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Thread: Your thoughts on Jaeger-LeCoultre as a Manufacturer and their Master Control Date

  1. #1

    Your thoughts on Jaeger-LeCoultre as a Manufacturer and their Master Control Date

    Your thoughts please on either the Manufacturer JLC or specifically on their Master Control Date.

    I wasn't particularly looking for anything while scanning through the FS section, when I came across Lughugger sale for his JLC Master Control Date.

    Now you know what its like, when you see something that you like immediately, well I had that on seeing the watch, and kept coming back to look at the photos.
    But at the time I had just committed to buying the GS, which is great and is very versatile, especially when changing the straps, but it is a little bit thick, case wise, were as the JLC is thin in comparison.

    Now I am wondering whether to get either the newer 40mm or the older 37mm piece.

    I have never really considered getting a JLC, but often admired their simplicity as well as some of the more complicated pieces.
    Plus with each watch undertaking their own 1,000 hour test, surely that is not to be sneezed at?

    Do
    Jaeger-LeCoultre make good watches?

    I would be keen to hear your views,
    especially those who have owned them.

    And of course no thread would be interesting without photos, so please feel feel free to show us yours.

  2. #2
    Master
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    I do not have a picture but I had a Memovox that I bought new at Heathrow about 5-6 years ago. Not sure why but I sold to to Blower's maybe a year later. It was a sublime thing if I remember correctly.

  3. #3
    Master
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    I have a 1954 JLC 14ct Powermatic. A few years ago the winding knob c/w tri diameter shaft fell out.

    The cost of replacement and an obligatory service was £1200.

    So be prepared for high running costs.

  4. #4
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topcat30093 View Post
    Do Jaeger-LeCoultre make good watches?
    It used to be said they offered Patek quality at a Rolex price. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone saying that post-Richemont. And way too many horror stories about after-sales service. Search for ‘em, you’ll find ‘em.

  5. #5
    Also interested in a 37mm Master Control.

    Sounds like a pre-2000 watch and be prepared for high OEM maintenance costs.


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  6. #6
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seamaster73 View Post
    It used to be said they offered Patek quality at a Rolex price. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone saying that post-Richemont. And way too many horror stories about after-sales service. Search for ‘em, you’ll find ‘em.
    That, basically. I always thought that for quality and horological pedigree JLC along with perhaps Zenith offered more bang per buck than anyone. Anyone tired of Rolex AD games would perhaps especially be attracted by those two. But JLC service horror-stories are legion (whereas fwiw there are lots of positive stories about Zenith's aftermarket care). For me at least it takes the fun out of ownership if I'm dreading a problem, or even merely service time.

  7. #7
    Master daveyw's Avatar
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    Your thoughts on Jaeger-LeCoultre as a Manufacturer and their Master Control Date

    I had a Grand Reverso 976 which was a lovely thing and never went wrong. Build quality and level of detail in the finishing for the price was awesome. I sold on here a few years ago as it wore a bit too big but thatís a standard thing for the larger size Reversoís unfortunately. I now have have the slightly smaller sized Day/Night in rose gold which I will keep forever (WIS prediction). Again itís just little details that they do so right, blued hands, smooth winding, guilloched dial etc. also had an Ultra Thin Moon, bought and sold on this very forum. That was a sublime watch but was tricky for me to read the date as my eyesight star eyed to fade :(
    One thing I found with regards JLC legibility and you may find this on the Master Control, is a silver dial with silver hands combination is not always the most legible. I still hanker after a Memovox but in its modern iteration would opt for rose gold or a Polaris version.







    I also like the fact that theyíre the Ďwatchmakers watchmakerí with a respected history with some quirky designs. The master compressor range with twist lock pushers, Amvox with glass operated chronograph, the reverso line, duometre etc. Thereís a lot to like but in the current range similar to the master control you might like sector dials they do, or a Polaris?

  8. #8
    Thanks gents for your input.
    Slightly confused!
    Are the older models (pre Richmont) better - build wise, than the current range?
    And that the servicing is not good and expensive?

  9. #9
    Master daveyw's Avatar
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    Iíve heard bad things about their servicing, mainly on this forum to be fair. No persona experience Iím afraid other than the modes I owned never needed one as no build or working parts issues were experienced. Iíd hope theyíve sorted out some of the issues they may have had and Iíve not seen any recent posts moaning about them. New models also now benefit
    From an 8 year warranty, so they must be pretty confident in the product which should give you some comfort. I also think an older Ďstandardí watch should be able to be serviced by most decent watch repairers

  10. #10
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Very nice watches, superb quality. Not higher quality than your GS though so if you like the JLC go for it but don't view it as a 'step up' as unless you are buying a Duographe it isn't. A Master Control would be a step down from a GS Springdrive. 38 hour PR, nice but not GS level finishing, quite conservative styling.

  11. #11
    One of those brands that have fewer followers in the uk, I feel.
    Go to Europe and they’re revered as a “watchmakers watch”-I.e one they’d like to own.
    I’d love the gold meteorite dialled MC but it’s a tad small on me.
    The fact that you can buy one for the price of a grey dealer gmt or hulk leaves me speechless.
    Superb imho.
    Last edited by GOAT; 28th November 2020 at 21:06.

  12. #12
    Master
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    Love JLC - got a Master Control RDM 20 years ago and still love it.

    I know what people mean about silver hands on a silver dial, but in real-world usage it was never a problem.

    One of the few watches that someone has actually asked me about (after a meeting we'd both been in).

  13. #13
    Craftsman
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    Love my JLC Master Calendar - bought from this very forum a few years ago, and never felt it difficult to read.


  14. #14
    Master
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    I loved mine, but rarely wore it. Sold it about 12 years ago.




    I do still have two IWCs with JLC movements, though.

  15. #15
    Thank you all
    Perhaps I will just stick with the GS


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  16. #16
    Grand Master
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    Iíve had a couple over the years and they always performed faultlessly with a very high level of finishing.

    cant comment on serving as its something I never used but I would assume with any high end brand expect a high end price.

    Hereís my Reverso full calendar/moonphase, just because

    Cheers,

    Ben



    ..... for I have become the Jedi of flippers


    " an extravagance is anything you buy that is of no earthly use to your wife "

  17. #17
    That's really beautiful, Ben.

    I've always loved the Reverso as a watch but I just don't think it would suit my wrist. As a brand I'd put JLC right up there near the top....I don't know if the quality has been affected since being part of Richemont though.

  18. #18
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    I have a 2020 master control date and i'm totally sold on it. It just seems to have so much class and wrist presence and is my go-to dress watch. My suggestion is get one on your wrist and see what you think, everybody's mileage will vary so try it for yourself - i will never never sell mine, to me it's the perfect dimensions simply in a class of it's own (for the price) :)

  19. #19
    Master alfat33's Avatar
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    They are superb watches. I think mine is beautiful and it has run faultlessly. It is from 2007.

    I canít comment on their service operation, but you can use an independent like I did. To be honest I think that Rolex are the only company that I donít see complaints about on the forum in regards to servicing costs and customer service.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Seamaster73 View Post
    It used to be said they offered Patek quality at a Rolex price. Youíd be hard pressed to find anyone saying that post-Richemont. And way too many horror stories about after-sales service. Search for Ďem, youíll find Ďem.
    Which is a real shame as they offer such beautiful watches.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by billten View Post
    I have a 2020 master control date and i'm totally sold on it. It just seems to have so much class and wrist presence and is my go-to dress watch. My suggestion is get one on your wrist and see what you think, everybody's mileage will vary so try it for yourself - i will never never sell mine, to me it's the perfect dimensions simply in a class of it's own (for the price) :)
    Go on, let's have a picture.

  22. #22
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liam4271 View Post
    Which is a real shame as they offer such beautiful watches.
    Iíve been jonesing a Reverso Classic for years, but Iíve got enough to worry about.

  23. #23
    Master JC180's Avatar
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    I've had no fewer than 11 JLC over the last 13 years but none since 2014 when I sold my master 8 days perpetual. They were a cut above the rest in terms of their movements case finishing and dial detailing but in my opinion they went completely awry much in the way IWC did. The master compressor range was quality and unique in their approach. The master calendar was a gorgeous watch and much missed the master diving GMT was so well built and beautifully finished. The master compressor geographic likewise. The Amvox DBS chrono was an exceptional watch in every way. Then everything became same old same old, cases slimmed down for the Asian market started to feel fragile and actually were so. Dials were strewn with errors and printing faults. Then when they went in to the service centre they would come back with an issue they never went in for. A mark on the dial a scratched hand etc. I eventually lost all confidence and sold the last watches I had of theirs. They just stopped feeling special. Even the Duometre watches costing £30k have stopped being shipped with deployants to save a few quid on gold.

    They have started once again to make some interesting watches. The master calendar chronograph looks interesting (At £13k!!) and I still do hanker after a Duometre but I still worry about after sales.

    It's a shame. JLC and IWC were once in a different place to where they are today. I'd love them to wind the clock back a decade I really would.

  24. #24
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JC180 View Post
    Dials were strewn with errors and printing faults. Then when they went in to the service centre they would come back with an issue they never went in for. A mark on the dial a scratched hand etc. I eventually lost all confidence and sold the last watches I had of theirs.
    Wow. That is pretty damning testimony.

  25. #25
    Master JC180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom-P View Post
    Wow. That is pretty damning testimony.
    Ok maybe a slight exaggeration saying they were strewn with errors but a couple of mine and many others I had seen on the net had issues and many had dial replacements under warranty for bleed and other issues. It genuinely pained me to see the fall from grace as I was a big fan of the brand.

  26. #26
    Master daveyw's Avatar
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    Sorry for your bad experience. When was this and what were the age and models? I havenít seen poor reviews of the Sector dial range, Polaris or new Master Controls so am hoping itís something theyíve sorted now

  27. #27
    Master JC180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveyw View Post
    Sorry for your bad experience. When was this and what were the age and models? I havenít seen poor reviews of the Sector dial range, Polaris or new Master Controls so am hoping itís something theyíve sorted now
    It appears to have been the new slimmer 39mm cases on the master range which were introduced in 2012 IIRC. I haven't owned one since I sold my Master Perpetual 8 Days in 2014/15.

    I'd like to get my hands on the latest crop and have a closer look once the shops are back open as they look like they're somewhat getting their mojo back. At least in terms of design and ingenuity.

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  28. #28
    Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    I have also heard JLC is the watchmakers watchmaker - having made movements for Patek, for example. They do seem to have gone through a rough patch but as mentioned they now offer 8 year manufactures warranty which is one of the longest in the industry so I hope they have reversed the trend. Personally I have owned some and have not found them wanting.

    The latest was the world timer Geophysic which was an superbly finished watch and with the 'jumping second' complication as well as world time.



    with a gorgeous movement



    I can't say I've had any issues with them. There are new calibers out this year that look very interesting!

    I tried this one on one morning, using AR and quite like it! (not viewing the real watch btw!)


  29. #29
    Some very valid points coming out, both good and bad.

    So, if considering a JLC, would it be better going either pre 2010 and/or the latest models which have the increased power reserve and other slight modifications?

  30. #30
    Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topcat30093 View Post
    Some very valid points coming out, both good and bad.

    So, if considering a JLC, would it be better going either pre 2010 and/or the latest models which have the increased power reserve and other slight modifications?
    Personally I'd go for the new models. But do expect 50% depreciation if you sell!

  31. #31
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    Personally I'd go for the new models. But do expect 50% depreciation if you sell!
    That does depend on which model, my Geophysic 1958 has actually increased in value by over £1500 since I bought it in 2016. Probably helps thereís only a few hundred of them.

    As for the other issues mentioned on this thread. Iíve never had a problem with JLC, my watch is absolutely fantastic and when I had a minor problem with the rotor they sorted it out immediately. Personally Iíve preferred it to any other watch Iíve owned, and have an ultra thin Reverso on my wish list at some point in the future.

    In my personal experience with the brand I really donít think you can fault them. They are wonderful watches for the money.


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  32. #32
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike83 View Post
    That does depend on which model, my Geophysic 1958 has actually increased in value by over £1500 since I bought it in 2016. Probably helps thereís only a few hundred of them.

    As for the other issues mentioned on this thread. Iíve never had a problem with JLC, my watch is absolutely fantastic and when I had a minor problem with the rotor they sorted it out immediately. Personally Iíve preferred it to any other watch Iíve owned, and have an ultra thin Reverso on my wish list at some point in the future.

    In my personal experience with the brand I really donít think you can fault them. They are wonderful watches for the money.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Like you, I've only had positive experiences having owned many JLCs. They're beautiful watches both inside and out, and are light years ahead of the more the common brands we tend to see here/wear (e.g. Rolex, Omega, etc).

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy another, and still have a vintage model in gold. In fact, a JLC was probably the most beautiful watch I've owned to date...




  33. #33
    Iíve got a JLC master moon with a meteorite dial.
    Itís a stunning watch, but never wear it. If look at it in detail, itís great value top-end horology.

    I must move it on at some point, but fear what the trade-in prices would be !!!

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