WATCHES THAT STAND THE TEST OF TIME
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Luxury Watch Review

http://www.thewatchbox.com Behold a landmark in Jaeger-LeCoultre history; the first in-house automatic chronograph movement. That's right, in 171 years encompassing over 1,300 original movements, JLC didn't build a "manufacture" automatic chronograph until 2004. And the watch housing this milestone machine, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph, is a stunner. Prior to the arrival of the Master Compressor series in 2002, Jaeger-LeCoultre sports watches had been a dormant species since the mid-1970s. Under avant-garde designer Magali Metrailler, the Master Compressor line drew from JLC heritage (note the dial cues from the Polaris '68) while forging forward into the 21st century. Each Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph features a dial composed of a concave tachymeter scale to set a suitably sporting tone. Moving inward, a gloss black dial and high-contrast white indices provide the kind of day/night legibility normally associated with a certain watchmaker from "Firenze." All elements of the chronograph readout can be viewed on the rotating disc at nine o'clock (hour register), the baton hand at three o'clock (minute register), and the sweeping white lancet chronograph seconds hand at center. A jump-date and constant seconds subdial at six o'clock complete the business end of the Master Compressor Chronograph. But no overview of a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor is complete without considering the namesake of the model line: the "Compressor" keys. In fact, these distinctive watertight locking mechanisms are "keys," not "crowns." The crowns themselves do not screw down or thread themselves through the seals; the Compressor keys press the crown downward onto the rubber seals without abrasive wear on the soft rings. Not only does this foolproof system feature a color coded (Red You're Dead, FYI) open/locked indication, but fully open and fully-locked crowns require only one-half turn. Compare that to the dozen or so turns required of a typical Rolex or Omega screw-down... Those compressor keys secure the crown-jewel of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph; the caliber 751 automatic chronograph movement. This device boasts a litany of refinements that almost defies semi-colon conjunction. Almost. The owner of this watch will benefit from a 65-hour power reserve via twin barrels in series; a slick vertical clutch/column wheel tandem; a laser-welded (at collet and stud) hairspring with free sprung escapement; unidirectional automatic winding atop lubrication-free ceramic bearings; SPYR-cut high-efficiency train gears; assured precision thanks to the Master 1000-hours Control chronometry battery. Clearly, Jaeger-LeCoultre wanted its debut automatic chronograph to make a serious splash... cannonball! Already being hailed as a classic by collectors of haut-de-gamme and significant sports watches, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph is the latest JLC sporting reference in a lineage that includes the 1958 Geophysic, the 1959 Memovox Deepsea, and the 1965-1969 Polaris. See this future collectible Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph in high-resolution images on www.thewatchbox.com. Video and content by Tim Mosso