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Watchmaking and the arts

Sponsored by:

Jaeger-LeCoultre

Art in motion

Renowned watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre adds The 2017 Hong Kong Ballet Ball to its list of sponsored art and cinematic initiatives across the globe.

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 February, 2017, 9:25am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 February, 2017, 10:36am

[Sponsored Article]

Like watchmaking, the performing arts are the coming together of art and science. Ballet is a study in geometry, as the body strives to achieve perfect angles and lines, while film making is a careful manipulation of light and sound. There is no quick formula to success in either art form, and this is perhaps the reason why
Jaeger-LeCoultre feels a special kinship to institutions that continue to push the boundaries of performing arts just like the Swiss watchmaker has with horology.

For a long time, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been a staunch supporter of a number of important art and cultural initiatives worldwide. This year, it has become the Luxury Sponsor of The 2017 Hong Kong Ballet Ball, an annual fundraiser since 1985. The black-tie event will be held on February 17, 2017 at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, where over 360 prominent society figures will attend to raise funds for the company’s continuous growth as a world class artistic institution. 

In the past, the funds raised by the Ballet Ball has allowed the company to forge its own artistic legacy by commissioning new versions of classical productions, reaching out to the community at large and supporting ballet development in Hong Kong.

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s involvement with the arts is not limited to the stage. It is also closely associated with the world of cinema, getting behind initiatives to ensure that important cinematic legacies are preserved, and new talents supported.

Restoration of classic Chinese films

Restoring a movie goes beyond simply mending films. Like treasured timepieces, films embody the spirit of an era, and the restoration process offers new interpretations of classic works and creates new cultural dialogues across generations.

Jaeger-LeCoultre has been an official partner to the Shanghai International Film Festival since 2011 with a special focus on the restoration of old movies that are part of the Chinese cinematic heritage. So far, 10 classic films have been successfully restored including “The River Flows to the East” (I and II), “Eight Thousand Li of Cloud and Moon”, “Crossroads”, “Stage Sisters” and “A Better Tomorrow”. “C’est la vie, Mon Cheri”, a modern classic, has been chosen as the 11th movie for restoration.

Each year, Jaeger-LeCoultre also donates a unique timepiece for auction at its gala dinner, with all proceeds going to the restoration programme.

The Venetian connection

Jaeger-LeCoultre enjoys a special connection with the city of Venice, now a hub of film and the arts. The “Glory to the Filmmaker” award is presented by the Venice International Film Festival to individuals who have made original contributions to contemporary cinema. Each year the winner is given a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watch as part of the prize. In recent years, the award has been given to Takeshi Kitano, Spike Lee, Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino and James Franco, among others.

In 2014, Jaeger-LeCoultre started a three-year restoration programme for “Scuola Grande di San Rocco”, a historic monument close to the hearts of Venetians. Dedicated to the arts, this beautiful 16th century building was rendered unique by the works of painter Tintoretto.

Filmmaker in Residence in New York

The Film Society of Lincoln Center, the preeminent non-profit film organisation based in New York, has launched the Filmmaker in Residence initiative with support from Jaeger-LeCoultre. During the residency, a chosen artist will participate in master classes, mentorships, cultural exchange and enrichment programmes with the goal of developing new works in New York City. The partnership also extends to the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s most prestigious annual events–the Annual Chaplin Award Gala and the New York Film Festival.

Since 2013, Filmmaker in Residence has been given to English director/writer Andrea Arnold, Argentine filmmaker Lisandro Alonso and writer/director Athina Rachel.

The creation of a fine watch requires vision, innovation, passion and follow-through, similar to the process of film making or staging of a classic ballet. While valuable in its own right, every Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatch is also an embodiment of this inventive spirit.