With 171 years in the business, Jaeger-LeCoultre has come to be known as 'the reference in fine watch-making' JAEGER-LECOULTRE IS BEHIND, or should we say inside, many famous watches. Before the name became known in its own right, its movements were powering well-established brands, such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet. There are many feathers to JLC's cap. The company's achievements include the thinnest automatic movement (2.35mm), and the smallest mechanical manual movement, dating back to the 1920s (Calibre 101) and comprising two miniature superimposed horizontal planes. That movement is inside this year's Joaillerie 101, forerunner of a new array of JLC jewel-watches. The watch that has 98 parts in a 3.4mm thickness is adorned with baguette or brilliant-cut diamonds weighing between 0.4 carats and 2.5 carats. Despite the keen competition in an increasingly crowded luxury and high-end jewellery market, JLC still has a formidable presence among serious watch collectors. 'There are many brands, each with its own unique features, and there's enough room for different brands,' said Daniel Rogger, managing director, North Asia, for JLC. 'Each brand has its own identity. In most markets, consumers are looking for an identity.' JLC can confidently claim as its identity 'the reference in fine watch-making', based on the company's 171-year history and the fact that it produces in-house all the parts required in a watch. 'In the Swiss watch-making industry, it is important to have a rich history,' Mr Rogger said. 'We have continuity and the know-how. We have control over the process from A to Z. We are 100 per cent in charge, which distinguishes us as the reference in fine watch-making.' However, JLC is not weighed down by its long history and heritage. 'History is where we came from,' Mr Rogger said. 'We are in today's world. We always look ahead. We do outstanding, highly complicated pieces, and we do the same on the design side. We want to combine history with contemporary design in a way that would be pleasing to the eyes of today.' Of JLC's four product categories (complicated watches, classical, sporty and jewellery watches), the complicated, sporty and jewellery lines are the most popular among the brand's fans in Asia. Consumption in Asia accounts for 30 per cent of JLC's turnover, and the figure is growing at a double-digit rate. 'Asia has a high demand for complicated watches,' Mr Rogger observed. JLC sees China as an important market, offering huge potential over the next 10 years, especially now that the mainland has WTO status and tax barriers to luxury goods are coming down. 'The taxation level has already come down to more acceptable levels,' he said.