‘THE WATCHMAKER OF WATCHMAKERS’ - JAEGER-LECOULTRE’S NEW BRAND MANIFESTO STARRING JACKSON YEE AND NI NI
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For almost two centuries, Jaeger-LeCoultre has designed, produced and assembled the calibres of many of the world’s most noteworthy timepieces. Within the walls of its Manufacture, La Grande Maison has created these movements not only for its own timepieces but also for many other prestigious watchmaking Maisons, consequently becoming known as the Watchmaker of Watchmakers.
Guided by the principles of patience, humility, hard work and dedication to excellence, generations of engineers, watchmakers and craftsmen have built an exceptional legacy of know-how, and it is in tribute to its 190 years of history that Jaeger-LeCoultre proudly asserts its status as the Watchmaker of Watchmakers. Since 1833, the Manufacture has created more than 1,300 different calibres, an exceptional achievement in the world of watchmaking. No less remarkable is the award of more than 400 patents, including several that have left their mark on watchmaking history.
This unmatched creativity has been carefully nurtured and transmitted from generation to generation. Housing 180 skills within the walls of the Manufacture – embracing design, production, assembly, finishing and ornamentation – Jaeger-LeCoultre’s remarkable array of savoir-faire opens almost limitless fields of possibility. This is how the reputation of the Watchmaker of Watchmakers was earned and continues to be honoured.
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An Ode to the Genesis of Excellence
In any creative endeavour, mastery comes from patience and dedication. Greatness is achieved by turning talent into skill, day after day, one small achievement after another. Passion is channelled into focus and commitment. Moments of inspiration are fuelled by years of learning. Expertise is built from countless small increments practised and perfected over time. Excellence evolves step by step. As in music, art, performance, literature, design, so it is in watchmaking. This is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Manifesto.
In Spring 2023, Jaeger-LeCoultre unites the talents of Global Ambassadors Jackson Yee and Ni Ni in ‘The Watchmaker of Watchmakers’, a new campaign that reflects on the true source of success – an homage to the work that is done when nobody is watching; the years of practice it takes to perfect a gesture, a movement, a song, a word of dialogue.
In the short film that anchors the campaign, Jackson and Ni Ni perform against a minimal backdrop. The dynamic interweaving of their stories builds into a powerful message about the unseen work that makes their creativity appear so effortless – a natural analogy to the art and craft of watchmaking. The film was directed by French visual artist and creative director Quentin Deronzier. A master of technique celebrated for his dreamscape settings that play with the notions of real, unreal and surreal, Deronzier also designed the sets and the evocative lighting. The soundtrack was produced by French musical duo The Blaze – rising stars on the international electronica-dance stage, whose penetrating and almost mystical sounds cross cultures and continents, often evoking deeply emotional reactions among listeners.
Metaphors for Mastery
For the new campaign Ni Ni wears the refined and feminine Reverso Duetto Small in Pink Gold, while Jackson wears the elegant and technically sophisticated Reverso Tribute Duoface Tourbillon in Pink Gold. The campaign is enriched by portraits of the two Global Ambassadors. The visually arresting portraits capture the distinct character and quiet inner strength of each ambassador, along with the timeless style of the Reverso. Complementing the portraits, close-up images of the movements of the two watches worn by the ambassadors underline the creative passion and technical savoir-faire embodied within every Jaeger-LeCoultre timepiece.
The Reverso Tribute Duoface Tourbillon turns from its classical Art Deco-style silver sunray-brushed front dial to a semi-skeletonised and intricately decorated reverse dial, displaying a second time zone with a night & day indicator. With its mechanical complexity enhanced by a highly innovative new tourbillon, the watch remains slim and elegant, at just 9.15mm thick.
The day-to-night design of the Reverso Duetto Small displays the time on two dials with two very different moods, complemented by a bracelet of polished gold links. Sunray brushing anchors the classical restraint of the silver front dial, while the drama of black lacquer is highlighted by diamond-set gadroons on the reverse side.
Since its birth in 1931, the Reverso has constantly evolved in the spirit of innovation and both of the models featured in the new campaign epitomise its limitless potential for reinvention, showcasing Jaeger-LeCoultre’s relentless quest for excellence in both technical development and aesthetic design.
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Honing Talent Through Time, Patience and Practice
Firmly established as one of the most naturally gifted of the new generation of Chinese actors, the multi-talented Jackson Yee has recently been dedicating himself increasingly to his music, honing his skills as a singer. “My approach to my work is similar to that of the watchmakers at Jaeger-LeCoultre, in the sense that I believe that natural talent alone is not enough; to become the best at what we do is a life-long process of learning, so that our technique becomes instinctive – and actually invisible to observers,” he says.
One of China’s most celebrated actresses, who is also known for her great sense of personal style, Ni Ni has an impressive portfolio of film and television roles. Since her stage debut in 2019, she has been taking on new challenges in the theatre. Reflecting on her career, she says, “I believe that we each build our own fate, step by step. Just like the creation of a watch, it is by our own hands that we make the dream come true. And for this, we must devote ourselves to learning and practising our craft every day, away from the lights and cameras.”