During Quill & Pad’s on location visit to Jaeger-LeCoultre in Le Sentier, Ian and I had the unique chance to take a lesson in enameling from the brand’s self-taught master Miklos Merczel. Merczel’s story is an interesting one, and jibes with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s common history with this art form: historically and uniquely on request, Jaeger-LeCoultre has famously placed enameled miniature paintings on the flip side of the Reverso case.
To celebrate this month of the FIFA World Cup of soccer taking in place in Brazil, Quill & Pad brings you some unique looks at the correlation between timing and the world’s most popular sport.
Today we ask Pascal Ravessoud, Director of Delegations and General Secretary of the FHH’s Cultural Council, to Kick Us Five!
This hobby ostensibly centers on the watches, but in reality it’s all about the people. The first person in this story is friend, fellow collector, and photographer Howard Parr. Inspired by the memory of his late stepmother, Libby Parr, and her courage in the face of ovarian cancer, Howard undertook a photographic journey to capture images of other women who are fighting ovarian cancer. The resulting images are both beautiful and inspiring.
In 2009, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced a wristwatch so complicated in its premise and execution that it made my jaw drop: the Duomètre à Grande Sonnerie. Then earlier this year, the Le Sentier-based brand introduced the Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon.
Today I don’t want to talk about one specific watch (though the Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon gets special attention). Instead I want to discuss a whole class of mechanisms that made me cross the line from watch fan to so-called “watch idiot savant” (affectionately abbreviated as WIS): the multi-axis tourbillon.
This stunning diamond-encrusted minute repeater pocket watch is thought to be over 100 years old (circa 1910). An incredible 450 brilliant-cut diamonds ,over 16 carats in total, cover the case and covers with yellow gold accents on the crown, cover hinges and ring add a contemporary touch.
This year’s Hybris Artistica collection features a set of 12 unique masterpieces created to draw attention to this quasi-lost art. These 12 timepieces combine a high complication that is already unique to Jaeger-LeCoultre with an extreme artistic element . . .
Elizabeth and Ian are live on location in Le Sentier this week, where we are getting a first-hand look at the skills of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s artisans in some of the 180 different trades and crafts that this manufacture founded in 1833 unites under one (admittedly very large) roof.
Richard Mille announces another new sporting ambassador following quickly on the heels of skier Alexis Pinturault, who won bronze at the Sochi Olympics in giant slalom. The luxury sporting brand now welcomes Romanin Grosjean to the fold. This announcement coincides with the first Formula 1 testing sessions of the E22 Lotus, which makes sense since Grosjean is a Lotus driver and Richard Mille also sponsors the entire Lotus team.
While it seems that “métiers d’art” could be considered a catchword, trend or even buzz phrase in modern high-end watchmaking, the reality is that when luxury brands take the time, energy, and cost to create these unique elements, it results in some of the most magnificent artwork available in horology today.