Driven by the desire to share its passion for watchmaking with a wider audience, Jaeger-LeCoultre announces the opening of “Atelier d’Antoine”, a new initiative that gives watch collectors, enthusiasts and members of the general public the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of fine watchmaking as never before.
Named after the Maison’s founder, Antoine LeCoultre, “Atelier d’Antoine” will stage a variety of educational programmes that combine academic instruction and practical activities, guided by experts from within the Manufacture.
The hub of “Atelier d’Antoine” is a newly developed space within the original, historic Manufacture building in Le Sentier, which has been specially designed for this purpose. In future, it is planned to open physical outposts of the Atelier in flagship boutiques in key international locations, as well as to offer the programme through digital channels.
“Atelier d’Antoine” will initially offer two different types of themed programme: Discovery Workshops and Manufacture Visits and, at a later date, will also offer Masterclasses – all programmes offering unforgettable experiences for those wishing to learn more about what goes into making a fine mechanical watch.
Discovery Workshops provide an opportunity to explore the world of Swiss fine watchmaking in a new way. Hosted by an instructor and a technical expert and limited to a maximum of 8 participants, the workshops blend academic education and hands-on experience in a dynamic format that encourages interaction.
Over the course of three hours, participants will dive deep into the heart of watch movements to understand how they work; they will discover the myriad technical and creative skills required to produce fine watches, the many different stages involved in their fabrication, and the artistic crafts employed in haute horlogerie. They will also learn about the past, present and future of watchmaking at Jaeger-LeCoultre and in the Vallée de Joux. They will also be invited to go hands-on, using larger-scale models to try to replicate the work of the Maison’s highly skilled watchmakers.
The Manufacture Visits are structured so that each focuses on a different area of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expertise and heritage: The History of the Maison and the Stages of Watchmaking; Innovations and Inventions; and Creativity and Artistic Crafts. The guided visits will range in duration from two-and-a-half to four hours, according to the theme being explored.
Following the traditional format already established at Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Masterclasses will be highly focused, hands-on tutorials led by an expert watchmaker or craftsman, in which participants actively practice particular skills of traditional watchmaking or artistic crafts.
THE SOUND MAKER
Introduced by the Maison in June 2020, The Sound Maker theme pays homage to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s home in the Vallée de Joux and to its great legacy of chiming timepieces, expressing 150 years of accumulated chiming expertise in fresh new ways that link nature, art and horology.
Honouring The Sound Maker, the first series of Discovery Workshops and Manufacture Visits, will be devoted to the sounds of watchmaking.
The Manufacture Visits will focus on the secrets of sound-making and the Maison’s rich chiming heritage, as well as its latest chiming creations. In the Discovery Workshops, participants will learn why watches go ‘tick-tock’, how time can be expressed through sound, what makes a minute repeater chime – and the difference between a repeater and a Grande Sonnerie.
“Atelier d’Antoine” is open to everyone, from collectors who want to build on an existing passion to absolute newcomers with curiosity about watchmaking but no prior knowledge. To participate in any programme of “Atelier d’Antoine”, advance registration is required and may be done through Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques or, from December 2020 online at online-booking.jaeger-lecoultre.com.