Marking The Hours With Catherine Renier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre On Precision Pioneer Exhibit & A Renewed Outlook
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Marking The Hours With Catherine Renier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre On Precision Pioneer Exhibit & A Renewed Outlook

THM Desk
16 May 2024 |
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Jaeger-LeCoultre stunned the audience with an all new direction. We know it was the year of the Reverso's last year, but this year they took an all-new approach with the revival of the Duometre collection. 

We caught up with Catherine Renier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre to discuss this and more! 

Catherine Renier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre
Catherine Renier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre

THM: You’ve been a part of the family for a long time. What would you say is the most underrated aspects about the brand and something you’d want people to know about the Maison?

Catherine: I think it's very important to understand that Jaeger-LeCoultre's approach is rooted in its expertise in movements. The expertise in movements means that Jaeger-LeCoultre has over 1,400 calibers in its portfolio and continues to innovate. When we launched new watches like the Duomètre Tourbillon and Helio Tourbillon, we created a new movement association, as the existing Gyro Tourbillon was too cumbersome for the Duomètre. We introduced a totally new kinetic Helio Tourbillon movement. The Maison's approach is always driven by innovation and mastering technical challenges, owing to our expertise as an integrated manufacturer.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Heliotourbillon
Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Heliotourbillon

THM: With the launch of the steel Duometre, is the Maison catering to a younger audience?

Catherine: For the steel version, it was a request we had received for many years, as the Duomètre was previously only available in gold. We felt it was time to associate the metal and color together with the steel case and blue dial, giving it a new look and style that aligns with the modern rework of the Duomètre collection.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Quantieme Lunaire
Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Quantieme Lunaire

For those unfamiliar, the Duomètre's unique construction involves two separate mainspring barrels, each providing 46 hours of power reserve, independently driving two separate gear trains that converge at the regulating organ. One barrel powers the timekeeping, while the other powers the complications. This ensures that when a complication like the chronograph is activated and requires energy, it draws power from its dedicated barrel rather than the timekeeping barrel. This isolation allows the timekeeping mechanism to maintain its precise rate, unaffected by the power demands of the complications, thus ensuring better chronometric precision.

THM: Over the last three years, what at Jaeger-Lecoultre have surprised you the most?

Catherine: The most surprising aspect has been the immense patience required. Patience implies many things when working on a watch. Everything is complex - the smallest detail, if altered, can disturb the delicate balance of components and sizing. A dial that is too heavy, for instance, can cause issues. The patience in accepting that attaining the level of excellence we aim for takes considerable time is what has surprised me the most.

The Precision Pioneer Exhibit
The Precision Pioneer Exhibit

The intricate nature of watchmaking demands an unwavering patience, as even the slightest modification can upset the harmony of the precise components and measurements. Reaching the pinnacle of horological excellence is a meticulous process that cannot be rushed. Embracing this pace and the commitment it entails has been the most astonishing realization for me.

THM: In terms of the luxury watch industry, smaller dials is an ongoing trend, simpler watches. But, at Watches and Wonders, we’ve seen complications. Where do you think the industry is headed?

Catherine: When asked if people are preferring simpler three-hand date watches over complications, the response is clear: "No, we do what we know how to do best. While we have our entry-level minute watches, we continue to innovate and push boundaries with complications. We never try to follow trends. It's important to remain true to your brand identity. For us, abandoning complications would mean our in-house research and development team would have no purpose in producing the future of our watchmaking.

THM: You recently visited Mumbai and Delhi. Are we expecting new boutiques?

Catherine: It was truly an amazing discovery for me. Having lived in Asia for a long time and Europe during my childhood, I never had the opportunity to extensively travel to India. I found it to be a fantastic and very welcoming market with great dynamism. We have three boutiques there, and we are really pleased to see the burgeoning interest not just in India itself, but also from Indian travelers and clientele around the world in our watches and wonders, particularly our timepieces and the iconic Reverso.

The Precision Pioneer Exhibit 2

Our brand has enjoyed a long-standing history with India dating back to the Reverso's introduction in 1931. It's very gratifying to witness the continuity of this relationship unfold, as Indian audiences continue to embrace and appreciate our watchmaking heritage and craftsmanship. The strong connection resonates deeply.

THM: We also know that an Indian chef is part of the Programme. What was the thought behind that?

Catherine: The Chef's creations are part of the Made of Maker program, which is a collaborative association with artists expressing their art forms. For the culinary art, we worked with the digital artist Chef Himanshu Saini. We briefed him on the themes of precision and the Vallée de Joux, where he visited our manufacture. He then created four bite-sized delicacies that highlight this atelier - a unique fusion of Indian culture and cuisine with ingredients from the Vallée de Joux region.

Chef Himanshu Saini
Chef Himanshu Saini

The focus was on the precision of cooking, ingredient selection, shaping each bite, and the immaculate presentation, akin to our watchmaking. You had a chance to sample them - it's a truly delightful experience. The idea is for the public visiting our exhibitions to discover the maison not just through our products and manufacturing, but also through this emotive, sensorial experience. It allows them to better understand how artistry is integral to what we do in watchmaking, just as a culinary chef meticulously crafts their dishes.

THM: We know the Precision Pioneer Exhibit is ongoing in Dubai right now. What are your thoughts on that?

Catherine: The Precision Pioneer Exhibit, our immersive culinary experience, is happening in Dubai currently. We anticipate an exciting moment there with the chef, one that celebrates a rich tapestry of heritage and culture. The event in Dubai is showcasing the fusion of Swiss watchmaking precision with artistic culinary expressions, providing a multi-sensory journey that highlights the Maison's core values and time-honored traditions. It promises to be an engaging experience that allows guests to discover our heritage through the exceptional artistry of haute cuisine, meticulously prepared with the same dedication to craft that defines our timepieces.