Hands on with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ultra Thin
Our contributor from Down Under gets hands on experience with the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ultra Thin.
Earlier this year, you read about two special new Jaeger-LeCoultre models for 2011, the Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea and the Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931 on Monochrome. Recently, I was fortunate enough to be able to get hands-on with both of these watches at a local AD. A few weeks ago I shared my experience with the Tribute to Deep Sea and now it’s the Ultra Thin’s turn.
The Reverso Ultra Thin has been produced in a regular production model in steel that sports a black dial, and a limited edition of 500 in pink gold with a silvered dial and applied gold plated hour-markers and numerals. It was the latter that I had the opportunity to spend some time with.
The first thing to note about this watch is, of course, its thickness. The case is a mere 7.2mm thick, 46mm long and 27.5mm wide. Both new Reverso Ultra Thin models feature Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Calibre 822 manual wind movement. Calibre 822 beats at 21,600vph, contains 21 jewels, and is made of 134 parts. It is water-resistant to 3 bar and has a 45-hour power reserve. The Cal.822 is a mere 2.94mm thick, which is why it allows for such a thin case.
Both iterations have a dial that resembles the original Reverso design, with no mention of the Jaeger-LeCoultre manufacture and only the word ‘Reverso’ printed at 12 o’clock. I really quite like that it only has ‘Reverso’ printed on the dial. Both for historical reasons and because I have a personal liking for dials that are uncluttered by too much writing, especially for time-only watches. It allows a good design to ‘sing’, as they say, and this one does that well indeed.
The first thing that hits you about this watch when you see it in the flesh is its elegance, this is a very classy dress watch. I have not seen the steel version, but my guess would be that it is a more versatile piece in the sense of being able to be ‘dressed up’ or ‘dressed down’, but pink gold makes the limited edition version very much a dress watch. One with impact, but still discreet because of its simplicity, its thinness, and how it sits on the wrist. Which is quite comfortably, actually.
The leather strap is alligator, and so tight at the lugs (against the case) that it is very stiff to manoeuvre. It was difficult for me to move the strap for a wristshot.
I was with two friends when I was looking at the Reverso Ultra Thin and the Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea. We have quite different watch tastes, and it was interesting to see which of these two Jaeger-LeCoultres appealed most to us. For me, it was all about the Memovox, as although I admire Reversos, rectangular watches simply do not suit me. For my friends, I got a strong feeling that the Reverso was more appealing to them. The reason? The brand has taken its iconic model and very much lifted it into a sleek contemporary watch. It is large enough to appeal to the modern preference for larger watches, but its thinness is a major drawcard.
Many thanks to Julian and the lovely folks at J.Farren-Price for letting me spend some time with the very elegant Reverso Ultra Thin.