The world of customised watches is taking a new turn with special collaboration that illustrates the growing closeness between the watch and fashion worlds.
Also, customised watches have been for the privileged few but that was changed in 2016 when as part of the celebrations for the 85th anniversary of its Reverso design, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the Atelier concept. This allowed clients to personalise a watch with engraved designs on the reverse and different coloured dials and straps.
French shoe designer, Christian Louboutin designed a flamboyant – and equally customisable – range of Reverso dials and straps that went beyond his signature red lining. He has translated the spirit of a stiletto shoe into the confines of a watch.
“I was happy not to be changing the outlines of the Reverso because it is one of the most perfect watch designs, but I wanted this to be a true combination of what I and they stand for,” he told FT’s How To Spend It in a report. “Though the accuracy of a tiny watch is far more technical than perfecting the balance and weight-bearing ability of a shoe.”
Louboutin who was fascinated by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s handcraft, persuaded the watchmaker to create enamelled dials and leather straps with a rich, iridescent scarab-beetle effect, a favourite on his shoes. Customers can choose the effect on both, or team a plain, silvered dial with an iridescent strap or a coloured dial with a black strap. Other dials have a delicate, pale, mirrored finish that looks ultra-feminine with a laser-cut out “skin on skin” strap with clear inserts; the same strap in black looks dramatic with a deep, black lacquered dial.
The wide, twisted strap is edged in fine metal chain; inspired by officers’ epaulettes. A design that is more assertive and right in line with next season’s trend for military jackets.
Louboutin trusts such masculine inspiration has as much sensual appeal as his more obviously feminine styles, and a man who can make studded brogues look as sexy as stilettos knows whereof he speaks. A watch emphasising hand gestures is, argued Louboutin is an equally valid vehicle for underlying feminine sensuality. The price of the watch starts from N2, 777, 972 (£6,700).