Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Jaeger-LeCoultre Hosts the 8th Annual Filmmakers Dinner and Award

From left: Charles Finch, Nick Broomfield and Laurent Vinay.

Jaeger-LeCoultre and Finch & Partners awarded English filmmaker Nick Broomfield with the Annual Filmmakers Award at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes.

“I regard him as one of the most creative, original thinkers and filmmakers of our time and he has paved the way for other talents including Michael Moore and Louis Theroux," said Charles Finch, of Finch & Partners Corporate Creative Agency.

Mick Jagger and Paul Allen

In its 8th year, the Annual Filmmakers Dinner, hosted by Charles Finch, continues to develop into one of the most important events during the Cannes Film Festival and is synonymous with the glamour and magnitude of the festival itself. Previous recipients of the Filmmakers Award have included remarkable Oscar-winning filmmakers, Alfonso Cuaron, Christopher Hampton, Gus Van Sant and Bernardo Bertulluci.

Guests included Mick Jagger, Rebecca Hall, Clive Owen, Mads Mikkelsen, Jemima Khan, Harvey Weinstein, George Miller, Paul Allen, Trudie Styler, Valeria Golino, Alice Rohrwacher, Jack O’Connell and Dominic West amongst others.

For the second year, guests were invited to view a special photographic exhibition, “The Art of Behind The Scenes”, which showcased pictures from some of the world’s most accomplished ‘on-set’ photographers. The exhibition was produced by Finch & Partners and Jaeger-LeCoultre and featured previously unseen images of Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn and David Bowie, evoking the truly glamorous history of the film festival. This year the exhibition also included a series of contemporary photos taken with a vintage Compass camera developed in 1937 by Jaeger-LeCoultre.

One of 4,000 Compass cameras made
by Jaeger-LeCoultre in the 1930s.

Jaeger-LeCoultre and Photography
Almost a century ago, the history of Jaeger-LeCoultre crossed paths with that of photography. During the period between the two world wars, the manufacture produced a camera that would remain unique in its kind: the Compass.

The adventure began in England thanks to Noel Pemberton Billing, a businessman and pilot who founded an aviation company in his native land, a freight firm in South Africa and a casino in Mexico. This poet, writer and engineer also invented a hundred or so objects including the plane that would give rise to the Spitfire.

One evening, in the late 1920s, this brilliant inventor made a bet that he could create a camera of unprecedented quality comprising every possible function and yet small enough to fit inside a cigarette packet!

Images from the special exhibition:
"The Art of Behind the Scenes."

To develop and produce such an object, he soon realized that he would need a fully integrated watch manufacture with proven mastery in the field of miniaturization and prepared to take on the challenge. At the time, the Manufacture LeCoultre & Cie, which would subsequently become Jaeger-LeCoultre, already had hundreds of calibers to its credit, including the world’s smallest and thinnest movements, as well as the iconic Atmos clock. In 1934, Pemberton Billing accordingly set off to the Vallée de Joux, where his project met with great enthusiasm.

Three years of development proved necessary to fine-tune the 290 components of the Compass. Launched in 1937, the camera caused a sensation both because of its avant-garde design and its numerous functions. The long list comprises an exposure meter, range finder, telescopic lens shade, inbuilt filters, extinction meter, EV indicator, angle viewfinder, a device for panoramic and stereoscopic views, as well an ultra-light tripod specially designed to accompany it. Only 4,000 of them were made. The 1938 advertisement declared Compass the embodiment of scientific system in miniature cameras. "Built like a watch - as simple to use."

A collection of contemporary photos taken with a vintage
Compass on display at the Annual Filmmakers Dinner.

While World War II and roll-film issues put an end to its career, the Compass remains a much sought-after object among collectors.

“Haute horlogerie and the worlds of cinema and photography share common values: both create dreams and a sense of wonder through aesthetic and technical mastery. Jaeger-LeCoultre draws upon the talent of its many artisans to create exceptional watch objects, just as it takes talented writers, directors, actors and technicians to produce a work of filmmaking art. It is all about two worlds infused with creative ingenuity,” Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Daniel Riedo said.

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