< CEO Speak >
Director (Artistique & Design), Jaeger-LeCoultre, Janek Deleskiewicz tells Mitrajit Bhattacharya why Reverso and Master Lines are such iconic watches
What are the basic design philosophies that Jaeger-LeCoultre follows?
It has taken us 176 years to develop this brand and our strength is our calibres. We have developed more than 1,200 calibres. This year we developed the Master Line in Grande Tradition, which is linked to the Master Line which was created in 1950. But we want to find new cases with an expression of the time linked with Tourbillon. Today we have the biggest dials with Perpetual calendars.
Could you take us through the Master Line in Grande Tradition?
It is totally different from development of the 101 line because they have regrouped all the automatic Calibres since the Second World War. The Perpetual Calendar is really difficult because the sizes are totally different from the past. In the past we imagined pocket watches without automatic and rewinding movement but now we can do it all on the wrist and that is great.
And the range is different than the others we have, but it is linked with the Master Line. We also have the Master Grande Tradition and Master Compressor Line and the Master Compressor Diving Chronograph.
How did Reverso Squadra, such an iconic model, come about?
The younger generation likes the Reverso and its reversible system. But they also want big watches and new sporty calibres inside. That is why we decided to make a more aggressive watch with a new shape and new material. That is how Squadra was born.
Now we have a traditional line and also the Master Line. Last year we developed the same one for women, with the same characteristics. It is not necessary to reinvent the concept for the new generation of women, but we have two iconic watches, Reverso and the Master, and all the round watches coming from the Master and the rectangular or square coming from Reverso. We have no competitor for Reverso.
Tell us about La Rose.
La Rose came just last year because then we wanted to do something extraordinary, some unique pieces for women, but not limited to jewellery because we wanted to put a watch inside. And we decided to start with the inspiration of the flowers. We made them and presented them two years back at the Venice Festival. We found success and now have some orders for the new ones. This year we will present Le Lierre which is very nice too.
What kinds of challenges do you face designing a product like the Gyrotourbillon?
The Gyrotourbillon was really a new concept because the attraction on the normal Tourbillon was compensated. If you are in one position, it is nice. But we wanted to make the Gyrotourbillon in all positions and that was great. The most difficult part was to make the cage in aluminum, since we wanted to have it in all positions.