 watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre wasn’t really a new watch at all, but rather the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar with two meteorite dial options, available in either 18k pink gold (ref. 1552540) or steel (ref. 1558421) cases. That’s right, you can have a sublimely classic “triple calendar moon phase” style dial from Jaeger-LeCoultre with a meteorite dial and a steel case without having to pay the the precious metal premium. So, let’s take a look at these two very appealing Master collection watches with “spacey” faces.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On

The meteorite used for the watch is very deeply textured, and according to Jaeger-LeCoultre, it is ruthenium-coated. The crystalline structure of the meteorite dial makes a surprisingly suitable background for what is essentially one of the most classic watch dial designs that we see in calendar watches. You can find this annual calendar layout in a series of other modern watches, as well as scores of vintage timepieces. One of the reasons that this dial style works for the complexity of the meteorite texture is because the day of the week and month indicator are in windows, and the subsidiary seconds dial with moonphase indicator uses its own background. Around the periphery of the dial is a chapter ring scale for the date using a “pointer hand” with a red crescent tip.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Jaeger-LeCoultre, of course, also offers the Master Calendar watch without the meteorite dial in steel or 18k pink gold matched with a silvered face. Those look nice and all, but the added visual interest of the meteorite makes for a timepiece that is so much more unique and, in my opinion, compelling. A fair question to ask is “how much is the premium for the meteorite dial?” The answer is $2,300 for either version. So it costs that much more to go from the standard silvered dial Master Calendar to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite. Fair price? It isn’t cheap, but I imagine printing on the meteorite is more complicated, just as it is to apply indicators and to cut it. On top of that is the fact that meteorite is a rare mineral, so it is of course going to cost more than a standard metal dial.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Jaeger-LeCoultre keeps the Master Calendar as a dress watch given its 39mm-wide case size and 10.6mm thickness (which is actually pretty good given the complications and the fact that the movement is an automatic. Super traditional in design, the cases are attractive, but of course, intended to fit more into an approachable category versus something more avant-garde. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar tries (and succeeds) to be something super conservative. The question is how does the meteorite dial affect that? An interesting question… my response would be to simply say that the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite watch isn’t any less conservative, but it is less boring. I am not saying the Master Calendar is a boring watch. I am, however, saying that watches of this variety are frequently referred to as “boring” by many collectors, given that their designs have been around for so long and are inherently not designed to be new. I would venture to say that this is probably among the least boring, boring calendar dress watches I know.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On

In my opinion, both the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar watch in steel and 18k pink gold are stunningly beautiful – and that is coming from someone who probably wouldn’t get that excited to wear the standard Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar watch. Inside the timepieces is the Jaeger-LeCoultre in-house made caliber 865 automatic movement which is visible through a sapphire crystal caseback window on the back of the case. The movement operates at a modern 4Hz (28,800 bph) and is produced from a healthy 305 parts with 40 hours of power reserve. There is a gold weight on the end of the automatic rotor and the movement design and finishing are unquestionably JLC if you know what to look for.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On

There is so much about the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar watch that is classic, we don’t have too much left to say in explanation of the design and concept. Pretty much everyone with some timepiece experience is familiar with the overall design of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master collection as well as triple calendar watches. The real addition is the meteorite dial – and even though it is just a slight change, it makes a big different in my opinion.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On Hands-On

Of course, if money were no issue, I’d opt for the pink gold version with its high-contrast dial and really remarkable set of colors. For just about half the price, you can get the steel model – which makes it a difficult deal to give up – and from a design perspective, it isn’t exactly too shabby. Price for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite ref. 1558421 in steel is $12,600 and the ref. 1552540 in 18k pink gold is $24,500. jaeger-lecoultre.com

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  • Skeletor

    Ugly, looks like a 500$ Tisso classic

  • Jason Keats

    Love it in Stainless.

  • IanE

    Nope, I just don’t get meteorite dials – fussy and distracting from the dial’s inherent design and beauty. Those who think ‘simple’ dials are boring are surely missing the elegance of simplicity.

  • iamcalledryan

    I saw both models in the flesh and must say they are amazing. A beautiful movement and the dial is icing on the cake. I love where dial design has been moving of late, especially with women’s watches. The margin for error on these dials is very slim, and I love how each one will be it’s own individual finger print. The steel is on my list.

  • SuperStrapper

    Not bad. The steel version should also have the darker dial, which would immediately increase the contrast and drama.

  • BrJean

    Steel version is probably the most depressive watch I’ve ever seen.

    • SuperStrapper

      I thin you need to get out and see more watches.

  • egznyc

    I’m not sure I like the extra “visual interest” of these dials. Maybe I’m an old stick-in-the-mud but I prefer the “boring” traditional dials with this model. The stainless model looks hard to read, too. Beautiful movement which they rightly show off.

  • trj66

    The steel version really could do with a little more contrast; I’m thinking black or dark blue indices and numbers… and then it would be a real stunner!

    • DanW94

      My thoughts exactly. The dial elements kind of all blend together (except the moonphase indicator). The gold version is stunning though.

  • Shinytoys

    I’ll take one of each…

  • Joel Schumann

    I think they are a bit of a mess, really. Up close you can see the structure of dial but further away, the distance at which you will see it at on someones wrist or someone will see it on yours, they are just looking disorganized. I am saying this even though I am actually personally attracted to the idea of a meteorite dial. I don’t think it seems at home on a dress watch like this.

  • funNactive

    I loved this watch from the moment I first saw it in an article several months ago. I’ve been wanting to get a triple calendar watch. Size is perfect & the Meteorite dial is so interesting (I haven’t seen the silver dial in person, but it looks a little plain in pictures).

  • Adele Dazeem

    Pretty damn cool but need to see this in person. Kudos to JLC for stepping out. Thinking dark meteorite on steel if you can find sub 10k is the ticket.

  • TornyiBarnabásazIsten

    Ooh

  • Reprobus Marmaritarum

    I’m inherently suspicious of exotic materials in dials – whalebone, meteorite, offcuts of the Titanic or the Wright Flyer… I worry that JLC have run out of creative steam with the departure of J Lambert and are filling in with showy materials rather than technical innovation, although that is their undeniable forte. When are they going to bring the wonderful technology from their exorbitant but amazingly beautiful ultrathin minute repeater into some more mainstream watches…? That said, these meteorite dials do look very elegant and I’d be very happy to have one for xmas (if you’re reading this Santa…). I would have gone for blued hands and indices on the steel version, it’s lacking a bit in contrast.

    • iamcalledryan

      I see this watch as a continuation of Lambert’s influence. The ladies watches have been getting some awesome dials over the last 5 years and it was high time the gents got in on the action. Would love to see that blued steel version you suggest, I reckon it would win.

  • Larry Holmack

    I love meteorite dials myself….and although there are less expensive watches with meteorite dials…they’re not a JLC. I really love the rose gold version…but….it’s nothing I could possibly afford…unless my lotto numbers actually hit one of these years!!! LOL

    • Jon

      Do you have any examples?

      • Larry Holmack

        Well….you have the obvious suspect in the “I” company…who puts them in a lot of watches. Then you have ebay where you can find a company in Singapore putting meteorite dials in watches, and I found several second hand Bovet Sportster’s with meteorite dials for under $10K. You also have some other lesser know brands that have them….you just to look around. If you really want one…they are out there….you just have to look!!

  • ZBT71

    Absolutely stunning in steel a tiny bit of the universe on one’s wrist.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Sometimes when something is put together , the main reason piece is overshadowed by the materials. I am echoing the comments of Reprobus Marmaritarum in this instance . 39mm would look like a ladies watch on me. It’s a shame, i think the silver version is beautiful with my fav moon complication but the disarray of lines on the face drive me nuts.

  • spiceballs

    From the replies clearly a divisive design. For me, I enjoy the classic simplicity superimposed upon the flair of the different dial material – not unlike an “architectural feature” of a building.

  • otaking241

    Love these so much. I only wish they offered the darker tone on the steel case. Wonder how JLC is on custom requests…?

  • thats masterpiece

  • Jon

    Funny thing is, though meteorite sounds like an exotic and precious material, it’s mostly iron (if they’ve used Gibeon) and it’s an order of magnitude less expensive than gold ($2/gram vs. $20/gram for gold). http://www.meteoritemarket.com/GNet.htm

    Really makes a cool dial material though!

  • If I could, I would; scrap the meteorite dial with something less disorganizing. Other than that, I really love the dial on this watch. I would surely take the gold model if I had the chance. Nice watch!

  • funNactive

    This may be my favorite watch (within an attainable price range). Love the Meteorite dial & the layout of the triple calendar.

    A sportier alternative with a Meteorite dial would be the Omega Speedmaster Grey Side Of The Moon Meteorite Watch
    ( https://www.ablogtowatch.com/speedmaster-grey-side-moon-meteorite-watch/ )