Harper's Bazaar March 2016 - Page 120

ACCESSORIES Bazaar TIME AFTER TIME Marc de Panafieu (regional brand director, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Middle East) with his wife, Princess Alexandra Cantacuzene, at the British Polo Day matches in Jodhpur From classic renditions to cool collaborations, the JaegerLeCoultre Reverso has come a long way. Bazaar follows its journey from the polo grounds to the red carpet as the watch celebrates its 85th anniversary. F ew things in this world don’t age. The Reverso, one of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s iconic masterpieces, is one of them. It has been worn by the who’s who, from King Edward VIII of England to Don Draper in Mad Men, not to mention Bollywood’s very own nawab, Saif Ali Khan. And 85 years since its launch, little has changed. “We are going to maintain the originality, but we will make it easier for customers to find what suits their personality,” says Marc de Panafieu, regional brand director for Jaeger-LeCoultre in the Middle East. Think a watch that shows universal time for the perennial traveller, or the Mastero Ultra Thin in gold for evenings that demand elegance, such as their anniversary celebrations in Jodhpur during the British Polo Day matches. That the brand chose India to mark the occassion comes as no surprise—the Reverso was designed in 1931 for British officers playing polo in India. “There is an old appreciation of luxury in India. It’s not a new concept to the people here; look at this palace [Umaid Bhawan]!” says de Panafieu, adding that the brand is looking for a stand-alone store in the country. It’s a risky move, given that some established watch brands are reconsidering their position in India. Then there is social media—Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where everyone’s looking for something new. However, JLC is in no hurry; the plan is to pause, look back into their history, and create something truly exciting with an element of surprise. And what shows that better than the Reverso’s collaboration with Christian Louboutin, showcased at the recently concluded SIHH in Geneva, in which the shoe designer created evening watches in rectangular art deco cases. More than fashion and a storied legacy, what keeps it relevant? “We manufacture everything ourselves,” says de Panafieu. “However glamourous or bejewelled, a watch will always signify strength in a woman.” He’s right. One look at the well-dressed guests at Umaid Bhawan Palace confirmed that a great watch is as important as a piece of fine jewellery, redefining that old saying: Time is the ultimate luxury. n 120 The British Polo Day match, which marked the 85th anniversary of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso watch A look at the Reverso watches over the years. From left: Jaeger-Le Coultre Reverso Classic Medium (2016); a Reverso depicting the Hindu God Krishna (1949); a Reverso watch engraved with the ‘Sawaiman Guard’ coat of arms (1933); and a Reverso watch portraying an Indian woman (1936), all price upon request. By Rahul Vijay SEE WHERE TO BUY FOR DETAILS