Watchuseek Blog

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hamming it up: Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 Tribute to “Mad Men.”

It’s been an exasperating 17 month wait, hampered with pay disputes and on again, off again contract negotiations with the leading actors, but fans of AMC’s hit TV series “Mad Men” finally have their new season.

Season Five of the Emmy-winning drama premiered on Sunday, March 25.

Now Jaeger-LeCoultre, a brand frequently seen on the wrist of actor Jon Hamm, who plays agency Creative Director Donald Draper, is offering an extremely limited watch made specifically for diehard fans: the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 Tribute to “Mad Men.”

Limited to just 25 pieces, Jaeger-LeCoultre watches have been appearing on “Mad Men” regularly since the first season.

The show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, is meticulous in choosing period-appropriate props for the show, including watches. In Season One, he placed a vintage JLC Memovox model on the wrist of Don Draper.

In Season Three, after making partner at his firm, Draper began wearing a vintage Reverso.”

When “Mad Men” and Jaeger-LeCoultre got together to produce a special edition, North American president of Jaeger Philippe Bonay had two rules for his creative team: he wanted a very small production run and a model that would show an understanding of the show and its world. “I wanted something that was chic and still somewhat irreverent,” he says, “something that really captures the spirit of the show.”

Jaeger’s Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931 model, introduced last year was the answer. Each numbered piece features the logo of Sterling Draper Cooper Pryce, the show’s fictional advertising firm, engraved on the caseback, and comes in a distinctive walnut commemorative box also bearing the SCDP logo.

Fans of the show — and of vintage watch advertisements — will also appreciate the extras that come with the watch. “We’ve raided our archives to find several old Jaeger-LeCoultre advertisements,” Bonay said, of which high-quality reproductions will be included in the box.

 Other collectors’ items include a copy of “Sterling’s Gold,” a book written by one of the show’s characters, Roger Sterling, the sharp-tongued veteran ad man played by John Slattery.

There's also  a personalised, commemorative letter from Sterling in which he presents the watch as a gift to the new owner in that character’s distinctive voice. The book is autographed by Matthew Weiner.

"The premise for the watch is that Roger Sterling gifts it to his longtime employees,” Bonay explains.

“Each owner gets a letter with his own name on top, and the date on the letter will be a date between Feb. 1 and Feb. 25, 1966, a different date for each of the 25 watches, because Season Five takes place in 1967.

Even the publicity photos were shot on the “Mad Men” set, in Roger Sterling’s office.

The price for the Grande Reverso Ultra-Thin 1931 Tribute to “Mad Men” is set at $8,450.

Jaeger-LeCoultre is running a contest on the brand’s Facebook page. Budding Don Drapers can create their own ad campaign in the style the “Mad Men” character would have dreamed up for the Reverso back in the 1960s. The contest is another sign of the stylistic synergy between the ad agency TV drama and the historic watch brand.

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