While New York was gazing at the stars at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 43rd annual Chaplin Award Gala honoring Morgan Freeman, we were studying their watches. The one timepiece that really shone was the Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Moon worn by Chaplin’s granddaughter, Kiera Chaplin.
In addition to that impressive lineage, Chaplin is also the great-granddaughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill. And while the work of her influential ancestors has stood the test of time, she has walked a more modern career path. In fact, the British actress is a bit of a polymath—she’s also a film and television producer, a model and has a real estate license. She reflects a post-modern sensibility where instead of being a tortured artist, one can embrace style and substance equally.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous collection, launched in 2012, shares a similar vibe. While JLC has a long history of making ladies’ watches, this is their first collection committed to producing haute horology expressly for women.
In the case of Chaplin’s Rendez-Vous Moon, the complication is a moon phase display that sits amongst the constellations against a sky of shimmering aventurine. The moon phase is one of our favorite complications because it is poetic (what could be more romantic than spending a summer night looking up at the night sky?) as well as a bit of a mechanical marvel (the phases of the moon represent the passage of time in months and the complication should represent the current lunar cycle as it would look up in the sky). The mechanism is powered by one of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s star calibers, the automatic in-house 935 movement.
The styling of the Rendez-Vous Moon is just as heavenly. The bezel of the 39mm is set with diamonds. The appliquéd numerals are graduated in size for an art deco feeling. And the dial has even more diamonds! But the best thing is the Rendez-Vous indicator—a tiny star-shaped marker on the perimeter of the dial that lets you set your appointment or date.
With all these romantic notions, the Rendez-Vous Moon is still a practical working watch. You can personalize it with variety of strap options (Chaplin chose black but we like the idea of matching the aventurine with a burgundy alligator with a pin buckle). And because almost every detail has an elegant “roundness” to it, this moonphase would wear just as well in the daytime.
Like the legacy of the Chaplin family, this is timepiece that would be treasured for many generations.