Taking up a challenge from British officers in India, in 1931, the brand created a timepiece capable of surviving the tough, physical test of a polo match and all the knocks that come with it. To protect the dial, a case was designed to be flipped over, revealing an oft personalised engraving or enamelling on the reverse. The Reverso became an Art Deco classic, loved more than eight decades on. Six years later, officially renamed, the brand Jaeger-LeCoultre came into being.
The ‘1000 hours test’, an embodiment of the Manufacture’s dedication to timekeeping precision and reliability, resulted from the Master Control line of the early 1990s, eventually leading to the Master Compressor series, and culminating in the Master Compressor Extreme LAB, the first truly lubricant-free watch. Ever since the Master Control line every single timepiece, barring the Atmos and Calibre 101 lines, endures a battery of tests lasting nearly six weeks, or 1000 hours, before being released.
Throughout its history, Jaeger-LeCoultre has garnered many associations; the Reverso, conceptualised to meet the demands of polo players, has been inextricably linked with the sport ever since. Ambassadors include Lia Salvo, Eduardo Novillo Astrada, Edwina Tops-Alexander, and Clare Milford Haven
with Luke Tomlinson recently joining the stable.
Aston Martin has also had close ties with the brand since the days when Jaeger instruments were used in Aston Martin racing cars. This relationship was further strengthened in 2004 with the release of the AMVOX series, inspired by the automobile technology and distinctive style and sophistication of Aston Martin.
As expected of a luxury brand, its connection with cinema has celebrities the likes of Susan Sarandon and Meryl Streep declaring adoration for the marque. Robert Downey Jr. sported Jaeger-LeCoultre in the latter two movies of the Iron Man trilogy as well as to their premieres. The brand has partnered the Venice International Film Festival for almost a decade, and since 2007 has sponsored the Glory to the Filmmaker Awards. Hollywood luminaries and brand ambassadors, Clive Owen and Diane Kruger, are consistently adorned by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Owen favours the Duometre, AMVOX, and Jaeger-LeCoultre has long taken the red carpet by storm, with A-list celebrities sporting its exquisite pieces.
Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee watch, Jaeger- LeCoultre To raise awareness of World Heritage sites requiring urgent action, Jaeger-LeCoultre also works with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre on the ‘Tides of Time’ campaign. Conservation of the Earth’s ‘Crown Jewels of the Marine World’ is not the only example of the brand’s commitment to its social responsibility, receiving its certification from the Responsible Jewellers Council in 2011 for its upholding of the highest ethical, social, and environmental standards.
What better way to mark 180 years of glory than to honour the man who started it all? The Jubilée Hommage á Antoine LeCoultre collection is an indication of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s future, showcasing the pinnacle of horological expertise in pieces that demonstrate extraordinary achievements in technical and aesthetical perfection, highlighting an astoundingly rich heritage.
The minute details of every piece are a labour of love Joaillerie 101 Art Deco watch, Jaeger- LeCoultre
Zhao Wei wearing the Rendez-Vous Haute Joaillerie at the 2012 Shanghai International Film Festival
Enamelling is just one of many forms of personalisation