The newly announced VTL lanes is great news for those holding out on a skiing holiday in Switzerland. And if fabulous slopes, great cheese, and amazing chocolate aren’t big enough incentives for you to visit the alpine country, here’s another: Jaeger-LeCoultre’s doors are open to all who love fine timepieces and great watchmaking. Enter the Jaeger-LeCoultre Atelier d’Antoine, a place where anyone could be watchmaker for a day.
This new discovery workshop begins from November 2021 and it offers watch enthusiasts a unique opportunity to immerse in the world of horology. Catered to connoisseurs as well as novices, Jaeger-LeCoultre has thoughtfully planned out a combination of academic education and hands-on experiences.
Says Catherine Rénier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre, “We’ve opened the doors of our manufacture to clients and guests since the 90s. And we’ve intended in many different ways to express what watchmaking is about at Jaeger-LeCoultre. Sharing our passion, sharing our knowledge, is an important element in expressing who we are as a maison.”
Sessions are focused on a specific theme or watchmaking topic, and these may change from time to time depending on what inspires the manufacture, as well as what resonates with the visitors.
Very aptly, Atelier d’Antoine kicks off with an in-depth look at the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. The iconic watch celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.
The Reverso Discovery Workshop will take you through the origins of this iconic watch and trace its evolution over the decades. For an experience unlike any other, you’ll get to deep-dive into the manufacture’s archives to see original historical documents and design sketches.
Observe the many stages in the making of a Reverso, from the classic models to grand complications. If you’re really lucky, you might come face to face with this year’s Reverso Quadriptyque and its movement, Calibre 185.
But one special room you’ll definitely get to see is the Atelier des Métiers Rares where the manufacture’s most talented enamellers, engravers, and gem-setters ply their craft.
For the final element of the visit, you’ll get to assemble your own Reverso case, which involves no fewer than 50 components to complete.
“When I first visited the manufacture, I was so impressed I never saw Jaeger-LeCoultre or watchmaking in the same way ever again. Everything within the walls of our manufacture, all the amazing crafts, they’re magical. Whether through this atelier or nomadic interpretations of it, we want to spread the knowledge to people around the world.”
Atelier d’Antoine is a full experience of what it’s like to be a watchmaker. We highly recommend setting one day aside just for it, inclusive of two-way travel (the Jaeger-LeCoultre manufacture is about two hours mostly scenic drive from Geneva) and perhaps a leisurely lunch at one of the Vallée’s quaint restaurants.
Think fabulous timepieces followed by oozy cheese fondue paired with traditional charcuterie and crisp Chasselas from the Swiss Jura mountains – how can anyone say no?