Swiss luxury watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre has teamed up with Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum to create one of their signature Reverso watches in tribute to the great artist.
With a “simple gesture,” the face of the watch opens up to reveal an enamel reproduction of the Dutch artist’s “Self Portrait as a Painter,” 1887-1888. This is the second collaboration between the watch brand and the museum; in 2015, they presented a Reverso à Eclipse featuring one of the works from Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” series.
Jaeger-LeCoultre — whose master enamelers have tackled artworks by Renoir, Ingres, and Klimt in previous series — are releasing these watches as part of their celebrations for the 85th anniversary of Reverso. The company said: “Since 1931, the year the Reverso watch was created, its emotional impact has remained as powerful as ever. This undisputed style icon elicits the same wonderment decade after decade.”
In addition to being an iconic image, “Self Portrait as Painter” is an apt choice for the design. According to a letter Van Gogh sent to his sister, he found the process of creating this work exhausting, attempting to paint himself with “wrinkles in forehead and around the mouth, stiffly wooden, a very red beard, quite unkempt and sad.” However, the portrayal of the artist frozen during the act of painting in turn draws attention to the masterful craftsmanship of the enamel painting on the watch’s face.