Jaeger-LeCoultre Van Gogh Reverso

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It’s an iconic piece in the history of watchmaking – one that revolutionized the genre. Decade after decade, the Reverso by Jaeger-LeCoultre has consistently inspired awe. He was an ill-destined painter – avant-garde and before his time. Vincent van Gogh left behind him a profuse and abundant body of work. A genius in an era that only appreciated that which was bourgeois, Van Gogh’s career was brief. 10 years was all it took to definitively bring him into the history of art; today, it’s one of his numerous self portraits that is being enameled with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s masterful savoir-faire.

To pay homage to one of the greatest artists of all time, the manufacturer teamed up with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to compose its new series of “Reverso à Eclipse” watches. The idea for this historical collaboration started with their Dutch partner Gassan. The idea: create a unique piece associating artisanship, art, and heritage. The artist’s work is clearly highlighted here in this second series of timepieces. It’s an enameled self portrait, fashioned within Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Swiss workshops. With one simple gesture, the watch’s shuttered opening gives way to a miniature reproduction of the painting itself – this unique breed of craftsmanship demanding precision, virtuosity, and patience is marvelously executed.

Van Gogh often painted himself. Without enough money to pay a model, he painted a self portrait dated to 1887-88. Imagined with paint, palette, and brush in hand before his easel, the modernity of the piece appears through the use of bright, almost raw colors using a palette based on complementary shades. This is the piece that Jaeger-LeCoultre chose to illustrate the dial of their new Reverso series.

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