Crafting Timeless Elegance

An Insightful Interview with Catherine Rénier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre

Tarek Al Kaaki publisher GC and Catherine Renier CEO JLC

In this exclusive interview, Catherine Rénier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre, shares her journey within the luxury watch industry, highlighting her experiences and the innovative strides at Jaeger-LeCoultre. From her early days in jewellery to leading a renowned watchmaking company, Rénier discusses the fusion of tradition with modern innovation and the future aspirations for the brand.

Can you please tell us a little about your journey, your beginnings, and what led you to Jaeger-LeCoultre?

I joined Jaeger-LeCoultre in 2018, bringing with me nearly two decades of experience in the jewellery sector, having worked for Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels in both the US and Asia. I moved from Asia back to Geneva, drawn to the rich heritage and creativity in the luxury watch industry that Jaeger-LeCoultre exemplifies.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the luxury watch industry?

It’s very much about the craftsmanship. I’m passionate about working with maisons that have a strong heritage and identity, grounded on solid foundations of innovation and creativity. I enjoy bridging the past with the future, like with our new Duomètre creation this year, which combines a late 19th-century pocket watch inspiration with contemporary design.

At Watches and Wonders, what inspired the booth design featuring elements from the 18th and 19th centuries?

The booth was inspired by the blacksmiths in the Vallée de Joux in the 17th century, tracing back to when the LeCoultre family moved to Le Sentier and established the town. Antoine LeCoultre, our founder, was known for his precision in watch components, which is highlighted in our booth design, celebrating over 190 years of expertise and innovation in watchmaking.

Can you elaborate on the significance of the five chapters presented at Watches and Wonders this year?

This year, we focused on precision, one of our three key pillars of innovation. We aim to deepen the public’s understanding of what precision in watchmaking means to Jaeger-LeCoultre, from the quality of components to the precision of the regulating organ and the innovative multi-axis tourbillon introduced this year.


How did the invention of the millionometer impact Jaeger-LeCoultre’s approach to watchmaking?

The millionometer allowed unprecedented precision in measuring and producing watch components, revolutionising our approach. It garnered Antoine LeCoultre and our maison significant recognition at the 1851 London Great Exhibition, reinforcing our reputation for quality and precision.

How do you balance preserving the heritage and tradition of Jaeger-LeCoultre with the need for innovation and adapting to modern trends?

It’s about respecting our heritage while being forward-thinking. Our designs and innovations always reflect the Jaeger-LeCoultre identity, focusing on understated elegance and ‘silent luxury’. We ensure that our innovations align with our historical pillars while also meeting contemporary expectations.

Lastly, what’s your vision for the future for Jaeger-LeCoultre?

I envision a future where Jaeger-LeCoultre remains a creative and lady-focused brand, distinguished in the crowded watch industry through our educational initiatives and artistic collaborations. Our goal is to be well-understood and appreciated for our craftsmanship, creativity, and the dedication of our teams.