Maxence Kinget does not look ridiculous when he wears a watch on each wrist—probably because he’s French, but more likely since he wears really awesome timepieces as managing director of Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC) for Southeast Asia and Oceania.
On his right is a stainless steel JLC Master Control Date whose crown he winds while doing this interview, before he unveils JLC’s newly renovated boutique.
“I don’t need to do this (winding),” he says as he takes off the watch to show its features. “But I do it just to feel it, for the sake of doing it. It’s a very refined piece.”
The Master Control Date, part of the new collection, echoes JLC’s tradition of making refined and elegant watches.
Aside from the Date, Kinget says Master Control has another model that includes features indicating different time zones and a third with a chronograph.
Kinget is obviously proud when he shows off the Master Control Date’s case-back that reveals a self-winding movement driven by oscillating mechanisms in 22-karat gold.
He uses the word “humility” to describe the watch. Its design is quiet and subdued, basically a vintage dial with a blue leather strap. There is pride in knowing, however, that one wears a timepiece created with almost 200 years of fine watchmaking tradition, no bells and whistles required.
“One of the key elements of JLC is the capacity to provide a very iconic design, the highest level of Swiss watchmaking quality, very innovative but with a quality of understated elegance,” Kinget explains.
He says the Master Control series has already created a buzz “among social media influencers…I am very happy to showcase this tonight.”
Fiddling with the crown is Kinget’s secret pleasure, like a child with a new fidget spinner.
“Sometimes, there is just this pleasure of having a nice object,” he says. “Just to touch it, to wind it. For some people, this is a relaxing moment. To enjoy something which is quite nice and interesting. A very personal object which is part of who you are, your personality.”
Kinget pulls up his left sleeve to reveal an even more gasp-inducing platinum Geophysic Tourbillion World Time watch.
The subtly domed crystal covers a dial that features a map of the world as seen from the North Pole.
“The beauty is that you have all indications of the 24 time zones, the names of major cities and you have a spherical dial that does not make the watch look flat,” Kinget points out. “The tourbillion shows that watchmaker’s fascination with the stars and the planets.”
And then he reveals a secret. There are only 100 JLC Geophysic World Time watches and just one is available in Manila.
“This one is so limited, there isn’t one piece for every country,” Kinget whispered.
So, which watch on which wrist is his favorite? “Can I say I like it all? But I’m sure my wife will like the Rendez-Vous,” he says.
Kinget refers to JLC’s Rendez-Vous collection of diamond encrusted timepieces for ladies. These include the Rendez-Vous Secret featuring a slightly domed lid adorned with diamonds and sapphires in the form of a flower; Reverso One Duetto Jewelry whose iconic diamond-lined gadroons were inspired by vintage Art Deco designs of the 1930s; Rendez-Vous Celestial with a handpainted, sky-theme dial, and Rendez-Vous Moon Medium with an elliptical guilloche pattern at the heart of the dial.
JLC has unveiled a more spacious and better-designed boutique in Greenbelt 5, Makati.
During the inaugural, Kinget is joined by Emerson Yao and Ivan Yao, managing director and president of Lucerne, respectively.
Kinget says the renovated store recreates the atmosphere of the Grande Maison in Switzerland.
“When you enter the store,” he says, “you get to discover the collections, the iconic watches, also the very unique worlds of creativity and excellence in watchmaking. And there are plenty of ways of looking at a JLC.”
Kinget says JLC watches are often connected to memorable events in the lives of their owners.
“First, you remember the moment, then who gave you the watch, and you think about the relationship, what you went through together, the beauty of having that history, that experience, I think that is the key element,” Kinget explains.
“It makes me happy that you can pass a JLC to the next generation, maybe one of your friends, or your babies—the boys, the daughters. This is the beauty of JLC, in a world where everything is made to last for a small amount of time, for once you have something that is going to last for decades, something that would definitely be a part of your journey.”