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Jaeger-LeCoultre Unveils Enamel Masterpiece

Jaeger-LeCoultre Unveils Enamel Masterpiece

August 1, 2016

Since 1931, the year the Reverso watch was created, its emotional impact has remained as powerful as ever. This undisputed style icon elicits the same wonderment decade after decade and is often used to pay homage to artists. For this occasion, Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam are proud to present the second series of the Reverso à Eclipse watch in tribute to Vincent van Gogh, featuring an enameled miniature of the self-portrait as a painter (1887-88) on the dial. This masterpiece is one of Van Gogh's most famous paintings and to this day the piece is presented in the permanent collection of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

A wheel on the case opens the dial.

The idea for these remarkable collaborations between Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Van Gogh Museum came from its Dutch boutique partner Gassan. Their wish to create a piece combining three components: craftsmanship, art and heritage came alive in these tributes to the world's most famous Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh.

The great work of the Dutch impressionist will be honored in this second series with Van Gogh's self-portrait enameled on the dial of the Reverso à Eclipse watch crafted in the workshops of the Swiss manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre. A simple gesture is enough to open the shutters of the watch, and to reveal a miniature recreation of Van Goghís work. The first series was presented in 2015 featuring his iconic Sunflowers.

The Reverso à Eclipse is a unique reversible watch featuring a platinum case equipped with the in-house Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 849, which lends itself perfectly for one of the rarest fine art traditions, miniature enamel painting. This unique craftsmanship demands precision, virtuosity and patience from the enameling artists at the manufacture, one of the few places in the world where this fine art tradition is carried out.

This unique masterpiece, of which only four pieces will be made, was achieved in close conjunction with Gassan and can be admired in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

The portrait can be hidden behind the dial.

The Art of Enameling

Jaeger-LeCoultre's reputation as a master of inventive watchmaking dates back more than 180 years, and time-honored ancient decorative arts are among the most precious crafts faithfully preserved by the grande maison in the Vallée de Joux. Enameling, engraving and gem setting are all part of a range of rare skills that Jaeger-LeCoultre associates in its different watchmaking creations and that it masters beneath its own roof.

A discipline that is scarcely taught these days, miniature enamel painting is one of these singular skills. Jaeger-LeCoultre delights in seeking out the most authentic, high-quality enamels which, given the rarity of the craft, are becoming increasingly hard to find. Once sourced, these refined materials are entrusted to the expert hands of the enamel specialists at the manufacture, all of whom call upon the noblest expressions of their art in personalizing the watches.

Today, the enameling workshop on the manufactureís site comprises a team of artists who create a wide range of personalized enameled works on Reverso casebacks as well as on dials. Inspired by their exceptional creative vision, the specialists belonging to this atelier have successfully recreated a number of masterpieces of the Great Masters on one-of-a-kind timepieces.

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