Drawing a connection between Shanghai, Paris and its home turf, the Vallée de Joux in Switzerland, Jaeger-LeCoultre is opening a temporary café this summer in Shanghai, followed by another in Paris.
The luxury watchmaker is marking the 90th anniversary of its Reverso watch this year, and has mined the Art Deco period that produced it, drawing on the era for the design of the sleek white and black café space featuring lacquered wood and pastries to match.
“We’re celebrating two trips — in time, going back to the ’30s and the Art Deco period and a trip to the Vallée de Joux,” said chief executive officer Catherine Rénier, speaking to a group of journalists from the second-floor perch of the label’s Place Vendôme flagship in Paris.
The executive outlined the plans to open the café in Shanghai, in the K11 mall, followed by a yet-to-be-disclosed location.
On hand to discuss the pastries was rising chef Nina Métayer, who borrowed ingredients from the Swiss mountains — like hazelnuts, blueberries and honey — for the sophisticated desserts, without too much sugar and suitable for vegans.
Luxury watchmakers have trained their sights on China, a key source of growth for a sector that was struggling to adapt to a digital era before the pandemic hit.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has centered communications around the Reverso timepiece this year, reflecting a movement by many players to focus on promoting a pared-down selection of iconic pieces.