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Janek Deleskiewicz, Artistic and Design Director, Jaeger-LeCoultre, talks about the celebrations in store for the 85th anniversary of the Reverso, and the future of the brand.
How has it been working with the brand for more than 25 years?
My favourite aspect is the conceptualisation. It involves dreaming and that’s my nature; I dream all the time to think of ideas for the future. And when I’m facing the challenge to make or decide something about the next collection, often I start drawing even before I’m asked to by the commercial people. For example, the last time we were together with the design team, we were working on the new collection of the Rendez-Vous. I said that we probably need to make some drawings of the future generation [of watches]. And over the last three days, people asked for the new drawings. So it’s clear that we think beforehand. We are always dreaming in the future; we are always projecting the future for the next collection.
How do you maintain a synergy among so many different models and collections?
It’s the essence of the brand. Since the beginning—i.e. the creation of Jaeger-LeCoultre—the watchmaker has [had] to create the mechanism, [to] think of the mechanism before thinking about the collection. And we have the opportunity to develop different iconic lines—Master, Rendez-Vous, and so on. We can use these opportunities with different mechanisms. An expression of the function gives us a specific design in every collection. As you saw last year, we have a celestial expression in the Rendez-Vous—a feminine expression with the moonphase involving more poetry—and the Master, with a masculine expression showcasing more technique and restraint. It’s the same now with the Reverso and what we’ve proposed with the Duetto. We asked our watchmaker and designer how we could personalize for each customer—man or woman. We can propose a higher level of customisation with métiers d’art, but also in a lower price range, one can have something personalised in the Duetto. That’s why, this year, we plan to install in every boutique, the Atelier Reverso. It’s a big step for us in the development of the brand.
Tell us about the highlight for this year.
The highlight is the Reverso, but at the top is [also] the Gyrotourbillon. It’s been in development for three years and we just finished it in time for SIHH. In the Reverso, we have the Tribute Calendar—with the day, date and moonphase indicators and second time zone display. A distinguishing feature is the improved trigger used to change the time. Earlier, we had a push button, which affected the aesthetics of the watch. We’ve changed it and incorporated a kind of trigger, so that each time you want to change the hour, you have to push it. So we’ve kept the lines a lot cleaner by not adding the buttons. So it was also the work of the designer to improve the aesthetics of the watch, while retaining the codes of the Reverso. You can even observe the guilloche work, which is lovely. Then there is the Reverso One Cordonnet. When I first discovered the brand so many years ago, I was surprised to see these watches. For me, this is typically a ladies watch, as is the Reverso One Duetto Moon. For women, we have the Reverso One, Reverso Classique and Reverso Tribute—three different lines designed especially for women.
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