Vintage 1945 Le Corbusier
The Le Corbusier Trilogy
The Watch Quote™ - October 2nd, 2012
High in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland, a few kilometers east of France, is perched the small town of La Chaux-de-Fonds — for centuries the wellspring of an almost divine congruence of genius.
Among those born here: Le Corbusier (born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret), one of the greatest names in modern architecture and design; pioneering automaker Louis Chevrolet; and poet/novelist Blaise Cendrars.
The aesthetic movement L’Art nouveau was refined in La Chaux-de-Fonds – as the old village gave way to a modern city beginning of the 20th century, a regional Art nouveau variant, the “Style Sapin”, emerged here, exclusive to the burgeoning industrial watchmaking centre. And the grace of its architecture and ingenuity of its urban plan have led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The genius inherent to La Chaux-de-Fonds is today best exemplified by the watchmakers of Girard-Perregaux, who - in cooperation with Foundation Le Corbusier - are employing gold, sapphire crystal, steel and even concrete to reinterpret the work of the great Modernist in a series of exceptional new timepieces.
This sublime project is the apotheosis of more than a century of communal history between the Jeanneret and Girard-Perregaux families. Mere happenstance? Hardly. It is, rather, serendipity at its most poignant — the seemingly inevitable result when genius takes up residence in close proximity to genius. The very essence, in other words, of La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Le Corbusier’s life took him well beyond the shadow of the Jura, of course; he traveled the world designing buildings — and, in some cases, entire cities. Fittingly, he was part of the multinational team of architects that designed the headquarters of the United Nations Secretariat Building in Manhattan — a metaphor, in glass, reinforced concrete and steel, for his own global citizenship.
The Girard-Perregaux Le Corbusier Trilogy, however, reflects the three places that most embodied the concept of home to the man himself, who once observed that “the home should be the treasure chest of living”: La Chaux-de-Fonds, Paris and Marseille.
The model selected by Girard-Perregaux for the basis of the Le Corbusier Trilogy is the Vintage 1945, the year Le Corbusier published one of his most famous works, Les Trois Etablissements Humains (The Three Human Establishments) and devised his anthropometric scale of proportions the Modulor.
The rights for the reproduction of works by Le Corbusier are granted to Girard-Perregaux in exchange for a charitable donation to the Fondation Le Corbusier, to help restore Villa “Le Lac” in Corseaux, Switzerland; and to the Association Maison Blanche, for the ongoing preservation and maintenance of the Maison Jeanneret-Perret in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
Girard-Perregaux is a Swiss high-end watch manufacturer tracing its origins back to 1791. The history of the brand is marked by legendary watches that combine sharp design with innovative technology, such as the renowned Tourbillon with three gold Bridges.
Devoted to the creation of state-of-the-art Haute Horlogerie, Girard-Perregaux is one of the very few watchmakers to unite all the skills of design and manufacture under the same roof including the forging of the “heart” of the watch – the movement. Girard-Perregaux is majority owned by PPR, a worldwide leading Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle group.
About Le Corbusier Foundation
The Le Corbusier Foundation, in accordance with its statutes and its missions, has devoted all of its resources to the conservation, knowledge and dissemination of Le Corbusier’s work. It is based in Paris.
About the Maison Blanche Association
TheMaison Blanche Association wns the house which Charles-Edouard Jeanneret Le Corbusier built for his parents in 1912 and works to guarantee its structural integrity and conservation, to ensure it fulfils a cultural role in the general public interest and to highlight Le Corbusier’s legacy in La Chaux-de-Fonds.