jaeger-lecoultre honors hokusai by reproducing his woodblock prints behind reverso watches

jaeger-lecoultre honors hokusai by reproducing his woodblock prints behind reverso watches

meet Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai

 

Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre pays tribute to Katsushika Hokusai by faithfully repainting and reproducing two of his woodblock prints in miniature versions on the back of the new foldable and reversible Reverso watches. Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock prints, The Waterfall at Ono on the Kisokaido Road (Kisokaidō Ono no bakufu) and The Waterfall Where Yoshitsune Washed his Horse at Yoshino in Yamato Province (Washū Yoshino Yoshitsune uma arai no taki) emerge as hidden treasures burrowed behind case backs of the reversible watches and through the enamel reproductions carried out by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s artisans. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Métiers Rares atelier has previously paid homage to these works with a Reverso Tribute model in 2021 depicting the waterfall at Kirifuri, followed by the waterfall at Amida in 2022.

 jaeger-lecoultre hokusai reverso watches
images by Jaeger-LeCoultre

 

 

miniature woodblock prints for reversible watches

 

Recreating Katsushika Hokusai’s recognizable woodblock prints for the case backs behind Jaeger-LeCoultre’s new Reverso watches extracts painstaking accuracy and meticulous attention to detail from the artisans working on the repainting and reproduction. In fact, the miniature paintings were executed through the Geneva technique, which means at least 14 layers of enamel, each fired at 800°C before the next can be applied, were carefully applied, totaling 80 hours of work.

 

It is not easy to reproduce Katsushika Hokusai’s original colors, let alone bring back each striking detail to a watch’s life with pinpoint accuracy on a scale approximately one-tenth of the original. The enameler even captured the cartouches near the top of each frame as they wrote the captions from the original woodblock prints there by hand on a microscopic scale while remaining accurate and legible. The background pattern on both dials is handcrafted using a special technique called guilloché.

 jaeger-lecoultre hokusai reverso watches
The Waterfall Where Yoshitsune Washed his Horse at Yoshino in Yamato Province (Washū Yoshino Yoshitsune uma arai no taki)

 

 

detailing Waterfall at Ono and Waterfall at Yoshino dials

 

Take the Waterfall at Ono dial, which bears a barleycorn pattern. It takes about three to four hours of very precise work to make it. The Waterfall at Yoshino dial, on the other hand, has a lozenge pattern with 800 lines, and each line needs five rounds of crafting, which adds up to about eight hours of work just for this part. After the guilloché work is done, the enameler applies several layers of translucent green enamel, and each layer has to be heated and dried separately. This takes an additional eight hours of work, spread out over a week. Each Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai watch series only comprises ten timepieces, and lucky wearers may consider themselves fortunate owners of a historical artist’s legacy.

 jaeger-lecoultre hokusai reverso watches
close-up view to see the thoroughly detailed reproduction of Hokusai’s woodblock print

jaeger-lecoultre-reverso-enamel-watches-hokusai-woodblock-prints-reversible-timepieces-designboom-ban2

the reproduction amount to 80 hours of work per watch

 jaeger-lecoultre hokusai reverso watches
Jaeger-LeCoultre has previously paid homage to these works with a Reverso Tribute model in 2021 and in 2022

 jaeger-lecoultre hokusai reverso watches
The Waterfall at Ono on the Kisokaido Road (Kisokaidō Ono no bakufu)

jaeger-lecoultre-reverso-enamel-watches-hokusai-woodblock-prints-reversible-timepieces-designboom-ban

only ten watches per reproduction are available for lucky owners to acquire

 

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Jaeger-LeCoultre's Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai watch
Jaeger-LeCoultre's Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai watch
Jaeger-LeCoultre's Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai watch
Jaeger-LeCoultre's Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai watch
Jaeger-LeCoultre's Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai watch
Jaeger-LeCoultre's Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai watch

project info:

 

name: Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai

artist: Katsushika Hokusai

brand: Jaeger-LeCoultre

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