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To mark the launch of its new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox diving watch, Jaeger-LeCoultre has released a short film In A Breath, made in collaboration with Benedict Cumberbatch, a long-time friend of the Maison. In it, Benedict draws the parallel between his longstanding practice of meditation and diving – and the impact that both have on our sense of time.
The film takes place in Rakino Island, New-Zealand, in a magical wilderness. It captures the relationship between breath and time, the transcendent state induced by both meditation and diving, and the deep connection with nature that is triggered by both activities.
In diving, as in meditation, the focus is on the breath – as constant, steady and rhythmic as the beat of a watch movement. Connecting with the breath provides a way to journey into oneself; the mind becomes quiet, creating a heightened state of awareness – a sense of wonder, appreciation, and oneness with the ocean. Most divers speak of the profound sensory experience it offers: the weightlessness, the sense of stillness, the absence of the ‘white noise’ of modern life, and the total immersion in blue – the most calming colour of the spectrum.
For Benedict Cumberbatch, meditation brings a sense of “serenity, connection and being alive”, he says. “When you reconnect with what’s really going on in your inner life, when you are in a still space… you distance yourself from the distracting traffic of life... When you sit in that, you have a very clear focus [on the present] and that’s what you’re aiming for in the flow state of any performance – whether it is athletic or acting or a moment of creation or artistry. You want to be in the flow, disconnected and connected at the same time.”
As the film reveals, in the otherworldly realm under water, external distractions disappear; divers feel suspended in space and lose all sense of the temporal world. As they focus entirely on the moment and the world that surrounds them, the only measure of time is their own breathing and the watch on their wrist.
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