(Magali Metrailler, Jaeger-LeCoultre Creative Designer)
When a young product designer Magali Metrailler joined Jaeger-LeCoultre 4 years ago, few expected her to make any impact on a very traditional company. Knowing Magali, few should be surprise that her fiery and idealistic nature could rock the boat.
(Le Corbusier had a new approach to experience life by being in tune to the senses and close to details, Magali designs in a similar vein)
Magali likes the architect Antoni Gaudi because Gaudi's church designs were totally unconventional and in her own words "It is a crazy design and they didn't look like the churches of his time". She loves Joan Miro because she saw him as a surrealist dreamer.
(This is the color of my dreams!)
In her commercial product design training, continuous aesthetic breakthroughs are assumed to be essential and breaking a tradition is perceived as a rise above mediocrity. The first thing she learnt in her new home is that watch people worship tradition, brand authenticity and the brand pedigree.
(From left, The new compressor push button. Since it is assumed to be more frequently used, it now takes only a quarter turn to lock and unlock and the Jumping Minute counter)
Magali understood and didn't feel this as a limitation, but if there was a case which Magali needs to tone down, her determination to push her ideas through should not be it. For example, when she proposed her open concept date window for the Master Compressor Automatic, the then conservative technical department was probably horrified and told her that it was technically impossible.
(From left, The chrono hour disc turns instead of the hand and on the right is the Tachymeter scale)
(Quarter Turn Compressor Push button)
Magali was not intimidated, she sought opinions from every watchmaker she personally know and went back to confront the technical department. The result was the slightly modified Calibre 960M - and no prize for guessing what the "M" stands for.
(Straps change is effortless, a push of the button releases the strap, to fit it back, just align and push to snap in)
Marketing & Communication Director Stephane Belmont, who is a senior executive in the manufacture for many years described Magali as a young designer who wants to change everything, "she dreams and she fights for new designs and new materials all the time. The more experienced group may know what works and what doesn't, at least most of the time, but the constant challenge from the younger generation has improved the dynamics and provided a better balance to the manufacture", according to Stephane.
(Work in progress designs)
Creative Director Janek Deleskiewicz is practically the establishment in Jaeger-LeCoultre and he described Magali as "talented" and has "done very well". If Magali argued with her colleagues over designs, it was always reconciled with just a few drinks. The only thing she needs to do perhaps is to "keep her feet on the ground?, said Janek, referring to some of her wilder design ideas.
(Work in progress designs)
For Magali, working for Jaeger-LeCoultre has been a refreshing experience. If argued over ideas, it was because all of us want to do what's best for the company", said Magali, "and this is a great company where all of us are proud to be working for".
After working 4 years for JLC, she also learns a very important lesson; she understood the basic need to respect the brand tradition and yes, each watch must clearly be a JLC.
Even after her repeated success, Magali remains humble and retains a subtle hint of nervousness (at least to me). She attributed her success, if true, to the the generous opportunities given by the manufacturer.
That doesn't mean Magali will stop fighting. And that, could be a very good thing indeed!
(Work in Progress designs)
JLC SPORT WATCHES
The first Reverso was built on the request of the Polo Players. While the 1931 Reverso probably won't survive a bad knock, it was JLC's first true sport watch (as being actually used in the sport of Polo). Incidentally, the 1965 Memovox was also the first waterproof alarm watch.
(Richard Meier, the American architect explores shapes, forms and BREAK the rules so that people can connect and experience the space, Magali hopes to use the same principle in her designs)
While the Autotractor movements were meant to resist more shock, it is probably unwise to wear Master Home Time for extreme sports:
1. 1G is the measurement of normal gravity on earth, 2G of thrust is enough to blind a person and cause a human to faint. Even professional pilot with anti-G gear could not resist a force more than 5G.
2. A watch however can subject to a level of impact of 50 - 100G of shock when playing golf, Ice climbing as much as 200 - 300G and competitive Mountain biking as much as 400 - 500G and Extreme sports impact can be as high as 600 -700G
(The surrealist painter, Magritte CHALLENGES social codes and references. In doing so, he urges us to free our minds of conventions to live life fully, according to Magali)
3. A true extreme sport watch, should be tested and proven not only able to withstand the extreme impacts and vibration without damage but more critical, should be able to withstand those shocks without affecting the watch accuracy!
(Research shows that shock in the direction of Z can be most damaging to a watch, The Compressor Extreme World Chronograph must be able to withstand shock from x and Z and anywhere between, i.e. y)
(The new Compressor Extreme World Chronograph - In case you are confused with some of the Magali drawings, there are 2 new Chronographs, this one is the Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph)
Newton's Second Law F = ma states that Force applied is directly correlated to the mass of the object, so titanium (density = 4.8g/cm3) is used as the movement case metal because it is tough and at the same time, light.
In the new Compressor Extreme World Chronograph, A Titanium movement case housing sits snugly on a Stainless Steel outer case (or a platinum one), suspended by 4 springs and an absorber chamber filled with air (lab tested with Helium to ensure airtight chamber, but filled with air on actual delivered product)
The mirror polished Stainless Steel (density of 7g/cm3) or the platinum (density of 20g/cm3) outer housing was not used just for aesthetic reason. The 2 different metal housings are able to deflect the force (alter direction) when a shock is applied from direction x.
To be continued
(Shock protection crown)
(The new Master Compressor Chronograph, this photo is being published for the first time in public - All chronographs are alike? Magali wants the 2 Compressor Chronos to be different)
(The initial target case diameter for the Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph was 45mm, but the anti shock mechanism and the integrated strap changing mechanism takes up every available space, the final watch diameter? 46.3mm and yet still wearable)
How does the Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph measures in a real shock test?
Watch this space!