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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Memovox -07

posted 24 Dec 2015, 03:37 by Markus Helander


Whenever I think of luxury timepieces and jingle bells, which is surprisingly not that often, my mind turns to the one of the most irritating watches I've had to date. Don't get me wrong, it's also a fantastic piece with it's commando-like design, superb alarm function and overall design - oh, and got to love the twist-to-lock crown and pushers, too. But it is not a watch I'd take back. 

And then there's the jingle bells part. Whenever the alarm is due, even if the alarm is not wound, the mechanism chimes and jingles anyway. Since the alarm is a 12-hour mechanism, if you set the alarm at 7am, pretty normal time for an alarm, the chimes will also commence at 7pm when you throw your hand around - which is normal at 7pm, I guess.

The sound isn't obviously as loud as the actual alarm, but disturbing nevertheless. It sounds like the alarm hammer is loose, which it probably is in some way, inside the case. And this is by design, so there's no need for extra service upon hearing extra sounds around you. For those, who don't mind, or maybe just don't hear the alarm-off chime, this is the one piece that blows Crickets and Poljots out of the water.

The alarm itself is very good. I used solely that when I had the Memovox on rotation and it worked perfectly. The case fits well on the wrist and the design is weirdly bulky and subtle at the same time. But for me, it is the wrong Master Compressor.

They say - 'they' being the internets - that the JLC calibre 918 which makes all the magic happen, is a loud movement with its echoing, made-to-alarm, case, but I honestly did not notice it. I found it working smoothly and with a solid performance of +2 seconds a day with a normal office desk jockey use.

The sweet, sleek and efficient looks of the Master Compressor line keep one version of this on the short list back to my wrist. I'm thinking it's going to be the simple three-hander or maybe even the chrono if I get all wild and decide that the one chronograph I'm going to get is this.

What makes this even more macho is the 1000 hours of testing these Jaeger-LeCoultre watches go through. The 'golden standard' of COSC (Bureaux du Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) tests the movements without the case and complications. JLC does it slighly differently: for six week, which is the thousand hours, the manufacture tests the watches with the movements inside for longer and more rigorously. Supposedly. :) And after a factory service, they redo the test yet again. So, that's kind of cool. I am certainly more than okay with that!



So, top of the list. Will have one again. But not the Memovox. Loved to hate it! :)