Overtly feminine timepieces that combined beauty and competent horology were extremely unusual a decade ago, but when Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the Rendez-Vous line in 2012, it truly hit.
There was a watchmaker who took ladies seriously, with superb mechanical movements, appealing, mature designs, and an abundance of fine detail. The series was named after a wink in the shape of a little star on the dial perimeter that can be adjusted to denote an appointment, and is named Rendez-Vous in French. With a 36 mm case diameter, the watches are both beautiful and intelligent.
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The Rendez-Vous Dazzling Night & Day offers a major glittering punch while remaining firmly on the classy side. Pink gold, creamy-white mother-of-pearl, white diamonds, and a warm peach-beige alligator strap make up the color palette. The airiness of the diamond circles is due to the way the outer ring of 36 stones has been placed.
The claw setting is a traditional jewelry method that allows light to penetrate through the stone from all angles while minimizing the exposed metal. It’s a setting for fine stones only, and Jaeger-LeCoultre’s artisans have done a great job. The diamonds are held high by fine gold prongs, giving the impression that they are floating around the watch case rather than being fastened to it. Another 72 diamonds are embedded in the bezel, and the dial has a 47-diamond inner ring.
The dial is rich in detail: mirror-polished gold spheres denote the hours on an outer ring; on the main hours ring, each number is placed on a distinct mother-of-pearl ’tile’ with all 12 tiles fitting together almost smoothly. The curving numerals are complemented by the form of the hands, and everything feels harmonic, delicate, and nicely judged.
JLC has used the night and day feature as an occasion to do something romantic and charming.
As day turns to night, a sun with extravagantly curled rays alternates with a pink gold crescent moon against a mother-of-pearl disc strewn with gold stars.
The movement is a technically updated version of the Calibre 898 (cal. 898B/1 to be exact), a self-winding mechanical movement developed and built wholly in-house with a power reserve of 38 hours. The translucent sapphire caseback displays some superb classical decoration and finishing, blued screws, circular graining on the wheels, Côtes de Genève on the plates, and an open-worked pink gold winding rotor.