INTRODUCING: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai ‘Amida Falls’
The trilogy of Reverso homages to the legendary Japanese artist is complete.
Created in 1931 to withstand the rigours of polo matches of the British Army officers in India, the Reverso protects the watch’s face from possible mallet strikes with a case that can be simply flipped over. However, it didn’t take long for its wearers to see the solid metal caseback as a blank canvas for personalisation and homages. And the watchmaker is happy to oblige with exquisite enamelling, engraving, and gem-setting. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai ‘Amida Falls’ is the latest showcase of this unique aspect of the watch.
Regarded as one of the most prominent Japanese artists of all time, Katsushika Hokusai was credited for elevating the ancient practice of woodblock printing to a high art form in the 19th century. His most famous work, ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’, was painstakingly reproduced on another Reverso in 2018. This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre pays tribute to another of his iconic works, ‘The Amida Falls in the Far Reaches of the Kisokaidō Road’.
The best known among Hokusai’s ‘Waterfalls’ series of eight woodblock prints, ‘Amida Falls’ juxtaposes the power of the cascading water and monumental landscapes with the diminutive human figures having a leisurely picnic nearby. To faithfully reproduce the details on a surface of just three centimetres square – approximately one-tenth the size of the original – enamellers of the Manufacture’s Métiers Rares atelier developed a special technique to recreate the nuanced bokashi effect of woodblock printing. This miniature Grand Feu enamel painting involved 70 hours of work over many weeks, including up to 15 separate firings at 800 degrees Celsius.
An exemplar of East meets West, the Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai ‘Amida Falls’ features more artistry on its dial – a guilloché lozenge pattern highlighted by translucent Grand Feu enamel in emerald green. Meticulously created by hand, the guilloché pattern required hours of highly focused work using a century-old lathe to ensure crisp etchings and perfect symmetry. Following this, at least six layers of enamel were applied, over the span of more than a week, each requiring separate firing. Finally, the faceted appliqué hour markers, chemin de fer minutes register, and Dauphine hands are added to complete this work of art.
Limited to 10 pieces worldwide, Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai ‘Amida Falls’ has a 45.5mm x 27.4mm white gold case fitted with the in-house manual-winding Calibre 822/2 with a 42-hour power reserve. And the choice to pair this with a discreet black alligator leather strap is especially prudent, as it allows the true stars, on either side of the watch, to take centre stage.
Along with the aforementioned ‘Great Wave’ piece and another one that miniaturised the ‘Kirifuri Waterfall at Kurokami Mountain in Shimotsuke’ in 2021, the Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai ‘Amida Falls’ is a fitting final piece to a trilogy of Reverso Tribute Enamel timepieces dedicated to the legendary artist. Epitomising Jaeger-LeCoultre’s embracing of Eastern and Western artistic traditions throughout its history, the series also beautifully demonstrates the exceptional artistry and skill of the Manufacture’s artisans.
End of content
No more pages to load