Swiss luxury watchmaker Jaeger‑LeCoultre first came out with the women’s jewellery watch Rendez-Vous in 2012, after which it has seen many faces; in various themes and materials. The timepieces have since garnered widespread popularity owing to their complex, intricate designs and brilliant jewels. The brand is renowned for mastering various rare craftsmanship styles or Metiers Rares®, and utilises two important ones in its newest interpretation of the Rendez-Vous; introduced at this year’s Venice Film Festival, an event the brand has been sponsoring for the last 15 years.
The Rendez-Vous Celestial uses gem-setting and hand-painting techniques to create this pair of watches that takes inspiration from the Aurora Borealis, the stunning display of natural lights in the sky predominantly seen in the polar regions around the Arctic and Antarctic circles. The captivating dance often evokes tearful responses from those who witness it for the first time, owing to the phenomenon’s sheer beauty.
The lights and colours have descended from the sky into new Rendez-Vous watch using mother-of-pearl and sapphires in a myriad of colours, seen in, both, the dial and the bezel. The circular dial has been asymmetrically divided into a smaller lower circle and a crescent that sits atop it. The crescent is the primary time-teller, with curvy Floral numerals between nine and three that are graduated in size, that sit against the backdrop of a galaxy of stars.
The lower dial features a hand-transferred imprint of a star chart, along with Zodiac signs and months of the year. The chart gives you real-time positions of constellations in the sky. The entire dial is hand-painted with the various forms of the Aurora, in hues of green and turquoise for one model and purple and blue for the other, with the mother-of-pearl dial illuminating through. The glow is further accentuated by a coating of Super-LumiNova, a photoluminescent strontium aluminate–based pigment that is non-radioactive and non-toxic. The disc that the sky is set on moves ever so slightly, to replicate the movement of stars and the dancing of the Lights; a remarkable feat of craftsmanship.
The ornamentation does not end there, with the bezel set with an alluring set of 64 baguette-cut sapphires in order of colour; from blues, greens, yellows to pinks. Further, diamonds bedazzle the lugs and crowns of the timepiece. The symbol of the Rendez-Vouz collection, a golden star, has been hand-polished and placed on the edge of the dial. The secondary crown of the watch can be turned to position the star at a time of one’s choice, possibly marking the hour of a rendezvous.
Fastened to your wrist by an alligator leather strap in turquoise or violet, the watch is powered by the automatic, self-winding movement developed by Jaeger‑LeCoultre known as Calibre 809/1. Only 18 pieces of each ‘Northern Lights’ model have been manufactured as part of this limited edition Rendez-Vous Celestial collection.