Jaeger-LeCoultre pays homage to Asian art with the Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai ‘Amida Falls’ that celebrates the work of the 19th-century Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker, Katsushika Hokusai. A hand- enamelled miniature reproduction of The Amida Falls in the Far Reaches of the Kisokaidō Road (Kisoji no oku Amida-ga-taki), the best-known work from A Tour of Waterfalls in Various Provinces (Shokoku taki meguri), a series of eight woodblock prints created by the artist in 1833–34. graces the case-back of the new timepiece. The dial is garnished with guillochage and Grand Feu enamel.
To reproduce Hokusai’s original image on a surface of just three square centimeters, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s master artisans miniaturized, mimicked every detail of the composition, and created the illusion of the woodblock printing technique. To achieve this, the enamellers had to develop a special technique that reproduces the bokashi effect of the subtly nuanced and graduated colors of works originally printed on paper. This process required a full 70 hours of work over the course of many weeks, including a total of 12–15 separate firings at 800 degrees Celsius.
The Reverso Tribute dial features faceted appliqué hour-markers and Dauphine hands. It is decorated with a guilloché lozenge pattern, the texture of which is amplified by translucent Grand Feu enamel in a rich shade of green.
Made by hand, using a century-old lathe, the lozenge pattern requires great skill: holding the dial plate at a carefully calculated angle, each of the 60 lines that make up the pattern requires three passages of the lathe. This process requires around four hours of focused work, and is followed by the application of at least six layers of translucent enamel, each of which requires separate firing, spanning more than a week. After that, the final challenge is the faultless application of the indexes (which requires tiny holes to be drilled through the pristine surface of the enamel) and the transfer of the chemin de fer minutes register.
The new Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai ‘Amida Falls’ completes a trilogy of Reverso Tribute Enamel timepieces that pay homage to Hokusai.
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