New Lumières collection: natural crocodile leather with a shiny pop

New Lumières collection: natural crocodile leather with a shiny pop

Imagine a supple, naturally elegant crocodile leather strap on your watch.

Suddenly, a flick of your wrist brings out a flash of iridescent or metallic shine. Like a stroke of genius in the midst of classicism… “or like a touch of pop to liven up a very authentic material. That’s the beauty of our new Lumières collection”, says Anaïs Bordier, Brand Manager at Jean Rousseau.

Nature and baroque

For the Lumières collection, Jean Rousseau’s designers have built on the very fine foundations of the Etretat collection: a luxurious Nile crocodile leather, with a very special tanning process that preserves the animal’s natural pigmentation, without bleaching or dyeing. The crocodile skin is softened before being cut in the Italian style, in the width of the skin, to reveal each nuance, from the round, darker scales of the center, to the square, lighter scales of the sides.

“The name of Lumières [“Lights” in French] refers to the enlightened spirit that reigned in the Château de Versailles and in other great French castles”, Anaïs Bordier explains. “We started with a great classic and added a touch of baroque eccentricity. The metallic pigments highlight the sinuous patterns of the skin, the natural delineations of the scales.” The collection refers to this marvelous paradox of the Grand siècle: a spirit that builds on classics to innovate and shine over the world, from the times of aristocratic castles to the modern glitter of French cinema.

A large range and a bespoke offer

Three styles of leather are offered: the natural Etretat finish, in a gradation of beige and brown (semi-matt or rubber touch); the iridescent finish, where a green, blue or pink pigment adds a mother-of-pearl hue to sublimate the lines of the scales; and the metallic finish, with gold, pink, silver or copper pigments inserted between the scales.

These skins are available in classic style (with a 3.5 mm padding), Flat (with a stitch) and Chic (no stitch) watch straps, Apple Watch straps, as well as wallets and card holders. As usual, this range is just a foretaste of what Jean Rousseau’s craftsmen can offer you: every bespoke variant is possible, to suit your tastes and your most original ideas.

Exceptional craftsmanship, made in France

“All our straps are handmade from start to finish by the same craftsman in our workshops in Paris, Besançon and Troyes and our ateliers-boutiques in New York, London, Tokyo, and in China,” says Anaïs Bordier. “We are always happy to respond to our customers’ inspirations or desires and to provide a made-to-measure solution”. Choosing a Jean Rousseau strap means supporting genuine French craftsmanship, at every stage: tanning, cutting, design and manufacture. The opening of the new factory in Troyes, in autumn 2023, led to the training of 24 additional craftsmen, providing them with long-term employment and a place to express their talent.

The crocodile leather comes from certified farms that are members of the ICFA (International Crocodilian Farmers Association), which guarantees respect for animal welfare and social and environmental standards. The natural treatment of Etretat crocodile leather is free from the chemicals usually associated with bleaching and dyeing skins.

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