It’s a steaming hot night, the bar is buzzing and you’re full of life having spent the day around the pool, basking in the sun like an elephant seal. You’ve got that white linen shirt on that really accentuates your sunburn and one extra button undone – one more than is generally acceptable in public back home. You make your way to the bar with the boys and, once there, you catch the eye of that goddess sitting across from you. She’s more tanned than you are and has the physique of a middle-distance, all-American track athlete from Duke University. She is, without question, one of the finest specimens you have ever seen.
An hour or so into the evening, and having successfully consumed five or six body-shots out of the bartender’s bellybutton, Justin Bieber, the Despacito remix comes on. You’re on the dance floor, you slither over, and unlike what tends to happen every weekend at home, she doesn’t turn and run. You go on to have an evening so memorable, you will share it on countless occasions with your grandson around the Christmas dinner table in years to come.
That is how I felt when I walked on to the Jaeger-LeCoultre stand at SIHH this year. I locked eyes with the new Master Control range, and was lost. I couldn’t accept it. A watch, that beautiful, of that calibre, from a company like JLC, at that price point – it couldn’t be. Now, I confess I, too, shared a special moment with the Date Master Control behind closed doors at SIHH. It was brief, after all, others wanted their time with her as well. So, I left, heartbroken.
This week I had the rare opportunity to meet my long-lost love again. The scariest thing – she was even more beautiful than I remember from that 45-minute session in Geneva.
For me, this watch is all about the detail. The 39mm case is perfect. The retro, skeletonised baton hands are majestic. I mean, really, really sexy! And different. The case is svelte and hugely comfortable at only 8.5mm. The in-house JLC automatic 899/1 movement is beautiful and visible through the caseback (it’s an upgraded version of JLC’s calibre 889, which is a flat, high-grade movement that was first introduced in the 1980s). The silver sector dial works seamlessly with the blue accents – the date function is an added extra. And to top it all off, its priced at just £4,800 on jaeger-lecoultre.com. What else is there to say – I just really feel this watch is going to be a smash hit.
In recent history, for me JLC has never been cooler.