Jaeger-LeCoultre opens the Maison d’Antoine

03.28.13

On the occasion of its 180th anniversary, Jaeger-LeCoultre opens a unique space dedicated to encounters and to sharing watch knowledge.

Named Maison d’Antoine in tribute to Antoine LeCoultre who in 1833 created his first workshop in a room of the family farmhouse, this new space designed and furbished in the spirit of yesteryear is intended to host friends of the Manufacture: collectors, connoisseurs of exceptional watches and “students” of watchmaking initiation classes.

For a collector coming to admire a Grande Complication watch that a Jaeger-LeCoultre masterwatchmaker is patiently assembling for him; or for a connoisseur enjoying an opportunity to take an initiation class taught by a watchmaker from the Manufacture – what could be more moving than to find himself at the very heart of the Jaeger-LeCoultre’s history in the Vallée de Joux, where everything began, and where around 1,200 calibres have been conceived, developed and produced over the past 180 years.

This exclusive hospitality area located on the top floor and bathed in the natural light of the Vallée de Joux that is so precious for watchmakers, has been designed as a convivial meeting place that accentuates the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre’s profound attachment to cultivating ties with devotees of Fine Watchmaking.

The place is steeped in history and reflects the philosophy of the Manufacture, dedicated to perpetuating watchmaking knowledge, to passing on skills, as well as to enriching techniques and rare crafts.

It all began when Elie LeCoultre, son of Antoine LeCoultre, decided to bring the multiple watchmaking professions under one roof, a truly novel move at a time when Swiss watchmaking was built around small home-based workshops. LeCoultre & Cie thus became the first fullfledged
Manufacture in the Vallée de Joux. It currently houses over 180 skills involved in developing and producing the most prestigious timepieces from start to finish. Driven by a constant quest for excellence, backed by a unique spirit of invention, Jaeger-Lecoultre is thus pursuing the tradition of Grande Complication models produced by the Manufacture through a succession of extraordinary creations and unique inventions.

The approximately 200m2 area will be devoted to the intensely technical nature of horology. Various Grande Complication watches, including masterpieces of complexity such as the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee, will thus find a perfect setting in which to be exposed to the admiring gaze of the most demanding collectors.

12 workbenches are reserved for watch initiation and training classes given by an expert who is always ready to answer watch lovers’ numerous questions.

Above all else, the keynote will be passion – a quality exemplified by the founders whose portraits adorn the entrance to the Maison d’Antoine and who appear to be gazing benevolently down on visitors. A reminder that we are indeed in the home of Antoine LeCoultre himself.
Exactly as in one of the region’s typical chalets, the wood comes from the spruce forests of the Vallée de Joux. Using soft, elegant colours, noble and traditional materials and a spacious fireplace, the focus is firmly on creating a warm and serene atmosphere. It is indeed the whole vision of luxury and refinement according to Jaeger-LeCoultre that is eloquently expressed in the Maison d’Antoine.

On the occasion of its inauguration, British actor Clive Owen was one of the first to immerse himself in the unique atmosphere of this peerless watchmaking location. The actor will doubtless return one day to take part in one of the master classes offered by the Manufacture.

By installing at the very heart of its Manufacture this Maison d’Antoine, a rare and exclusive place offering a refine and intimate ambience, Jaeger-LeCoultre is writing a new chapter in its history.

The vibrant heart of passion thus beats more strongly than ever within a world of Fine Watchmaking firmly geared towards invention – just as in 1833 when Antoine LeCoultre began writing one of the most epic horological adventures that has been running for 180 years.