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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I will continue to say that Jaeger-LeCoultre makes some of the best sport watches around and Jaeger-LeCoultre will continue to communicate very little about them. For the last several years with remarkable consistency, Jaeger-LeCoultre has released one or two new sport watches that offer a great style, interesting and useful complicated movements, masculine designs, and fair prices. This year that aggregate of qualities finds itself in the limited edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic timepiece.

It looks like a watch Jaeger-LeCoultre has produced before because it uses an existing movement and similar name as other models. What you are seeing is mostly a refinement in terms of dial design and overall presentation as part of the larger and already very popular Master Compressor collection of sport pieces. What holds the collection together aside from large sizes and military-inspired looks is the “Compressor” crown. It operates differently from screw-down crowns in that you simply twist it from one side to another. White indicators means that it is locked while red indicators means that it is open for winding or being pulled out.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Jaeger-LeCoultre follows one of the most traditional tricks in the book for making a conservative tool watch a bit more “sporty” by having it mostly all monochromatic save for a small dash of color – usually red. That red shows up in the crown (a bit) as well as the red chronograph seconds hand. This type of timepiece is a poster-child for how a small dash of color can work so well. Having said that I think a white versus red chronograph seconds hand would have worked equally well.

At 46mm wide the Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic is not a small watch. It does wear comfortably though and if you like bold sport watches you will certainly find a lot to love here.  The case of course is ceramic – done in a matte black tone matched to metal pushers and crown. Because the crown and pushers match the hands and hour markers I don’t mind that they are in another color. I believe the crown and pushers are in titanium but Jaeger-LeCoultre wasn’t clear on that. In any event they are done in a similar matte-finish.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the watch is the very useful in-house made Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 757 automatic chronograph movement. A real beauty of a complicated work-horse movement, the 757 combines a chronograph with second dial zone (complete with day/night) indicator, as well as the date. The movement operates at a modern frequency of 28,800 bph, and has a long power reserve of 65 hours (which was upped just a few years ago). In many ways the movement offers functionality similar to those in other timepieces but with Jaeger-LeCoultre there are added features such as the second timezone and day/night indicator (for the second time zone).


The dial of the Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic is very familiar to Master Compressor collection fans. It has a slightly different treatment, but the collection’s signature hands and 12 o’clock hour marker are there and intact. It is both legible and masculine in a sort of refined Swiss manner. The case is further water resistant to 100 meters and the black strap is “Trieste” calfskin leather that has an almost textile look to it.



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  • Interesting that this JLC is “reasonable” at $15K while there have been a lot comments that the Dark Side of the Moon Speedmaster  is pricey at $12K. Yes, I know the JLC has a 2nd  time zone and no doubt better finishing. But I can still comparisons being drawn between the two.
    The name “Master Compressor” would make me think of a watch with more than 100 meters of water resistance.]
    Having said all that, I do dig this watch.

  • Paulrus

    MarkCarson I think people aren’t comfortable with a $12k Omega yet as they have historically been sub $5k, whereas JLC is a legitimate haute horologie brand. That being said, value is relative.

  • Kris C

    Spluh, I’m surprised that I actually don’t like it that much. I don;t want to be a negative nancy about it, I’m sure it’s a very nice watch in person, but these pictures aren’t doing much to tickle my fancy – it look similar to some other much more economical watches I can think of.

  • Ulysses31

    I’m afraid i’m not digging the hands or the hour markers on this one.  I’ve seen many a cheap Seiko with similarly ugly features, and I wouldn’t want to be reminded of a cheap quartz when looking at a JLC.  As for the case back – what the hell is that?  Did someone get their kid to knock that out in ten minutes in a 1990s DTP program?  Oo, clipart of the Earth complete with unevenly spaced longitude and latitude lines!

  • Ulysses31Agree, the case back is worse than lame.

  • spiceballs

    I think that this watch is OK and appreciate the pushers, crown and case.  But agree with U31 on the hour & minute hands and caseback.   I could find a better alternative to spend those $ on – possibly an Omega  “Dark Side”?

  • Must be a slow day today at ABTW headquarters.

  • PanagiotisAh, they have spoiled you with 3 posts per day on the 21st and 22nd. So only one post on the 23rd and you think they are slacking, ha ha. 
    You do know that Ariel was at SIIH in Geneva all week and they also rolled out their new website which is still a work in progress according to ABTW.
    Just be glad they continue to make posts when on those rare occasions when Ariel takes a vacation. Cheers.

  • MarkCarson Actually I was commenting more on the quality of the last few watches reviewed–not too exciting IMHO–and not so much on the quantity. “Slow” as in not many exciting watches to review so let’s dig up some second-runs. Not meant in a derogatory way to the team, mind you 😉
    I’m sure you’re been reading the blog as long as I have and I remember ABTR V 1.0 and its one post per week…Those were the days!

  • Panagiotis Nope, I’ve only been reading for under 3 years, so any more than 1 post per day feels like a treat to me. So back in the ABTR v 1.0 days wouldn’t you have been thrilled to read about any JLC watch? Ah how jaded we have become… Cheers

  • Ryan B

    I want to like it, somewhat do. Caseback is just hideous

  • PanagiotisMarkCarson Thanks for the feedback. We try to mix it up with interesting and mainstream models based on what is new at SIHH 2014 week. No doubt between now and the next few weeks you’ll find enough to enjoy.

  • Actually Ariel i read this blog because i enjoy your candid and relaxed style. I enjoy reading (and bitching) about a bad watch as much as i do a good one! It’s all in good fun.
    Btw, do us old timers a favor and post a screenshot of the very early days. I am trying to remember what it looked like but i can’t.

  • nishantdr83

    Love this watch and will likely buy it .. One of the best releases @ SIHH this year .. Thanks for posting.

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