What do Marilyn Monroe, Abraham-Louis Breguet and the great-grandson of Leo Tolstoy have in common? They are all linked by three exciting exhibitions brought to us in Paris by watch brands, namely, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Breguet, and Jaquet Droz.
Marilyn Monroe, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Salvador Dali are among 300 of Latvian-born American photographer Philippe Halsman’s works currently on display at the Jeu de Paume museum in the Tuileries Garden.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has been a patron of the Museum for the past 8 eight years, sponsoring various exhibitions in the structure that once housed ”jeu de paume” (tennis ancestor) courts built under Napoleon III. And, as the watchmaker built, 75 years ago after three years of research, the now-extinct but incredible 290 components Compass camera noted for its avant-garde design and functions, it is only natural for the brand to be associated with this superb “Etonnez-moi!” (“Astonish Me!”) exhibition that runs until January 24.
At nearby N° 6 Place Vendôme, the Breguet boutique welcomes us with a permanent museum. The boutique officially reopened last November 5 with the temporary exhibition “La Tradition Breguet: At the Heart of an Icon” that has since moved on, but the fascinating Breguet museum remains a permanent feature, one of only three in the world, the other two being in Zurich and Shanghai.
Here we discover archives with sales registers from the end of the 18th century, a Guilloché tool from 1820, and almost 100 exceptionally preserved pieces that cover 2 centuries of history. Simple timepieces or minute repeaters, travel clocks, montres à tact (tactful pocket watches), the famous subscription timepieces, grandes complications, tourbillons, and marine chronometers accompany technical drawings and correspondence with famous clients and some of their extraordinary timepieces.
The collection also showcases a series of aviation timepieces from the 1950s to the 1970s. And you might see one of the exceptional pieces acquired by The Breguet Museum and its President and CEO Marc A. Hayek at the Antiquorum in Geneva last November – the Breguet N°3104 pocket watch sold to the Spanish royal family in 1818 – a minute repeater with a jumping hours hand made by A-L Breguet in an 18 carat gold ‘barley grain’ guillochage case with a guilloché silver dial, signed with the etched Breguet secret signature on both sides of the number 12.
Down onto rue de la Paix, the Jaquet Droz boutique awaits us at N° 8 with “Le Barbier de Tolstoï” – a photography exhibition of moustaches. Moustaches of all shapes, sizes and colours, as seen by Dimitri Tolstoï. Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time Swiss horology and male whiskers mix. Only last year, Hublot partnered with Beard Season at Somerset House. And this is the second collaboration between the high watchmaker and the great- grandson of Leo Tolstoy whose wife Sophia was a photographer herself.
French-born Dimitri Tolstoï has received awards for his artistic collaborations with Air France, Céline, Baccarat, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Guerlain…and has exhibited in France, Italy, and at the Art Rouge Gallery in Miami. The photographs, with prices ranging from 3200 to 3800 Euros, are in a dedicated exhibition space on the lower floor of the boutique. Runs until January 18, from Monday to Saturday 10:30 – 19:00.