A class act: Jaeger-LeCoultre

Benedict Cumberbatch turns his hand to precision watchmaking at Jaeger-LeCoultre's flagship store

Watches & Jewellery 16 Apr 2019

Jaeger-LeCoultre brand ambassador Benedict Cumberbatch deployed his forensic skills during a bespoke visit to a watchmaking masterclass recently at the London flagship store. Expert watchmaker Richard Phipps-Carter guided the actor through the numerous, intricate steps involved in assembling a movement’s components with traditional watchmaking tools and encouraged him to find out for himself just how demanding the process is, how it’s all about expertise – and the art of precision.

Experiencing first-hand the extraordinary dexterity, precision and patience required of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s watchmakers, Cumberbatch expressed his admiration for the people involved in creating the timepieces. ‘Delicate operations require hours and hours of minute manipulation,’ he observed. ‘From engraving and hand-chamfering to enameling, gem-setting, guillochage and mirror-polishing. Precision in the workshop is everything.’

Until he saw this for himself, he admits, ‘I didn’t know how manual, dexterous and analogue the process was, to be honest,’ which is why he proudly wears his Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox, a watch inspired by its 1968 predecessor, available in a limited edition of 1,000 pieces. What’s more, Cumberbatch has spotted a synergy between watchmaking and acting: ‘To a degree, acting requires that same dedication and attention to detail. We are required to invent and create on different levels, but the dedication and care is the same.’