The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar is a great lesson in classical, high-end watchmaking at an accessible price point. First of all, a perpetual calendar complication is the most high end and complicated calendar watch you can buy, as its mechanism takes into account, the days of the month including February, and leap years too so the user does not need to adjust his watch at the end of every month. This ingenious function is extremely complicated and expensive to produce, which is why the watch you see here today is such great value.
Sized in a 38.5mm stainless steel case, it sits very thin and flat on the wrist at 9.2mm and is a beautifully proportioned dress watch. It features a silver sunburst dial with three subdials that dimply the day, date and month, followed by a moon phase at 12 o’clock. On top of this, on the bottom left side of the dial is an aperture displaying the year, to take into account leap years and there is a further small aperture below the logo that tells the user not to set the calendar. This is because adjusting a perpetual calendar in between 10PM and 2AM can damage the watch’s mechanism as the calendar function is working at that time. This very handy aperture turns blue during these times so the user knows exactly when to set or not set the calendar.
In recent times, the perpetual calendar has taken a back seat to more tactile complications such as the chronograph, but I for one remain a huge fan. It is certainly a purist and very classical complication but brands have been featuring it more and more lately. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar is a great piece with great proportions and an attractive price point. As a comparison, a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar will cost quadruple of this. Let that sink in.