Ever since the 16th century, ladies’ watches have delighted in reinventing the rules of the game of seduction: exploring the full spectrum from invisible to dazzling and from concealment to revealment, while engaged in a perpetual quest to strike the perfect balance between beauty, refinement and telling the time. JaegerLeCoultre has enriched this tradition by creating “secret” watches with covers, as well as swivelling and pivoting models, rings and pendants, covering a range of styles streatching from the purity of Art Deco to the most expressive floral motifs. Radiating ultimate aesthetic appeal and supreme elegance, these creations unite the twin arts of exceptional watchmaking and fine jewellery. Such masterpieces could only be created in the workshops of the Manufacture that so fully masters the subtle intricacies of mechanical perfection and the most exquisitely delicate gemsetting techniques. Over the centuries and in step with changing dress codes, women have determined the aesthetic of time and the ways in which it is worn. They have adopted all manner of innovations and horological complications. They have combined beauty and perfection, thereby enabling watchmaking to draw nurture from the art of jewellery and goldsmithing. Whether hung from a long sautoir necklace, attached to the belt by a “châtelaine” chain, concealed within a brooch or a snuffbox, watches have displayed the multiple, everchanging and secret facets of their nature – very much like women themselves. And when 18th and 19th century customs held that ladies had no need to measure time or to enquire about the time when in company, the dance of the hours was delicately cloaked in pearls and precious stones. JaegerLeCoultre has always lavished special attention on feminine timepieces, in terms of both their aesthetic and their mechanism. In particular, this tradition dates back to the smallest round movements with an extremely small diameter, such as the LeCoultre Calibre 7HP created in the 1880s, and which equipped enamelled watches set with diamonds and pearls, generally worn around the neck.
48 FOCUS of SWFL 2014