Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox 2020: Singapore Price And Review

Sounds about right.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox Timer

In the world of watch complications, there’s the tendency to get caught up in the complexity of the features. A perpetual calendar? Amazing. Minute repeater? Mesmerising. Rattrapante chronograph? Fascinating. But our penchant for being impressed by the bells and whistles of haute horlogerie has also led us to forget about other functions that, while underrated, are exceedingly more useful in modern life.

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One of those functions is the humble alarm. In the late 1940s, Jaeger-LeCoultre embarked on a project to develop this useful complication, applying its know-how in the field of minute repeaters to create an alarm watch.

While we know minute repeaters to be complex creatures, an added hurdle for the alarm mechanism is the requirement for the hammer to strike the gong multiple times in rapid succession, allowing for the now-signature ‘school bell’ ring of the Memovox alarm.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox

For its latest Memovox collection, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s engineers wanted the wearer to be able to view the hammer in action. As such, a sapphire caseback was incorporated, replacing the closed casebacks of the past.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox
Attaching the gong of the Master Control Memovox

However, this meant the Calibre 956 had to be tweaked, with the striking mechanism entirely redesigned. This is because the earlier models featured a gong attached to the closed caseback. With the open caseback, the gong had to be repositioned and attached to the side of the case instead. Thanks to the redesign and a new skeleton pink gold rotor, the wearer now gets an unobstructed view of the calibre and its inner workings.

Two models are introduced this year—the classic Master Control Memovox that pays tribute to the original 1950 version, and the Master Control Memovox Timer with, you guessed it, a countdown alarm timer.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox

The Master Control Memovox (above) is a picture of elegance with a silver brushed sunray dial, applied indices and Dauphine hands. A date display adds to the functionality of the watch while a blue seconds hand lends a sophisticated pop of colour to the dial. Meantime, the alarm time is indicated via the concentric disc with pointer at the middle of the dial. Paired with a tobacco brown leather strap, the Master Control Memovox is the epitome of form and function, and a great companion for the office.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox Timer

With the Master Control Memovox Timer (above), the alarm can be set both ways—the conventional way with the alarm set for the time you require it aligning the pointer of the alarm disc to the desired hour, or you can set the alarm based on the number of elapsed hours before the ring. Whichever way you choose, the second indicator will move to the corresponding position as both indicators are linked.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox Timer

The dial is set with two concentric circles—the outer one for the time and the inner one for the elapsed hours. The triangle pointing towards ‘6’ shows that the alarm has been set for six o’clock, while the red indicator pointing at ‘8’ in the centre circle shows that eight hours will need to elapse from the current time of 10 past two before the alarm goes off.

Clothed in two-tone blue with a matching leather strap, the Master Control Memovox Timer is a contemporary take on the traditional Memovox and offers a quirky twist to standard alarm-setting. Limited to just 250 pieces, this is one that will no doubt get collectors excited.

 Case

40mm stainless steel with satin and polished finishes

 Dial

Memovox: Silver sunray dial

Memovox Timer: Two-tone blue sunray dial with engraved numbers on the Memovox disc

 Movement

In-house automatic Calibre 956

 Strap 

Memovox: Brown leather

Memovox Timer: Blue leather

 Functions

Hours, minutes, seconds, date, alarm, and timer (for Memovox Timer only)

 Power Reserve

45 hours

 Water Resistance

50m

 Price

Memovox: S$17,300 

Memovox Timer: S$23,300

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Managing Editor

Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".


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