Venice is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s first port of call after the summer hiatus. For the twelfth consecutive year, the Manufacture left its home in Le Sentier for the Serenissima, in its role as official partner to the Mostra. As one of the oldest events of its kind, founded in 1932, the Venice International Film Festival holds its own: its highest accolade, the Golden Lion, has nothing to envy the Palme d’or presented at Cannes or Berlin’s Golden Bear as a badge of distinction recognised by film-goers the world over. For Jaeger-LeCoultre, whose incursion into the world of film has grown into an authentic vocation, the festival is a magnificent opportunity to show off the extent of its expertise… and join fans in enjoying the glamorous side of any international festival, including the presentation of its very own Glory to the Filmmaker Award which this year went to the Iranian director Amir Naderi.
The jewels of time
Tying in with the red-carpet atmosphere, the Manufacture turned the spotlight on its métiers d’art, in particular gem-setting. Several memorable timepieces have already demonstrated Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expertise in the field; La Rose Blanche and Rendez-Vous Art Rubies and Sapphires, both unveiled at the start of the decade, already prefigured certain pieces in the Hybris Artistica collection.
The styles making their debut at the 73rd Mostra confirmed this tradition, while continuing to celebrate the iconic Reverso which turned 85 this year. First to take the stage is the Reverso One High Jewelry in white gold, inspired by the early ladies’ Reverso watches of the 1930s. A triple row of diamonds echo the Reverso’s signature gadroons, while the “brancards” are proposed with two different treatments whose contrast highlights the twin dials of this Duetto: one in white mother-of-pearl with hand-painted Arabic numerals, and one in black aventurine with diamonds hemming the hour and minute circle.
This first execution is joined by a Rendez-Vous Moon, also in white gold and with diamonds on the bezel, lugs and crowns. Minuscule sprinkles of silver form stars on the dial in Grand Feu paillonné enamel, matched by a mother-of-pearl moon at 6 o’clock and a hand-painted ivy pattern. Again in white gold and inspired by a 1960s design, Rendez-Vous Secret completes this trio. It is, says Jaeger-LeCoultre, “like a flower with white and pink petals. The watch’s cover is abloom in marquise-cut diamonds, pink sapphires, and brilliant-cut rubies. Two rows of brilliant-cut diamonds make up the bracelet. A secret watch, it securely guards the mystery of time under its cover. The cover gently opens to give a glimpse of the time. Ivy leaves are depicted on the dial, as though transfixed in mother-of-pearl.”
From the heart
The world of film isn’t the only expression of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s love of Venice and the métiers d’art. For the past two years, the watchmaker has been patron to the restoration of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, which is home to an unrivalled collection of paintings by Tintoretto (1518-1594). Throughout the Mostra, as a reminder of ongoing work at the Scuola, a series of photographs went on show presenting the recent restoration of a remarkable pendant-watch, worn by Zélie LeCoultre and made by her husband Antoine LeCoultre, founder of the Manufacture. The brand also came up with another way to boost the restoration fund, and pledged a donation each time a visitor signed its digital guest book with a heart drawing. First to do so was actress and director Carmen Chaplin, who has longstanding ties with the brand. Her heart is now engraved on the back of… what else but a Reverso.