The mastery of sound in watchmaking dates back to the 18th century when the first minute repeaters were introduced, and today such chiming complications remain coveted due to their complexity. Yet, despite their rarity, an alarm function remains one of the most useful everyday features you can have in a timepiece. In the 1950s Jaeger-LeCoultre launched such a watch with the Memovox, a highly practical model that played into the inventiveness and energy of the post-war era. This year this popular piece has been given a contemporary makeover with two new additions that retain all the practicality and mid-century charm of the original.
For this duo – the Master Control Memovox and the Master Control Memovox Timer – Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expert engineers have painstaking reworked the calibre 956. Now visible through a sapphire-crystal caseback, the movement allows the wearer to see the hammer in action thanks to a complete redesign of the striking mechanism. True to the attention to detail of the watchmaker, each element is intricately finished, including a new open-worked pink-gold rotor decorated with traditional Côtes de Genève pattern that matches that of the movement plates.
On the outside, the Master Control Memovox has been given a streamlined new look, with a classic and clean silver sunray-brushed dial. Its distinctive 1950s aesthetic is enhanced with subtle design features including elongated triangular-shaped indexes, while a blue seconds hand adds a hint of colour.
The Master Control Memovox Timer sees an entirely new function added to the line. The Timer enables the wearer to set an alarm not only based on a particular time, but also for a duration of time, for example the length of a meeting. The bold, handsome dial is laid out in concentric rings, with the inner ring showing the elapsed hours until the alarm, indicated with a small hand tipped with a red JL logo. Meanwhile, the outer edge of that ring features a small triangular marker that points to the time when the alarm will ring.
From £10,300; jaeger-lecoultre.com