Inspired by Asia’s centuries-long artistic tradition of depicting the natural world, Swiss luxury watch manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre enriches the Rendez-Vous Sonatina ‘Peaceful Nature’ series with three new timepieces.
As a joyful ode to nature and its special place in the Asian artistic tradition, the new Rendez-Vous Sonatina trilogy calls upon three of the decorative crafts that Jaeger-LeCoultre has so thoroughly mastered in its Métiers Rares® (Rare Handcrafts™) atelier: miniature-painting, lacquer work and gem-setting.
The use of lacquer, with its incomparable translucence and rich lustre, draws on deep links between Asian craft and European style.
Plants and animals have always been highly symbolic in Asian cultures, imbued with special powers and attributes, and scenes from nature play an important role in Asian art history. Closely studying the correct forms and anatomy of plants and animals, artists have for centuries reproduced them in delicate and highly accurate detail.
Nature-painting reached its peak with “flower-and-bird pictures” (known as kachoga in Japan and Hwajohwa in Korea). Jaeger-LeCoultre’s designers and Métiers Rares® artists have interpreted these artistic traditions on the dials of the new timepieces, uniting the crafts of lacquer work, miniature-painting and gem setting with consummate skill.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Sonatina Peaceful Nature Collection
Against a background of deep blue-green lacquer, a crane (tsuru in Japan) hovers above a pine tree, the arc of its wings following the curving lines of the dial layout. Revered throughout Asia as an auspicious sign, the crane embodies happiness and a soaring spirit.
Symbolising longevity because it was thought to live for 1,000 years, and being monogamous, it often appears in wedding décor, representing a long and peaceful life for the couple. The pine tree, as an evergreen, is also considered a symbol of longevity and virtue.
A golden-brown dial is adorned with the delicately painted branches of a red quince tree – also a symbol of longevity, renewed and rejuvenated by the reappearance of its blossom every spring.
Amid its red blooms perches a kingfisher (hisui in Japan; cuiniao in China). A harbinger of summer, the kingfisher is a positive symbol in almost every cultural tradition, representing beauty and virtue, fidelity and devotion, faithfulness and happy marriage.
On the black dial, a vivid orange-coloured koi swims beneath the gently rippling surface of a pond, framed by the spreading branches of a willow tree – a symbol of spring and, thus, of romance and feminine charm.
The delicate qualities of the willow are balanced by the strength of the koi – believed to confer strength of purpose, courage and perseverance in the face of adversity, bringing the rewards of success, abundance and good fortune.
Executed entirely by hand in the Jaeger-LeCoultre Métiers Rares® atelier, each of these dial compositions has been brought to life in a remarkable ballet of skill and precision over the course of many weeks.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Sonatina Dial
The dial is asymmetrical yet perfectly balanced, anchored by the collection’s signature floral hands and numerals. The applied numerals, graduated in size, form a crescent that wraps around the delicate painting.
A fine oval-shaped ring of diamonds runs beneath the applied numerals, drawing the eye to the painted image and complementing a glittering circle of grain-set diamonds on the bezel. In the midst of each image, visible through an oval-shaped aperture, the Night & Day indicator completes one rotation every 24 hours.
Set on the edge of the dial, a delicate golden star marks the time of a special rendezvous or meeting. It can be moved into position by a second crown set in the side of the case. When the time comes, a single strike on a gong concealed within the watch mechanism releases a melodious chime to remind the owner of her appointment.
JLC Calibre 735
Each of these timepieces houses Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Manufacture Calibre 735. This self-winding movement comes with a chiming complication and night-day indicator developed specially for the Sonatina. Its intricacy and fine details can be admired through the transparent sapphire crystal case-back.
Alligator leather strap, complementing the dial colour and given a glowing, pearlised finish, is fastened to the wrist by a pink gold folding buckle.
Limited to 10 examples of each model, the new Rendez-Vous Sonatina timepieces are available exclusively from Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques.
Collection: Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Sonatina Peaceful Nature
Crane, Kingfisher and Koi
Pink gold 750/1000 (18 Karats)
Dimensions: 38.2mm diameter x 10.59mm thick
Water resistance: 5 bar
Self-winding Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 735
Power reserve: 40 hours
Hours, minutes, seconds; Rendez-vous indicator, Night& Day indicator
Diamonds: 160 (for 1.86 carats)
Limited edition of 10 pieces each