From the introduction of the new Master Control Collection to forging ahead in these unprecedented times, Catherine Renier, the CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre, chats with Karishma Karer (@kari_watch) about what the Grand Maison has in store for 2020 and the way forward.
What is Jaeger-LeCoultre doing to be socially conscious (CSR), especially considering the current situation the world is in?
Our Manufacture is based in a nest located in the Vallée de Joux. It is a peaceful valley with a forest surrounding a lake; right next to the Manufacture. It is our duty to first reduce of the impact the Manufacture has on the environment here. To do this, we are recycling waste, focusing our efforts on renewable energies and water treatment, and also reducing the noise impact the Manufacture could potentially have. On the other hand we are also supporting cultural activities such as Art. Through our associations with Jeu de Paume, Cinema, the Venice film festival and Shanghai film festival, we support and recognise the work of behind the scene makers.
Do you think there will be a shift in consumer mind-set?
I don’t believe the tastes of consumers will change, but we should adapt the way we communicate to our clients and reveal our novelties. Fortunately our Maison shows a lot of agility and resilience. In addition, our collections are very complete, from the iconic rectangular shaped Reverso with its deep Art-Deco roots, to the Master Control and Master Ultra-Thin for men, and the round case Rendez-Vous – a reference in women’s watchmaking. Last but not the least, our new sporty elegant, Polaris collection which was unveiled in 2018 is being received very well all over the world.
Could you tell us more about the 2020 Master Control Collection?
We are really proud to introduce the new Master Control, with new complications such as the Chronograph Calendar, all featuring a new case, reflecting the aesthetic refinement of our Maison as well as technical improvement in their caliber. The Master Control established itself as a watch with useful complications and a contemporary design. We decided to give the collection a new look and add a high quality Novanappa calf strap.
The Master Control Chronograph Calendar features a newly developed movement, the Calibre 759. It combines a column wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch, a triple calendar display and a moon-phase indicator. These complications brought together are a tribute to the close links between watchmaking and astronomy. The Caliber 759 has 356 parts, 65-hours power reserve, a frequency of 28,800 vph and a thickness of 6.85mm for a diameter of 25.6mm and 37 jewels. The dial is very balanced and the new case with its rectangular pushers adds a touch of modernity.
What role does E-Commerce play in your business model especially in the current situation?
Jaeger-LeCoultre came very early to E-Commerce and has continuously developed the quality of online experience with new technologies and online services such as the “on your wrist app”, augmented reality of novelties, but also strap finder and service price calculator.
With digital being pretty much the only way to connect right now, do you have any specific pro-active plans for 2020?
In this unique context, many things are going digital. Take Watches and Wonders for example. The first digital edition has a been a huge success. The platform celebrated Chapter 1 of the 2020 novelties with minute repeaters and the newly redesigned Master Control collection. We shared videos with perspectives of our designers and highlighted the inspiration behind our creations. In these special times, our inspiration remains the beauty of the Vallee and the peacefulness of the Nature surrounding the Manufacture.
Will we see an extension of the Polaris collection this year?
Following the launch of 2018 and the new additions from last year Polaris will continue to be the focus in the years to come. Having said that new Master Control Collection has already been rolled out and available in our boutiques. The date and calendar models have been delivered to our boutiques. The first one is sold and already on the wrist of our clients. The rest will come progressively in the next few months.