Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette
As far as I know,Jaeger-LeCoultre is a real “watch lovers’ brand.” Here is a super thin mechanical watch that happens to have diamond decoration and a number of hand-engraving on the skeletonized movement… surrounded by a ring of grand feu enamel painting as well. That is just layers of appeal all in one timepiece that could have just been “really thin” without a hitch.
Currently,I will clarify the title of this article by saying that while the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette is the thinnest mechanical watch in the world (right now), the versions set with diamonds (as the ones we photographed are) add about a millimeter more thickness. Honestly, you’d perhaps never known unless someone pointed that out to you, nonetheless it is considerable to mention. Diamond setting requires that a canal be carved into the case material for the diamonds to sit in – and that takes the incredibly thin 3.6mm thick case of the non-diamond-set Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette to 4.73mm thick with these diamond-decorated models.
Still, put this “fatter” diamond-set version of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette watch on your wrist, and you still feel as though you are wearing a wafer. The case, in 18k white or pink gold, hardly appears thicker than the attractive rolled alligator strap. For the record, these types of straps on dress watches are my favorite. Visible stitching is just incredibly overrated, according to my opinion… At 39mm wide, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette isn’t exactly a bold watch, however it is in the range of what looks good on most men’s wrists as a dress watch.
One of the more interesting design elements is the ring around the exposed movement which sits under an hour marker scale and comes in a few colors. This ring is first guilloche engraved and then given an application of enamel paint. Here, you see the white version, but my favorite is the blue version (that, unfortunately, I did not get to wear, whereas I did get to visually inspect it – and it’s considerably cool). This design element is less about Jaeger-LeCoultre wanting to be hugely creative and more about them needing to do something with the extra space.
The problem is that the movement itself isn’t just super thin, however it is rather narrow as well. That means it isn’t probably for the movement to take up too much of the case… thus there needed to be a buffer zone. I really deem it would be interesting if Jaeger-LeCoultre invested in a new, wider version of this movement with some added upgrades such as more power reserve time and potentially a complication or two (power reserve indicator might be nice). Theoretically, you could keep the same thin size but just expand outwards with more parts (especially a larger mainspring barrel… or two of them).
Some of my favorite skeletonization design elements are the triple repeating “JL” motifs in the skeletonized mainspring barrel as well as the overall look and feel of the engraved decoration that looks classic, but not feminine.Legibility isn’t exactly the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette watch’s strong suit, however that is to be expected with such watches. In reality, if Jaeger-LeCoultre made the hands more visible, then it would have brought attention to the fact that they don’t take up much of the dial interior, and that might have made the timepiece look odd by calling attention to disproportionate elements. Even the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand name is harder to see, being applied to the inside of the sapphire crystal over the dial. Nevertheless, when it comes to an art piece such as this, I don’t deem plenty of people are looking for tool watch utility.
Last but not least,according to the brand, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette watches are each limited to 100 pieces per version. Prices for the 18k pink gold model are $58,500 for the non-set version and $72,500 for the diamond-set version. The 18k white gold model is $61,000 for the non-set model and with diamonds, the price is $75,000.