For over a decade, Jaeger -LeCoultre has forged strong ties with Venice based on a love of the arts and the conservation of cultural heritage. Not only is it a partner to the Mostra, Venice’s International Film Festival, it has also become patron of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco – a unique place which is close to the hearts of all Venetians – and has sponsored restoration work there since 2013.
During this 73rd Mostra, Jaeger- LeCoultre unveils a unique Reverso Grande Taille watch featuring an enameled miniature paying tribute to the rest oration work of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
For the enamelled personalisation, Jaeger- LeCoultre chose to represent the main marble staircase of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco which has been renovated recently thanks to the support of the Manufacture. It took every ounce of the enamellist’s artistry to transpose onto the back of the Reverso watch the majestic staircase. Only few colours were used to respect the original image, whence the need for the enameller to work on subtle contrasts using the same colour. The challenge was also to respect the straight lines while working on the curved surface of the Reverso case in yellow gold. Reproducing the texture of the marble was a difficulty as well, as the firing highly attenuated the artistic effects of the painting. The Reverso creation is displayed at Jaeger – LeCoultre Boutique in Venice, Piazza San Marco.
Jaeger- LeCoultre’s reputation as a master of inventive watchmaking dates back more than 180 years, and time- honoured ancient decorative arts are among the most precious crafts faithfully preserved by the Grande Maison in the Vallée de Joux. Enamelling, engraving and gem setting are all part of a range of rare skills that Jaeger -LeCoultre associates in its different watchmaking creations and that it masters beneath its own roof. A discipline that is scarcely taught these days, miniature enamel painting is one of these singular skills. Jaeger- LeCoultre delights in seeking out the most authentic, high – quality enamels which, given the rarity of the craft, are becoming increasingly hard to find. Once sourced, these refined materials are entrusted to the expert hands of the enamel specialists at the Manufacture, all of whom call upon the noblest expressions of their art in personalising the watches.
Today, the enamelling workshop on the Manufacture’s site comprises a team of artists who create a wide range of personalised enamelled works on Reverso case – backs as well as on dials. Inspired by their exceptional creative vision, the specialists belonging to this atelier have successfully recreated a number of masterpieces of the Great Masters on one – of-a-kind timepieces.
To further support this piece of heritage, the Manufacture invites its community t o take part into its initiative. On Facebook, from September 8th to 15th, 2016, every visitor to the Jaeger – LeCoultre Official Facebook Page who will like the watch’s post will trigger a donation by the Maison towards its restoration programme. In Venice, at Jaeger – LeCoultre’s lounge at the Hotel Excelsior, every guest who sketches a heart in a dedicated digital guestbook will also trigger a donation from the Manufacture. To kick off this special initiative, Jaeger – LeCoultre’s Ambassador Carmen Chaplin drew a heart which was engraved on the back of a Reverso watch.
The supremely opulent Scuola Grande di San Rocco, built as an institution, is unique for its peerless collection of paintings by Tintoretto (1518 -1594). Located in the San Polo district of Venice, the fraternity was founded in 1478 and dedicated to Saint Roch, patron saint of the plague -stricken, to fight epidemics and bring succour to the diseased population.
Thanks to Jaeger – LeCoultre’s patronage, visitors can now benefit from improvements to the lighting which showcases Tintoretto’s highly light sensitive works to perfection. A new LED system – projecting fewer of the infrared and ultraviolet rays causing colours to deteriorate over time – has been installed in the Sala dell’Albergo.
The second part of the sponsorship programme concerns the Scuola’s marbles, in particular those in the Sala Capitolare and on the impressive portal leading to the imperial staircase, which were restored with meticulous care. It required passionate craftsmanship and unparalleled patience and attention to detail, bringing to mind the watchmakers of the Vallée de Joux who work each day to breathe new life into exceptional timepieces.