In-Depth Introducing The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar (Live Photos, Thoughts, Official Pricing)

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 39mm Master Ultra Thin case (henceforth known at MUT) is one of my absolute favorites. It is the perfect size for me, the perfect size for a dress replica watch, and no matter the complication, it just works. Take, for example, two introductions in this line from the past two years – 2011’s Master Ultra Thin Moon and 2012’s Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon. Both of these replica watches are simply divine (and the latter is one of the few tourbillons I would actually wear in public without feeling like a true, well, you know what I mean). So, for 2013, Jaeger-LeCoultre has gone ahead and introduced a superb new replica watch in this same ultra-thin 39mm case, and it just so happens to be my favorite complication – a perpetual calendar.

So what is this replica watch exactly? Well, it’s not exactly brand new, in the sense that it uses JLC’s ultra-thin modular perpetual calendar, in this case called the caliber 868. This is a self-winding perpetual with 336 parts and 46 jewels, that remains just 4.72mm thick. Impressive, certainly. So impressive in fact that this perpetual calendar fully cased is just 9.2mm thick, while the less complicated replica watches I mentioned above come in thicker! The MUT Moon is 9.9mm thick and the tourbillon is 11.3mm thick. And, for those who believe in traditional replica watchmaking, the ultra-thin perpetual calendar is one of the holiest of calibers. So this replica watch, in a traditional 39mm case, strikes a lot of chords with purists.

And purity is what this replica watch is about. The replica watch uses three registers plus a moonphase at 12 o’clock to display everything from the day of the week to the date to the month, plus two additional pieces of information that are not necessarily found on all QPs. The first is an actual year window placed at 7 o’clock. This is typical of JLC perpetuals, and while I don’t think it upsets the balance of this dial too much, I personally feel the replica watch could have been made without it. It’s not a bad thing, but dial symmetry is something I look for in dress replica watches. The practical reason that this display is here is that this caliber doesn’t display leap year indication on one of the registers,  so it’s needed to know if there are 366 days in this year, or just 365.

The other aperture on the JLC MUT Perpetual not typically found on QPs sits just above the axis point towards 12 o’clock.  As evening falls, this aperture slowly turns red, indicating the wearer should not adjust his or her replica watch.  For those who don’t know, changing a perpetual calendar during the hours of 10pm and 2am (each manufacture has its own range, but this is a rough estimate) can dramatically damage its gears.  The reason is that during these hours, the gears are actively engaged in changing the date.  This JLC MUT Perpetual Calendar gives you a fool-proof way to know when NOT to change your replica watch.  Clever.  During the rest of the day, the small aperture returns to the same color as the dial.  

And speaking of dials, you may have noticed from the pictures above there are a few different options, and this is where things get really interesting.  As with most truly “complicated” replica watches, Jaeger-LeCoultre will offer this MUT Perpetual precious metals – rose and white gold.

The rose gold replica watch features an eggshell white dial that is becoming familiar with JLC’s recent releases, and it looks great. Here are some pictures of the JLC MUT Perpetual in pink gold:

Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar in pink gold / Ref Q 1302520

In addition to rose, JLC will offer the MUT perpetual in white gold with a grained, silver-tone dial with blackened markers that reminds me a little bit of what we’ve seen on Patek’s 5270.  Regardless, it looks awesome.  Here are some pics of this bad boy in white gold:

Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar in white gold / Ref Q 1303520

As you can see, both the rose and white gold versions are this new ultra-thin perpetual are really stunning, and the quintessential expression of this combination of complication and refinement.  And we didn’t even get to the price yet – in rose, this replica watch will sell for $31,600, and in white it will be $34,700.  These are both absolutely incredible prices for what you’re getting here.  We’re talking a literal fraction of the price compared to something similar from competitors.  But I haven’t gotten to the best part yet.  This replica watch is actually going to be available in three options, not two. And that guy on the right down there ain’t what you think it is.

Most would assume that JLC would make a replica watch like this in rose and white gold, and perhaps make a small number in platinum, and in mosts cases they’d be right.  But in this particular instance, in a move that I’m not sure I could possibly be happier about, JLC has decided to make this elegant new ultra-thin QP in stainless steel!  

It’s a move that will make a complicated replica watch like this available to a totally new set of buyers.  In fact, this stainless steel case, silver dialed perpetual calendar featuring a legitimately 100% in-house made caliber with 336 individual parts will sell for under $20,000.  You’re reading that right.  List on this replica watch, which will only be sold at JLC boutiques, will be $19,950.  How incredible is that?  This replica watch will make a lot of dreams come true for a lot of people who previously thought a perpetual or something of this nature completely unattainable.  Of course, production will be limited, but the fact that this replica watch even exists in stainless steel at this price point is a major victory for replica watch lovers.  Here’s a closer look:

Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar in stainless steel / Ref Q 130842J

As you can see, there is not much to dislike about any of these three replica watches.  Of course, it is the steel, boutique-only model that gets us going the most, but all represent a great representation of a classical expression of replica watchmaking at tremendous value.  The steel is something special, and I think makes a pretty good case for being one of the most interesting replica watches at or under $20,000.  What do you think? Is there a better buy in replica watches in this range than the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar in stainless steel? I’d love to hear what you have to say about it below.

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