Surprisingly, Jaeger-LeCoultre kept its new Rendez-Vous collection under wraps when presenting its watches for 2012 at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. Not a word was breathed until months later when the first models began to appear, noticeably worn by Diane Kruger, the face of the brand, at the recent Venice International Film Festival which counts Jaeger-LeCoultre as its official partner. Yet Rendez-Vous is without doubt a great moment in the history of the Grande Maison.
First the Reverso…
Until now, Jaeger-LeCoultre had inhabited an essentially masculine universe with technically stunning watches, the product of fundamental research which has put the firm at the cutting edge of horological innovation. Granted, the Reverso has long lent itself to models with feminine appeal, yet the fact remains that this is a watch originally made for polo players, and as such far removed from the aesthetic a lady wishes to have on her wrist. It’s something of a twist of fate that the Reverso has won such a loyal following among the brand’s female fans. Other than its Fine Jewellery timepieces, Jaeger-LeCoultre was missing a collection created with women only in mind.
The Rendez-Vous collection fills this gap with infinite style. All that remained was a grand unveiling. Part of the Global Champions Tour, the Lausanne International Horse Show – Jaeger-LeCoultre is the main partner – came at exactly the right moment. “At the beginning of the 1930s, British officers stationed in India asked a Swiss businessman to create a watch that was elegant yet able to withstand the rigours of a polo match,” Chief Executive Jérôme Lambert reminds us. “This challenge gave birth to the Reverso and, at the same time, to a long history between Jaeger-LeCoultre and equestrian sports, a history that has continued decade after decade.”
It was in this equestrian setting, in September, that aficionados were able to “make a date” with the new collection. “Of course the Reverso remains an iconic model, and women’s favourite, but now it’s time for the Rendez-Vous to take its place beside women who appreciate Fine Watchmaking, Stéphane Belmont, Product and Marketing Director at Jaeger-LeCoultre, explained. “This gracious and sophisticated collection is destined to grow. Its natural, refined elegance, inspired as much by Art Deco for the case as by Art Nouveau for the dial, is already inscribed in time.”
The first models have a diameter of 29 or 34 mm, in steel and rose gold with diamonds. In addition to its original day/night indication, the Rendez-Vous now comes with a tourbillon. Such a romantic rendezvous between Jaeger-LeCoultre and its female admirers is bound to be just the beginning of a lasting love affair …