Artketing: Jaeger-LeCoultre Latest Tribute to Gustav Klimt


To commemorate the 80th anniversary of its Atmos clock in 2008, Jaeger-LeCoultre launched a new limited-edition version cocooned in a crystal glass case and housed in a cabinet decorated with splendid wood marquetry. Inspired by Gustav Klimt’s 'Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,' the wife of the wealthy industrialist Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, the clock faithfully reproduced the masterpiece using 1,200 pieces of wood veneer.

Since then, the Swiss watchmaker has regularly paid homage to Klimt, reproducing in wood marquetry some of the Austrian Symbolist painter’s most celebrated paintings, like The Kiss and Judith. This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre is releasing a fifth Klimt-inspired clock, based — for the second time —on his celebrated 1905 mural for the Stoclet Palace in Brussels, a series of three mosaics detailing a standing female figure, a swirling Tree of life, symbolizing life’s complexity, and an embracing couple. While the previous Atmos ‘The Waiting’ clock had focused on the female figure, the latest one, ‘The Fulfillment’ focuses on the couple.


While the Klimt mosaic used a variety of materials, including marble, ceramic, gilded tiles, and enamel along with pearls and other semi-precious stones, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s skilled artisans used a variety of rich woods, such as walnut, Madrona burl, and Pau Amarello to recreate the work. “All the colors you can see are achieved thanks to different woods, cut in very small pieces, there isn’t a single trace of paint, so achieving this recreation is really an achievement,” said Stephane Belmont, communication and marketing director at Jaeger-LeCoultre. “We choose Klimt because we like his colors and the very contemporary feel of his works and also because it was a technical challenge that would make those clocks very special.”

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