Captivating is a word that aptly describes the night sky over the Vallée de Joux, this secret hollow nestling in the Swiss Jura that gave birth to the Maison Jaeger-LeCoultre. Very few lights disturb its luminous beauty that remains imperturbably serene, softly enveloping those who take the time to observe it, accepting to reveal its secrets to them. The sky harbours the origins of time, while the sun, moon and stars are the keys that enabled humankind to tame this impalpable phenomenon. They are thus the be-all and end-all of horology.
In 2015, the Manufacture in the Vallée de Joux is keen to share its fascination for the movements of the heavenly bodies, drawing upon these inexhaustible sources of inspiration and using them as a privileged means of expressing its expertise.
An impressive panorama
Because they speak to the mind and the heart, calendar complications have the ability to fire the imagination. Lunar calendar, sidereal zodiac calendar… the very terms used to describe them are a voyage into a universe that stretches far beyond our grasp and yet governs us. Through its new creations, Jaeger- LeCoultre illustrates the phenomena observed by ancient civilisations and which punctuate our daily lives. The calendar year represents a complete turn of the earth around the sun. Moon phases gave rise to the week and the month. The 12 hours represent the 12 decans visible during the night of the spring solstice. Minutes and seconds were adopted in order to facilitate complex astronomical calculations. By bringing them within reach of connoisseurs of fine objects, Jaeger-LeCoultre wanted the complete calendar and the moon phase to occupy the place they rightly deserve in our daily lives.
Fragments of the sky
To embody the magnetic beauty of the sky, moon and stars, Jaeger-LeCoultre opted for materials directly related to its source of inspiration, such as meteorite stone and lapis lazuli. Meteorites, the shooting stars that cross the sky while leaving a luminous trail, have been crafted by the artisans of the Manufacture with a blend of passion and determination, in order to reveal the beauty they have concentrated across the ages. The highly symbolic lapis lazuli was the favourite stone of ancient kings, who associated its colour with the sky chart. Its deep pigmentation is indeed rivalled only by the infinite depths of the heavenly canopy. These rare and mysterious materials are an integral part in the design of the watches, while offering a singular experience through the energy and intensity they convey.
Invention according to Jaeger-LeCoultre
Since its founding in 1833, the Manufacture has played a key role in countless landmark introductions, from the keyless lever winding system to the silent regulators that serve to enhance the quality of sound emitted by repeater watches, and from the barely one-gram Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 101 to the iconic Reverso, along with unprecedented concepts such as the Dual-Wing®. Surprising and enchanting the men and women who prove sensitive to these concentrated blends of the watchmaking expertise: such is the mindset nurtured by Jaeger-LeCoultre, which has made inventiveness a key focus. Calendar functions have long since been part of the watchmaking culture of the Grande Maison, admirably complementing other complications such as the Tourbillon or the Minute Repeater. This year, they are expressed in their own right and thus find themselves resolutely in the spotlight.
Above and beyond their utility, the very nature of all functions provided by Jaeger-LeCoultre is to offer the person wearing the watch an elegant scaleddown interpretation of the surrounding universe. Each of its new creations is destined to make the heart of devotees of fine objects beat a little faster. They can thus eagerly look forward to discovering models such as the Duomètre Sphérotourbilloon Moon with its infinitely accurate moon-phase display.