Dutch Post-Impressionism meets Swiss high horology in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s new, extremely limited Reverso à Eclipse watch, which features on its dial an enameled, miniature re-creation of one of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, Self Portrait.
The watch is the result of a collaboration between Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, with the assistance of Dutch family-owned Gassan Diamonds, which partnered with the Swiss watch manufacture in 2014 to open an Amsterdam boutique with a focus on watches and jewelry. Like the first such watch in this series, released in 2015 and featuring on its dial a miniaturized replica of another iconic Van Gogh work, Sunflowers, the new timepiece is highlighted by a miniaturized enamel painted dial, this one depicting the artist’s self-portrait with brush, palette, and easel, the original of which hangs in the permanent collection of the Van Gogh Museum.
The platinum case is equipped with not only the Reverso collection’s famous swiveling mechanism, but also a tiny system of “shutters,” operated via a wheel on the side of the case, which can open and close to either hide or reveal the artistic dial underneath and which continue to display the time while closed, as seen below.
The enameling technique used to create the dial of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso à Eclipse Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh is one of the rarest fine art traditions being practiced today, an ancient decorative craft that has been preserved by Jaeger-LeCoultre artisans — along with other disciplines such as engraving and gem-setting — at its manufacture in Switzerland’s Vallée de Joux.
Inside the case is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s manufacture Caliber 849, the ultra-thin (just 1.85 mm thick) manual-wind movement that also powers the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Jubilee, one of the world’s thinnest mechanical watches. It is composed of just 123 parts and carries a 35-hour power reserve.
Only four pieces of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso a Eclipse Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh will be made; the watch is priced at 101,000 euros and will be on display at the Van Gogh Museum and sold exclusively through the Gassan boutique in Amsterdam.