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  • Writer's pictureBillions Luxury Portal


Jaeger-LeCoultre adds a new chapter to it's story of craftsmanship and artistry with the Reverso Tribute Enamel ‘Dragon’. Created to coincide with Chinese New Year, the new timepiece pays tribute to the Year of the Dragon, and to the talents of the master enamellers and engravers in the Métiers Rares™ atelier of the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre..

Swivelling the watch case to its reverse side reveals a majestic dragon surrounded by golden clouds. Engraved into the pink gold case metal, the dragon seems to leap out from the background of glossy black Grand Feu enamel. The polished surfaces of the dragon’s body, the fine details of its scales – highlighted with black rhodium – and the contrasting sandblasted texture of the clouds catch and refract the light to enhance the illusion of movement and power.

To maximise the sense of volume and depth, the master engraver used a technique called modelled engraving, an exacting skill that requires absolute focus and remarkable dexterity. Adding to the challenge, the engraver’s work began not, as is usual, with a bare metal surface but with one that already had its coat of Grand Feu enamel, thus requiring an unprecedented accuracy of gesture to avoid all risk of damage to the pristine enamel. Using 10 differently sized chisels to sculpt the metal step by step, the master engraver devoted 80 hours to the creation of this masterpiece.

The dial of the Reverso Tribute Enamel features the same opaque black Grand Feu enamel as the case-back. The elegant simplicity of the Reverso Tribute dial, with its faceted appliqué hour-markers, chemin de fer minutes track and Dauphine hands, places full value on the beauty of the glowing black background.

The apparent simplicity of the pure black enamel is deceptive because in Grand Feu enamelling, the outcome of the firing process is never entirely predictable. To create a black of such depth and richness requires five or six layers of enamel, with each new layer followed by firing and cooling – representing no less than 24 working hours (16 hours for the case-back and eight hours for the dial) over the course of many days. This was followed by half a day of polishing to achieve a perfect, uniform shine.

That the two surfaces are perfectly matched in colour and purity is testament to a degree of skill that can be acquired only through many years of experience. Jaeger-LeCoultre remains one of very few watch Manufactures to have its own in-house enamelling atelier, safeguarding and advancing this ancient craft.

Created to celebrate the Chinese Zodiac Year and made only to order, the Reverso Tribute Enamel ‘Dragon’ is testament to La Grande Maison’s vision of culture and creativity, where the artistic crafts live in perfect harmony with the technical expertise of the Manufacture’s watchmakers.


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