Fashion / Watches & Fine Jewellery

Portals to world’s unknown: Jaeger-LeCoultre debuts its first fully enamelled Reverso One

Portals to world's unknown: Jaeger-LeCoultre’s debuts first fully enamelled Reverso One

Since its inception, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso has always promised more than meets the eye. Conceptualised originally in 1930 as a solution for shielding the watch dials of British Army officers participating in polo matches in India, the ingenuity of the watch’s reversing case was quickly realised as an opportunity for boundless creativity and ideas beyond its functional capabilities.

Throughout the collection’s tenure, we’ve witnessed this unexpected canvas continuously transform, creating a platform for expression that ranges from the most personal of interpretations to once in- a-lifetime artistic milestones (the Reverso Tribute Enamel Hidden Treasures collection, which celebrated three ‘lost’ artworks of Gustave Courbet, Vincent Van Gogh and Gustav Klimt, still remains front of mind).

In 2021, the Maison introduced the universe of Reverso to a new muse, the exquisite, vibrant world of tropical flowers – announcing the launch of the sparkling Reverso One Precious Flowers series. Uniting the codes of fine watchmaking, artistic crafts and high jewellery, the artisans of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Métiers Rares™ atelier were presented with a challenge (and opportunity) to exhibit the technical prowess of the Maison across the spheres of decorative crafts and jewellery techniques. Now, three years later, the Precious Flowers collection is enriched with the addition of three new models, bringing fresh colour, sophistication and glamour to the already enchanting collection.

 

“True to the spirit of the Reverso collection, the three new creations in the Precious Flowers series tell their own story.”

 

Crafted in pink gold and showcasing three unique floral creations – Birds of Paradise, Hibiscus Enamel and Hibiscus Diamonds – the Precious Flowers series is a masterful lesson in the art of enamelling. Having had the opportunity to see the collection myself in person, it’s difficult to find the words to adequately express the vibrancy and detail represented in each piece. The creations truly feel as though they are levitating, enveloping you into a world of lush vegetation and vividly coloured flowers.

Rightfully regarded as the masters of precision, the sleek lines and restrained elegance of the Reverso One dial forms the perfect canvas to hero Jaeger-LeCoultre’s refinement and dedication to the artistic crafts of enamelling, gold-leaf paillonnage and gem-setting. The floral designs wrap seamlessly around the case-sides – from the back to the bezel – offering a completely enamelled piece and marking the first of its kind for the Maison. It’s a milestone in craftsmanship that should not go unnoticed.

Those familiar with the difficulties of enamelling will understand just how meticulous this process is. The watchmaker’s artisans specifically employ the technique of Champlevé (which literally translates to ‘raised field’), one of the oldest decorative enamelling techniques to create the desired effect within this collection.

 

“The creations truly feel as though they are levitating, enveloping you into a world of lush vegetation and vividly coloured flowers.”

 

To begin, sections of the flat metal surface of the case are hollowed out to leave an outline of the desired motif. The enameller then begins painting the details and tonal nuances of the design into the remaining wells and troughs with enamel, one layer at a time, in varying combinations of transparent and opaque enamels to achieve the depth within each creation. Paired seamlessly with the technique of paillonnage, the tiny pieces of 24-carat gold leaf are cut to the exact shape and size of the pattern and fixed into place. And this is all before the introduction of the coloured enamel even begins.

True to the spirit of the Reverso collection, the three new creations in the Precious Flowers series tell their own story. It’s by no coincidence that each flower holds a symbolic value – Birds of Paradise represent freedom and joy in the language of flowers, while the Hibiscus is known as the quintessential tropical flower, symbolising beauty and wisdom. It’s this subtle but impactful narration that shines through the intimate collection, creating miniature works of art and remarkable portals into worlds beyond our own.

 


See the full Reverso One Precious Flowers timepieces on the Jaeger-LeCoultre website.

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