The Swiss watchmaker’s newest ambassador revels in the subversive aspects of wearing a timepiece
Words by THE C MAGAZINE EDITORS
In partnership with JAEGER-LeCOULTRE
A film, A Call of the Heart, depicting Anya Taylor-Joy striding toward a ringing landline, summoning The Queen’s Gambit, Emma and Amsterdam actor to a spotlit half-moon booth, serves as Jaeger-LeCoultre’s analog nod to its newest ambassador. But the call itself actually references the Swiss house’s foundational formation story.
As Taylor-Joy picks up the receiver of the single rotary phone emitting its ominous clarion call, tension builds before a voice on the other end of the line poses one simple phrase: “Whenever you’re ready.” The taunt references a challenging proposition that shaped the watchmaker’s course for over a century: a 1903 bid to create an ultra-thin watch movement that came via telephone from watchmaking heir Jacques-David LeCoultre to Parisian mechanic, inventor and watchmaker Edmond Jaeger. The ensuing collaboration led to the formation of Jaeger-LeCoultre and many of its pioneering watch movements.
Taylor-Joy takes up the dare. “Now. I’m ready now,” she says, while wearing one of the line’s Reverso designs, a reminder that the Swiss maker’s minutely precise mechanics continue to power its modern timepieces. Her wafer-thin, rose gold reversible watch has two faces and flips from a black-hued dial to a silver-gray dial, and back.
The actor, who was born in Miami and grew up in Argentina and Britain, found herself drawn to the design’s flip-over case, created in 1930 for polo players who wanted to protect the glass of their watch faces during matches. But the practice of hidden timepieces dates back even further at the Swiss house. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 1929 micromechanical Calibre 101—memorably worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation—included a tiny watch face buried amid a piece of jewelry more closely resembling a diamond tennis bracelet. After all, pocket watches were initially carried by gents, giving the house’s artfully concealed or reversible women’s tickers a subversive allure that Taylor-Joy has said she finds rebellious. 430 N Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-734-0525.
October 19, 2022
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