Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Complete Savoir-Faire: Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre

An astounding 180 different crafts unite at the manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre where the skills of watchmakers, artisans, engineers and technicians converge to produce only the finest luxury timepieces

Dec 26, 2013 | By Staff Writer

Year after year, Jaeger-LeCoultre pushes the boundaries of haute horlogerie, inventing more and better ways to perceive time. Whether it’s reinterpreting the timeless Reverso models, raising the horological bar with the state-of-the-art Duomètre series, or upholding the centuries-long traditions of métiers d’art and high jewellery creations, the Grande Maison has never been short of exemplary.

Truly one of the rare few manufactures that have fully mastered all of the most revered arts and sciences in high watchmaking, Jaeger-LeCoultre, however, continually hones its craft, perfecting what is already known and improvising on traditional complications in its perpetual quest for the Holy Grail of watchmaking – the perfect balance between artistry and technicality.

Every Jaeger-LeCoultre timepiece made has passed through the hands of no fewer than 1,300 craftsmen and women over 180 different areas of expertise. From the technician and engineer to the watchmaker and the hand-artisans, not forgetting quality control and logistics, each task is as inspirational – and central to the final product – as the next.

Discover the various watchmaking stages at Jaeger-LeCoultre from inception to creation.


Design sketches

Imbued with the history and vision of Jaeger-LeCoultre, the designer conveys his ideas through lines, anticipating what tomorrow will bring and subtly blending past, present and future.


The masterful process of movement construction involves a mechanism comprising over 100 parts, a hundred or so plans, and two to five years’ work. The task of the movement development engineer requires comprehensive knowledge of horological principles.

Machining of components

The first phase of manufacturing watch parts is all about matter. The metal is profile-turned, tapped and drilled under the artisan’s attentive gaze. Component production is the kingdom of precision in which some parts are so small that a week’s production can be held in a thimble.


Within the production, trimming and polishing workshops, every effort is made to detect imperfections invisible to the naked eye in order to endow the cases with the perfection they deserve.

Cleaning and polishing

The case of the famous Reverso is composed of 50 parts. Eight successive skills contribute to transforming the block of raw metal into the completed case.

Hand finishing

All the elements of the movement are decorated after machining. Delicately performed processes such as bevelling, straightening and buffing add the perfect finishing touches to the most complex mechanisms.

Anglage by hand

Decoration is a precious skill allowed to only the most gifted exponents who take their place in the historical lineage, enduring haute horlogerie’s traditions.

Perlage decoration

Hand-operated perlage in varying sizes adorn the main plate of the movement

Métiers d'art - engraving

Mastery, expertise and imagination guide the engraver’s every action, accurate to the nearest hundredth of a millimetre. Held in place on a wooden base, the movement is entirely exposed to the tool – a tiny hacksaw – and to the expert eye of the artist, which jointly transform into an exquisite lacework metal embroidery.

Lever assembly

In the realm of the infinitely small, 22 different operations involve skills exercised with extreme
accuracy. Jaeger-LeCoultre remains one of the rare Manufactures to make and assemble its own

Balance assembly

With ineffable grace, the balance-spring executes its concentric developments as naturally as gentle, regular breathing. It joins the balance-wheel in forming the beating heart of the movement. Assembling, poising, pinning up to the stud: this is the stage when the movement will literally come to life.

High complications

Assembling grand complications like this Gyrotourbillon is the dream of any watchmaker.


Assembly for this Gyrotourbillon 1 calls for inordinate levels of horological mastery

Miniature painting

Silence is golden in the workshop of the enamellists. In their masterful exercise of age-old techniques, they are dedicated to perpetuating this exclusive skill that continues to delight devotees of fine watchmaking

Grand feu enamel

Jaeger-LeCoultre innovates by applying Grand Feu enameling directly onto the sapphire crystal to create additional dimension to the art piece.

High jewellery craftsmanship

The jewellery artisans of the manufacture display a wealth of imagination in creating the most beautiful and precious timepieces.

1000 Hours Control

Reliability and precision at Jaeger-LeCoultre means that the entire cased-up watch is subjected to a battery of stringent tests lasting 1000 hours.

Vallée de Joux

The picturesque Vallée de Joux is home to Jaeger-LeCoultre – has been for the last 1833 years. 

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