Jaeger-LeCoultre Enhances the Master Ultra Thin Power Reserve with Subtle Updates

Many in the watch community are predicting that 2024 will be year where we see a wider adoption of avant-garde and modern design as the pendulum continues to swing away from vintage inspired classicism. This is a good thing, and worth celebrating. But there will always be a market for elegant, classic designs. The kind that have been nailed down and perfect for decades, and define the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. There isn’t a brand out there that is more in tune with this style of watchmaking than Jaeger-LeCoultre. Similar to Rolex, they iterate slowly, and don’t adhere to the (false) notion that buzzy new releases are required as part of an industry cycle. They just kind of do their thing, and it almost always results in a beautiful object. Their latest, the Master Ultra Thin Power Reserve, is familiar in many ways but has several small changes that make it even more refined. 


Jaeger-LeCoultre’s ultra thin watches are a niche of a niche unto themselves. For years, even before the current Thinness Wars really took shape, JLC has been adept at getting the best possible performance from impossibly thin movements, and taking advantage of their diminutive dimensions by housing them in exceedingly well designed watches that take full advantage of their size. For the new Master Ultra Thin Power Reserve, JLC’s Caliber 938 has been reworked slightly to increase the total power reserve to a healthy 70 hours without drastically changing the movement’s size or structure. It’s still just 4.9mm thick, and the case itself measures a slim 8.95mm tall with a 39mm diameter appropriate for the everyday or dress watch duties. 

The proportions of the case have been reworked slightly, with thinner lugs that are also just a bit longer. This, according to JLC, is a move to make the case wear more comfortably on a wider variety of wrists. Visually, the case evokes the mid century elegance that is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s stock-in-trade. It’s not particularly adventurous and doesn’t draw a ton of attention to itself, but that’s the point. This is a case profile that has proven durable among watch lovers for decades – it would be strange to meddle too much with it now. 

The dial features displays showing the date, running seconds, and power reserve, which is an impressive array of information considering the thinness of the movement. While some might argue that the dial is a little cluttered for a watch in this style, I think the layout showing what amounts to three complications is the most subtle of flexes on JLC’s part. The dark blue dial has a gradient sunray finish and is a nice complement to the solid pink gold case. 

The new Master Ultra Thin Power Reserve has a retail price of $21,200. A lot of money, to be sure, but it’s worth noting that JLC has historically made this watch in steel, so it’s possible that a more affordable version in a non-precious metal with these case, dial, and movement enhancements could make its way to market at some point. For now, we’re happy to gawk at the gorgeous pink gold version. Jaeger-LeCoultre

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.