Perhaps, with today's more causal attitude to attire, the dress watch is at risk of losing relevance. Once a staple of any man’s wardrobe, the dress watch has slowly been replaced by more sporty, larger sized watches. This makes me sad, as I do think that the dress watch is an essential piece in any collection. That being said, I do take comfort in the fact that this is merely a fad. Just like how the trend of huge 40+mm has finally died, I have no doubt that eventually, sanity will return and the dress watch will come back.
When choosing a mainstream high-end modern dress watch, there are only a couple of brands that really come to mind- Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Sohne, Vacheron and AP, all of which are at very high price points. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moonphase on the other hand, is, in my opinion, a great value proposition for an Haute Horlogerie dress piece.
Classically sized at 38.5mm with a 7.58mm thickness, this is a perfect modern interpretation of a traditional dress watch. Its size hits the sweet spot, balancing traditional understatement and modern relevance. Furthermore, it is housed in a stainless steel case with a sunburst silver dial and matching hour markers and hands. The Master Ultra Thin series has a whole range of complications, and the simplicity of a singular moonphase at 6 o’clock is executed excellently on this reference.
Flip the watch over and you are greeted by a sapphire caseback housing Jaeger LeCoultre’s in-house Calibre 925/1. It is a self-winding movement that is has a frequency of 28,800 bhp and a power reserve of 43 hours. They are excellent movements and finished very nicely with your classic Cotes de Geneve stripes.
Overall, this is as classic as it gets for a dress watch and one that sits very elegantly on the wrist. It doesn’t try to be too different or loud but acts exactly as it should. Pure beauty.