How Has Jaeger-LeCoultre Localized Heritage Storytelling In China?

    Luxury watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre named the 21-year-old actor as its new global ambassador, signaling its growing ambitions to win over Chinese Gen Z.
    Jackson Yee, the wildly popular Chinese singer, dancer, and actor, is Jaeger-LeCoultre's new global brand ambassador. Photo: Courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre-hero
      Published   in Hard Luxury

    What happened

    On November 1, Swiss luxury watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre announced that Jackson Yee, the wildly popular Chinese singer, dancer, and actor, will be its new global brand ambassador. The announcement earned 110 million views within one day on Weibo; comments praised the appointment, especially noting how Yee’s personality aligns with the brand’s values and image. The campaign video, “A New Turn,” featuring Yee wearing the new Reverso timepiece is also resonating well with local audiences.

    The Jing Take

    Founded in 1833 in the heart of the Vallée de Joux in Switzerland, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been dedicated to creating timepieces of great accuracy. For decades, the maison has brought together no less than 180 different skills under a single roof to give birth to the finest watchmaking creations. More importantly, it is one of the only true manufacturers with the capacity to produce all its watches in their entirety — from design to production.

    In China, customers can engage with Jaeger-LeCoultre by experiencing its heritage and exquisite craftsmanship through its flagship at Shanghai’s K11 mall. In an homage to watchmaking, this store was conceived as a series of interconnected circles and curves, reminiscent of the components of a watch. The flagship also includes the first permanent installation of an Atelier d’Antoine outside Switzerland featuring discovery workshops, allowing visitors to explore the world of Swiss fine watchmaking in a more immersive way. Here, participants can learn about the past, present, and future of watchmaking at Jaeger-LeCoultre in the Vallée de Joux.

    Jaeger-LeCoultre‘s flagship store at Shanghai’s K11 mall. Photo: Jaeger-LeCoultre
    Jaeger-LeCoultre‘s flagship store at Shanghai’s K11 mall. Photo: Jaeger-LeCoultre

    Alongside the retail innovation, the past decade has seen the maison commit to localization strategies. Since 2011, Jaeger-LeCoultre has sponsored the Shanghai International Film Festival and contributed to the film industry development in China. In 2020, it unveiled “The Sound Maker” exhibition at Sino-Taikoo Li, Chengdu, bringing its heritage and collaboration with Swiss artist Zimoun to local audiences. 2021 saw another exhibition featuring the brand’s iconic timepiece Reverso landed in Modern Art Museum Shanghai and the opening of a pop-up Art Deco café at K11.

    As a fine watchmaking expert, Jaeger-LeCoultre attracts talented artists from around the world. But Yee’s joining is a perfect match with the brand image and is expected to generate great momentum on the mainland. Jaeger-LeCoultre had already announced award-winning British-American actress Anya Taylor-Joy (of The Queen’s Gambit fame) as a global ambassador earlier this year. Both appointments convey the brand’s nod to the younger generations and a steely determination to expand its reach globally.

    From global initiatives to local activations, Jaeger-LeCoultre is escalating its commitment to the Chinese market, bringing fine watchmaking culture to China, and consolidating its leading position in luxury watchmaking.

    The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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