Focus. No distracting eagles flying around the booth, no Formula 1-drivers being treated like royalty, the watches are the stars at Jaeger-LeCoultre; the focus is on horology. The presentation is all about watches, the core business. Emotion is not added by making up complicated alliances or telling elaborate stories, emotion is found within the watch. It makes for a true and sincere story everybody believes and gets.
Yes, there are Grand Complications, cermet divers, minute repeaters and carbon Ingenieurs with colorful detailing. They are ALL great, stunning and seducing watches. But my favourite until now is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface of rosegold.
In 2012 the watch industry got the travel bug. This year has seen a slew of watches that either show all the time zones (Breitling’s Transocean Chronograph Unitime or Bremont’s Alt-WT, for instance) or extra time zones in interesting ways (Seiko’s GPS Astron or Rolex’s Sky Dweller). And guess what, it looks like we’ll be seeing more of this in 2013, judging from a couple of early SIHH announcements.
Dominique Baron, possibly the best enameller the world has known, has passed away. She studied applied arts at the University of Strasbourg and continued at the National Institute of Enamellers in Morez. After getting a degree enamelling on metal she started working at Jaeger-LeCoultre, under master-enameller Miklos Merczel. After Jaeger-LeCoultre she created the in-house enamelling departments at Roger Dubuis and DeLaneau.
The eighth anniversary of the partnership concluded between Jaeger-LeCoultre and Aston Martin is being celebrated with the presentation of the AMVOX7, the first vertical-trigger chronograph equipped with a radial power-reserve display. The AMVOX7 Chronograph displays the signature characteristics of an iconic collection within a new case featuring an even more ergonomic shape, and testifies to the avant-garde spirit of an alliance entirely dedicated to aesthetic and technical innovation, inspired by the prestigious British car maker.
Probably you have noticed that London is this year the place where two big events will take place, the Olympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee Pageant. The Diamond Jubilee Pageant is organized to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s sixty years on the throne. Official Timekeeper of the pageant is Jaeger-LeCoultre, and not without reason.
You can generally count on the French to show impeccable good taste, and so it proved at last night's Oscars where Jean Dujardin, star of The Artist and recipient of the Best Actor award, was sporting Jaeger-LeCoultre's tremendously suave Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea watch. Released in a limited edition of 959 pieces last year, the watch is a re-edition of JLC's classic diver's alarm watch, the Memovox Deep Sea from 1959.
Jaeger-LeCoultre boss Jerome Lambert told me last year that he expects the industry to concentrate more and more on ultra high-end collectors’ pieces with six-figure prices and ultra-limited production runs – such is the importance of super-collectors with the spending power to help brands ride out economic storms. According to people I spoke to, the upper echelon collectors at SIHH were happy with what they saw.
Where were all the innovative watches? Besides from Greubel Forsey and Richard Mille I did not see a lot of great new inventions nor wow-factor-news from the other watch brands. AP showed not surprisingly a slightly updated Royal Oak collection. JLC had a couple of Reverso's and a Deep Sea Chronograph that was not an off spin of history, but instead an off spin of last years relaunch. Girard-Perregaux showed a Laureato with their iconic three-bridge tourbillon and JeanRichard presented a DiverScope that was not PVD-coated.
French auction house Artcurial recently offered a substancial collection of wonderful, rare and fantastic Jaeger-LeCoultre watches. The catalogue was heavy and full of horological eyecandy and I found myself putting several X's on different lots when flipping through the catalogue. Just like a kid making an X-mas wish list for Santa...
ambassador Auction Audemars Piguet Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Baselworld 2011 Baselworld 2012 Baselworld 2013 Blancpain Books Breitling Bruun Rasmussen Cartier Chopard Girard Perregaux Hublot IWC IWC Big Pilot Jaeger LeCoultre Jean Claude Biver Jeremiah Case Karel Hubert Kristian Haagen Lange und Soehne Linde Werdelin Linde Werdelin SpidoLite II Michael Schumacher Nato strap Nautilus Omega Panerai Patek Philippe Piaget Rafael Nadal Richard Mille Roger Dubuis Rolex Rolex Sea Dweller Rolex Submariner SIHH 2012 SIHH 2013 Steve McQueen TAG Heuer Technical Tuesday Vacheron Constantin Zenith