Jaeger-LeCoultre pays tribute to Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler
After discovering its latest model, the Polaris, earlier this year at SIHH 2018, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Manufacture now highlights the expertise of its Rare Handcrafts “Métiers Rares” artisans with a series of three Reverso watches celebrating the work of Ferdinand Hodler, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the artist’s death.
Both sides of each piece feature miniature reproductions of paintings by the Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler in remarkable engraving and enamelling: landscapes of mountains and lakes, so characteristic of his work, were chosen to decorate the case of the Reverso Tribute Enamel. This watch, with its iconic Art Deco styling, features a white gold case that was specially created to serve as a canvas for the enamel miniature. The three models are each issued in eight-piece limited editions.
A work of art and a technical prowess
The Reverso Tribute Enamel series was inspired by Ferdinand Hodler’s masterpiece. To remind one of the majestic serenity emanating from Hodler’s work, artisan enamellers spent more than fifty hours on each watch reproducing the Master’s paintings as faithfully as possible. Each painting presented particular challenges for Jaeger-LeCoultre’s enamellers. The main difficulty emerged from having to feature a large original painting on the 3cm2 surface area of the Reverso.
Remarkable guillochage work is featured on the front of the piece. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s artisan guillocheur has embellished the dial with the help of a century-old machine requiring considerable expertise and years of experience. The dial’s small lozenges, giving the illusion as though they have been weaved, were created with finesse and delicate rendering. The engraving was then covered in translucent enamel. The colour of which, was carefully chosen to match the painting’s tone recreated on the reverse side.
On the reverse of the watch, the handcrafted engraving continues, with lines tracing out an elegant frame for each of the enamelled paintings. This incredible work is unique on each model, enhancing the reproduced paintings, it is also a fitting supplement to the three gadroons so emblematic of the Reverso watch.