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 Once a staple of any man’s wardrobe, the dress watch has slowly been replaced by more sporty, larger sized watches.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, 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. It’s size hits the sweet spot, balancing traditional understatement and modern relevance. Furthermore, it is housed in a more low-key 18k pink gold case and has all the tenets of a beautifully proportioned timepiece. The eggshell coloured dial matches the warmth of the gold and features matching gold applied dagger markers and dauphine hands.
Flip the watch over and you are greeted by a sapphire caseback housing Jaeger LeCoultre’s in-house Calibre 896. 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.