Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Sonatina Peaceful Nature: Wind Down And Relax With This Wrist Zen Master
by Martin Green
Jaeger-LeCoultre is among the greatest maisons in the world of haute horlogerie. Its reputation as a movement manufacture is stellar, but in artistic crafts the brand has also earned itself quite a reputation.
Artistic crafts are now referred to by Jaeger-LeCoultre as “Métiers Rares.” Part of the change to this new term is marketing – JLC even registered it – but they have a point. Those who truly master lacquer, enamel, and miniature painting are rare these days – and these are the crafts that make the three new limited editions of the Rendez-Vous Sonatina Peaceful Nature so exceptional.
What is the Rendez-Vous?
In the universe of Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Rendez-Vous is a watch with a delightful complication: it is, in essence, an alarm watch with a day-night indicator.
The star found on the edge of the dial can be set using the second crown on the left side of the case to indicate a moment in the next 12 hours for which the wearer would like to set a reminder. At the selected moment, a gong chimes inside the case, discretely and elegantly drawing the wearer’s attention.
The French have a delightful term for this complication, referring to it as a “sonnerie en passant.”
This is not the only complication that the Rendez-Vous has to offer: it is also fitted with a day-night indication visible in a window at 6 o’clock.
The Caliber 735 movement is on display through a sapphire crystal insert in the case back. This automatic movement offers a 40-hour power reserve and runs at a modern 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency.
Forty hours is both the number of hours of power reserve the Rendez-Vous Sonatina Peaceful Nature boasts and also the amount of time the artisan requires to paint the stunning dial. I am impressed that the artisan can create something so extraordinary in a week.
For each of the three different dials, a gradient effect is created by applying multiple layers of lacquer, then sprinkling with miniscule dots of gold lacquer to create a maki-e effect, which is more often seen on high-end (Japanese) fountain pens. As it is a miniature painting, the brushes used are sometimes composed of just a single hair. Utter concentration and an exceptionally steady hand are both essential. The incredible number of find details on the dial is awe-inspiring.
Jaeger-LeCoultre selected three different animals in their natural habitats to adorn the dial. Each represents a sense of grace, which makes them so suitable for the Rendez-Vous Sonatina Peaceful Nature.
A koi carp in vivid orange hues swims in a pond; a boldly colored crane flies above a pine tree; and a kingfisher bird admires the flowers of the red quince tree it sits in. Each of the dials has a different background color that enhances each scene.
Also of note is that Jaeger-LeCoultre opted for an unusually shaped window in the dial to display the day-night indicator. The moon and sun are skeletonized, adding an extra layer of depth to these artistic chef-d’œuvres.
Diamonds set just right
The gems of Rendez-Vous Sonatina are not about the diamonds nor their settings. Diamonds on a watch should add something and here it is the dial that is given center stage. The diamonds set on the bezel and surrounding the miniature painting act as a picture frame highlighting the art in the dial. The gem setting subtly draws attention to the center of the dial.
I am also very enthusiastic about the diamonds on the side of the case, which highlight the profile and the two crowns, and underscore the extraordinary mechanical nature of movement.
Jaeger-LeCoultre will make just ten pieces in each design, ensuring the exclusivity of these exceptional timepieces.
For more information, please visit www.jaeger-lecoultre.com/eu-en/news/watchmaking/three-new-rendez-vous-sonatina
Quick Facts Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Sonatina Peaceful Nature
Case: 38.2 x 10.59 mm, pink gold, set with 160 brilliant-cut diamonds (1.86 ct)
Dial: miniature painting of a koi, crane, or kingfisher bird
Movement: automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 735, 40-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph / 4 Hz frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; sonnerie en passant; day-night indicator
Limitation: 10 pieces of each version, boutique-only edition
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