Guest post: The craft of watch-making and experiential retail from Jaeger–LeCoultre at Harrods


There’s something charming, and humbling about a one-to-one session with a true craftsman, not least when it comes to haute horlogerie with one of my favourite watch brands: Jaeger-LeCoultre. I’m a big fan of the Reverso watch from the Swiss luxury watch-maker (have you seen its latest collab with Valextra? Oh my!), that just happens to be celebrating its 180th anniversary with a dedicated exhibition space at Harrods. So when I saw they were holding a series of appointment-only master classes within what the store calls its ‘exhibition windows’, I asked guest contributor, LSN Global retail editor ALISON BISHOP, to report…

Jaeger-LeCoultre has flown over its top craftsmen to Harrods for a series of intimate classes covering four key skills: watch-making, engraving, enameling and gem setting (book limited appointments on 0207 730 1234). Alongside the live workshops, Jaeger-LeCoultre is also showcasing a recreation of founder Antoine LeCoultre’s original studio from 1833, plus several of its iconic watches and clocks for the May duration promotion. Find a wall dedicated to the 1242 calibres in its Manufacture arm archive and an exhibition of nine Atmos clocks, a key piece from the brand’s heritage collection. There’s even a hidden ‘high complication room’ for inquisitive visitors who can discover the eight leading pieces of the Hybris Mechanica, creations of the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre and the latest tribute to Antoine LeCoultre Jubilee watch styles.

Aside from the truly indulgent brand experience that this immersive exhibition-meets-workshop-meets-pop-up affords, there’s an awe-inspiring experience associated with spending time with the Jaeger-LeCoultre’s craftsmen. It’s what we at LS:N Global call the ‘Show Your Working’ trend at retail. As customers tire of the archival storytelling that luxury brands peddle in their stores, it will be live and experiential services that linger in consumers’ minds. And like the Kodo and Fornasetti event at The Conran Shop recently, there’s a real sense that brands need to ‘save our artisans’ from extinction in the face of digital progression.


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