Yearbook Eight Tribute to rare handcrafts (“Métiers Rares®”) and the human hand.
The human hand is the first and foremost instrument behind beautiful objects. In the eighth edition of its Yearbook – a photographic anthem to creativity and the artisanal skills that have played such a powerful role in the history and the life of the Manufacture – Jaeger-LeCoultre turn the spotlight on these rare handcrafts (“Métiers Rares®”) and the creative hands that both master and serve these crafts. Ten articles in pictures take us around the world, wherever works of art bear the signature of the human hand.
Every year, the publication of its Yearbook presents an opportunity for Jaeger-LeCoultre to highlight and strengthen its connection with the world of photography. Guided by a desire to preserve artistic know-how and achievements to better transfer them, the Grande Maison takes part in the dissemination of the work of talented photographers. The result is a fascinating and immersive escape into the world of art.
Yearbook 8 highlights emblematic artisanal professions featuring the peerless, irreplaceable contribution of hand-crafted operations. Invited to focus on the human being behind each object, the reader is thus taken on a journey around the world through the pages of this exclusive publication offering a wide-angle immersion into the very palm of these creative talents.
The hand of the enameller, the engraver, the watchmaker and the setter have for centuries successively joined forces in adorning watches endowed with horological complications. The first part of the book focuses on historic watchmaking creations which pay tribute to the rare handcrafts (“Métiers Rares®”) deeply cherished by Jaeger-LeCoultre.
In Praise of Clay
The inherently sensual, soothing age-old art of the potter is the supreme example of a craft involving the hand, since only the latter can assemble a sophisticated Fine Watchmaking mechanism, and it alone can perfectly finish a clay vase. A rejuvenating clay bath.
The craftsmen of the Marinelli bell foundry at Agnone in Italy appear to be fired by sacred inspiration. Evoking angelic voices, the results of their art can tolerate nothing short of perfection.
The human hand draws, models, decorates, moulds, pours, glazes and paints. Everything comes from the mind, itself guided by the heart.
Slowness and patience: two watchwords for Jaeger-LeCoultre watchmakers that are also dear to the hearts of the artisans at the Casa Fagliano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, who finely craft leather to produce custom-made polo boots that enjoy an international reputation. Recently, Fagliano has combined its unique know-how with that of the Manufacture to produce bracelets made of Cordovan leather for a re-edition of the legendary Reverso 1931 watch.
In the form of a poster placed at the centre of the Yearbook, Jaeger-LeCoultre highlights its Hybris Artistica collection of 12 models majestically marrying watchmaking techniques with artistic creativity. Each of them testifies to the meticulous work of the artists and above all to the irreplaceable intuition guiding their every move, since this alone can enable them to perfectly position a diamond or to perform such complex skeleton-work.
Hybris Mechanica 11
An elegant treasure on the wrist, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon is one of the world’s thinnest minute repeaters. Through a lengthy process of trial and error, the Manufacture’s craftsmen succeeded in developing an ingenious system that eliminates the usual pause between the hours and minutes when the watch does not chime the quarter hour. A whole new way of setting the beat.
Carriers of Light
The arm stretches out to enable light to pass through the piece of glass and reveal the subtle nuances of its colours. A familiar move for the stained glass window makers at the Loire workshop in Chartres (France), who cultivate the medieval technique of stained glass window making. This meticulous art transforms light over time.
Radiance and daintiness meet and mingle on the ladies’ watches delicately adorned by the Jaeger-LeCoultre artisans. Like a soft caress on the page, the creations are enhanced by the light and by the satin-soft atmosphere radiating from these photographs.
Releasing the inner voice of an instrument, attaining virtual auditory perfection in a violin. The stringed instrument-makers from Cremona (Italy) hand down their know-how and secrets from century to century, giving a second timeless life to the wood of their instruments. An additional touch of soulfulness that makes the very air vibrate with peerlessly beautiful sound.
Of colours and other places
To conclude the Yearbook, American photographer, Steve McCurry provides striking shots of “Holi” the Hindu Celebration of Light. To celebrate the coming of spring, the population, especially in northern India, descends into the streets with their bodies covered in coloured pigments. A vibrantly joyful tribute to life’s simple pleasures.
The Yearbook 8 is on sale in Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques all over the world. Visit www.jaeger-lecoultre.com for more information and boutique locations.