It was a year of confinement. It was a year of staying home and avoiding the pandemic. It was a year of the digital boom, where everyone embraced Zoom and Team meetings and sought to offer some semblance of normalcy. In the watch world, it was a year of digital growth, as many brands focused on digital sales platforms and videos. Jaeger-LeCoultre went a major step above, though, and opened its Atelier d’Antoine — a completely digital experience that showcases all aspects of the brand’s crafts.
Building on the digital Atelier visit you can take from home, Jaeger-LeCoultre has also implemented its series of Discovery workshops, where — while sitting at your computer at home — you can go in depth with the brand’s masters to learn more about watchmaking in Le Sentier. I agree with what you are thinking. Seeing it on a screen doesn’t compare to seeing it in person.However, the Atelier d’Antoine (named for the founder of the brand, Antoine LeCoultre) is a pretty immersive experience and the Discovery workshops are really nicely done. It is the next best thing to being there. But, if you insist on being there, the classes are also taking place in person in the Le Sentier workshops.
This year, to honor its more than 150 years of expertise in chiming watches, Jaeger-LeCoultre offers a special Discovery Workshop dedicated to chiming watches and underscoring its “The Sound Maker” campaign. The instruction is limited to eight participants per session for a more manageable three-hour course.
In addition to this first “Sound” course, one can simply visit the manufacture, or take a course in the special crafts (like painting and engraving dials), or take a specialized “Home of Inventions” manufacture tour, where you do a deep dive into the history of the brand and its many wonderful inventions. There is a fee for each class you take that ranges from 80 Swiss Francs to several hundred Swiss Francs. Travel to and from the Manufacture is also at your own expense — making the digital version sound even better.
The initial series is listed on its site, and you can go on line to book sessions and the platform offers a choice of either English or French programs. Classes begin on July 1, 2021, and are currently scheduled into the fall. New classes will also be developed and offered as the program continues. Think of it as your own private tour of one of the finest manufactures with the option for more in-depth experiences, as well.