When Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the Rendez-Vous in 2012, it was a rare example of a high-complication watch created specifically for women; since then, this mechanically sophisticated and visually entrancing timepiece has been reinterpreted several times, in different materials. In this new ‘Northern Lights’ edition, mother-of-pearl and multi-coloured sapphires take centre stage, uniting two of the Metiers Rares® that Jaeger-LeCoultre has so thoroughly mastered – gem-setting, and hand-painting.
Asymmetrical in composition, the dial is formed of two sections, set at different heights. On the upper section, the curvy Floral numerals – a signature of the Rendez-Vous collection – are graduated in size, to form a crescent that hovers above the lower dial. Outlined by an elliptical band of pink gold that draws the eye deeper into it, this lower section carries a hand-transferred imprint of a star chart, together with the signs of the Zodiac and names of the months. Displaying the night sky as it appears above Jaeger-LeCoultre’s home in the Vallée de Joux, the star chart shows the changing positions of the constellations in real time. The automatic mechanical movement Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 809/1 turns the disc counter clockwise in relation to the stars, almost imperceptibly, in step with the rotation of the Earth in 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds.
For the ‘Northern Lights’ edition, both sections of the mother-of-pearl dial are hand-painted with swirls of colour that reproduce the ethereal patterns of the Aurora Borealis – flowing seamlessly from the upper to lower dials. Shades of green and turquoise set the tone for one model; purples and blues dominate on the other – the colours intensified by the glowing mother-of-pearl beneath them. As the sky disc turns, the pattern of the background colours gently shifts, in a subtle echo of the dancing movement of the aurora.
A hand-polished golden star – emblem of the Rendez-Vous collection – is set on the edge of the dial; by turning the second crown, it can be moved into position to mark the time of a special rendezvous. The rich tones of the dial are echoed on the bezel, which is set with a dazzling, colour-graduated circle of 64 baguette-cut sapphires. To complete the gem-set case, the lugs and two crowns are highlighted with diamonds. A matching alligator strap in turquoise or violet completes these rare timepieces.