2nd February – set aside the world’s tallest performing fountains in Dubai with large incandescent lights, a watchmaking brand known for its endless love affair with the cosmos gave us a chance to witness a marvel! How would it feel to be a part of the Universe? We were there and words fall short to explain what we witnessed.
The Stellar Odyssey exhibition by Jaeger-LeCoultre was a luxurious celebration in the heart of Dubai. How did the night unfold as we embarked on a journey to unravel the mysteries of the cosmos? Let’s get into the details.
To begin with, a special live performance by the acclaimed DJ Amémé was enjoyed by the guests, who included one of the most exciting young acting talents in the Arab world, the British-Lebanese actress Razane Jammal. Visitors to The Stellar Odyssey were taken on a journey through time and space in a spectacular pavilion that appears to be “floating” on the waters of the Dubai Fountain, with Burj Khalifa as a backdrop.
The exhibition spotlighted multimedia installations that whisked guests away on a virtual tour of the cosmos, displaying a carefully curated selection of the Manufacture’s most phenomenal historic timepieces alongside its most recent celestially-inspired timepieces. The Atelier d’Antoine, named after Maison’s founder Antoine LeCoultre, taught visitors about watchmaking through interactive workshops themed around the exhibition’s Stellar Odyssey.
As Catherine Rénier, CEO of the Swiss watchmaking Maison Jaeger-LeCoultre opened the exhibit she said, “When you embark on the Stellar Odyssey, you will be immersed in a world where you can learn about the wonders of the night sky and how they relate to the craft of watchmaking. We are delighted to have this exhibition’s global tour kick off in Dubai, as the ancient cultures of the Middle East were instrumental in developing the first systems of timekeeping.”
The heart of the main pavilion was a geodesic dome where an interactive digital show transported visitors through infinite space and 13.7 billion years of time, unravelling the secrets of the cosmos in five episodes, from the Big Bang to the present day.
Karishma Karer, Co-Founder at The Hour Markers immersed herself on this journey to the cosmos. While the grandeur of the exhibit left her astounded, she said, “Celestial complications are no stranger to fine watchmaking, but no one does it quite like Jaeger-LeCoultre. If you are a collector, a watch hobbyist or from the industry in any way, it is possible to witness the magnanimity of the Manufacture. The exhibit in Dubai, however, opened up Jaeger-LeCoultre to the world! Watch lover or not, everyone had an opportunity to experience why the Manufacture enjoys the reputation of being the watchmaker of watchmakers.”
Next, the world premiere of Guillaume Marmin’s Passengers: Through Time, a new art installation, took place in Dubai as part of The Stellar Odyssey. Jaeger-LeCoultre commissioned it to get people thinking about the nature of time, and the exhibit’s seemingly endless reflections and surprising perspectives did just that.
Jaeger-LeCoultre also commissioned legendary mixologist Matthias Giroud to craft a unique selection of light drinks for the Stellar Odyssey. Matthias, an esteemed alchemist-artist in his field, fused heavenly inspiration with intriguing flavours from the Vallée de Joux, Switzerland, the ancestral home of Jaeger-LeCoultre. These unique mocktails were served to guests at the opening night party and to attendees throughout the exhibition’s 20-day run.
The two artists flew to Dubai for the opening as part of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Made of Makers programme, which is a continuing sequence of collaborations with artists, designers, and craftsmen from fields other than watchmaking to further the conversation between horology and the arts.
Sharing her thoughts about the overall experience, Karer said, “The entire experience from walking through Guillaume Marmin’s light show to feeling like a tiny speck in the universe through the dome show of the cosmos, experiencing the watchmaking class at L’Atelier d’Antoine and ofcourse the passion with which mixologist Matthias Giroud curated the celestial-themed cocktails, the experience was whole. If you haven’t already visited this exhibit, I suggest you do!
And if that wasn’t enough, hear this: “Out of the world – a feeling I got once I entered the JLC Stellar Exhibition in Dubai. From watchmaking history to exquisite timepieces, from a digital showcase of the history of time to a hands-on experience understanding how watchmakers present the anomalies of time; this extravagance by the watchmaker’s watchmaker shouldn’t be missed!” said, Punit Mehta, Co-Founder – The Hour Markers
Well you heard us. Do not miss out on the chance to witness this exhibit running until 24th February, 2023. The watchmaking industry is only getting bigger and better. Today, brands wish to offer the people more than just watches. They want people to experience magic, to experience an emotion!