Jaeger-LeCoultre launches a new series of short films that pay homage to the 180 different watchmaking skills that are gathered under one roof at its Manufacture in the Vallée de Joux. Called In the Making, each short film focuses on a single skill, including rarely seen stages of the watchmaking process. The series celebrates the artisans who practice each of those skills.
In the Making is arranged in several chapters, corresponding to the sequence of steps needed to create a fine timepiece: Design, Produce, Finish and Ornament.
Besides determining the shape, size, style and composition of the dial, and case, the design embraces all technical considerations, ranging from the development of new complications and movements to the shape of components required to perform particular functions, the overall architecture of a movement, the technical requirements of the case that must contain a given movement, and all ergonomic considerations. Designers sketch out ideas with pencil and paper and work together with technical designers and movement constructors.
At Jaeger-LeCoultre, the production process starts with raw metal, which is cut, stamped or treated in various ways. It ends with final casing up and polishing. Beyond the production of new timepieces, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s in-house restoration workshop undertakes many of the same production steps to breathe new life into watches that may be 40, 60 or even 90 years old. The restoration specialists use original spare parts when available or make identical components from scratch, using original blueprints and swages (metal-stamping templates).
Jaeger-LeCoultre attaches great importance to the fine finishing and hand decoration of watch movements. High complication watches require particular expertise, in keeping with their rarity and value. These finishing techniques range from the traditional, such as perlage, Côtes de Genève, blueing of screws, chamfering and skeletonisation, to modern finishes, such as micro-blasting. Enhancing the beauty of components by making the edges shine and creating a play of luminous reflections, bevelling (or anglage) is a meticulous decorative technique that involves multiple skills.
Bringing together centuries-old decorative crafts such as guillochage, engraving, gem-setting and a variety of different enamelling techniques, Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the very few watchmaking Manufactures to have a dedicated Rare Handcrafts (Métiers Rares®) atelier under its own roof.
Beginning with eight films, covering eight of the watchmaking skills, In the Making will grow over time into a fully comprehensive library as more videos are completed. The first films are Design: aesthetics and style; Research & Development; Polishing; Restoration; Bevelling; Enamelling, Engraving; and Gem-setting.
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