In October 2003, luxury Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre held the world premiere of its “Master Class” workshop, designed for watch enthusiasts, collectors, and professionals, in New York City. It’s the first time any Swiss luxury watchmaker has invited watch fans to disassemble and reassemble a complicated mechanical movement.
The debut “Master Class” workshops were conducted by master watchmaker Sylvan Golay and held Oct. 23-28 at the Christie’s auction house at Rockefeller Center. About 60 people—including watch collectors, enthusiasts, and retailers, plus a few consumer and trade press journalists—participated, 10 per day. Each worked on the newest Jaeger-LeCoultre watch movement—the eight-day Caliber 875—used in the brand’s new Reverso Grande Date.
Each class featured a tutorial on watchmaking theory and movement construction, along with an explanation of how watches are created and the crafts and technologies used to produce them. Under Golay’s guidance, participants took apart and reassembled the movement, learning its inner workings. At day’s end, each received a certificate of accomplishment along with the smock and tools they had used.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s “Master Class” is making a return visit to the United States in 2004.