The level of craftsmanship that goes into some of the world’s luxury watches practically turns them into mechanical masterpieces. These dynamic artworks of precision engineering can command staggering prices especially when the production numbers are highly limited. Jaeger-LeCoultre, on the other hand, presents a timepiece that incorporates the work of a legendary Japanese ukiyo-e artist. Meet the Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai.
The man behind the beautiful images featured on these two watches is none other than Katsushika Hokusai — a prominent figure in the late Edo period credited for the iconic woodblock print series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji and so much more. The Swiss watchmaker revisits their previous outing, with an exclusive run of 10 examples for each reference in the latest collection.
As far as timekeeping goes, the Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai is an elegant art deco-inspired model with a rectangular case which frames a beautiful dial with sophisticated guilloché patterns as the backdrop. Dauphine hands point to faceted baton hour markers and a minute track which exudes an understated yet stunning appeal. Moreover, the top and bottom section of the case is adorned with gadroons.
Jaeger-LeCoultre previously showcased the Waterfall at Kirifuri and Amida Falls. For the 2023 series, we have The Waterfall Where Yoshitsune Washed his Horse at Yoshino in Yamato Province and The Waterfall at Ono on the Kisokaido Road. These reproductions of his famous artworks are all done by the in-house team of Métiers Rares. These are meticulously done in miniature Grand Feu enamel paintings to be visually identical to the originals.
“The miniature paintings on the Reverso case-backs were executed using the Geneva technique, requiring 80 hours’ meticulous work. As well as the technical feat of reproducing Hokusai’s original colours (including the graduated bokashi effect) in an entirely different medium, the enameller faced the challenge of precisely reproducing every detail with pinpoint accuracy, on a scale approximately one-tenth of the original,” writes Jaeger-LeCoultre about the Reverso Tribute Enamel HokusaiLearn more
Images courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre