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WMR - January 2017

Conversation

JAEGER-LECOULTRE

In conversation with Marc Newson


YOUR FIRST COLLABORATION WITH JAEGER-LECOULTRE WAS IN 2008 WHEN YOU DESIGNED THE ATMOS 561. HOW DID YOU FIND IT?

I was thrilled to have been asked to design an Atmos because it is a timepiece that I have loved since I saw my first one when I was in my early teens. I have had the most fulfilling experience designing for Jaeger-LeCoultre and especially designing an object that I have always had such respect for.

WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE ATMOS CLOCK THAT SO APPEALED TO YOU THAT YOU OFFERED A NEW DESIGN FOR IT?

An Atmos for me is a complex and magical object, it seemingly runs on perpetual motion or the closest thing to it and it needs a constant environment to function in. It is as if it is a living thing – you have the feeling that it can sense your presence – which I find strangely comforting. I like the fact that the Atmos is completely anachronistic: it is as up-to-date now as it ever was, and no-one has been able to improve or modify its essential technical features. I love the way a company like Jaeger-LeCoultre continues to champion such an object.

HOW WAS IT TO WORK ON A CLOCK COMPARED TO ANY OTHER OBJECT?

My approach to everything I design is always the same – in that I see the brief as a problem – a design puzzle let’s say, that I have to solve with imagination, understanding and innovation. This goes for everything I design – from a car to a chair. But one thing I do know in terms of design is that I try to design objects that you can form a bond with and that you can keep with you for the rest of your life that you will never want to replace. They will be repaired and continue to work and be current and classic. The Atmos falls perfectly into that philosophy. It
ensures perfect sustainability on a philosophical level, whereas today, it is almost taken for granted that digital objects are somehow disposable. An Atmos is the antithesis of that – it will never end up as landfill.

The complete interview is in Watch Market Review - January 2017 on page no. 34 & 35.