Monochrome Watches
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Burgundy and Two New Reverso Duoface (Hands-On)

The most versatile watch in JLC's collection turns 88 and is still going strong.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 4 min read |

Earlier this year, during the SIHH 2019, Jaeger-LeCoultre released a triple round of its iconic Reverso. A Reverso Tribute Small Seconds with a superb Burgundy dial and two editions of the Reverso Tribute Duoface join the timeless Reverso family. Like their 1931 ancestor, all three manifestations of the Reverso come with manual-winding movements but flaunt Casa Fagliano leather straps. Let’s have a closer look at these three (beautiful) additions to the collection.

A utilitarian solution harbours an icon

The Reverso was LeCoultre’s ingenious response to a request from British colonial army officers stationed in India. As keen polo players, they were constantly smashing the glass on their watches and jeopardizing the mechanism of their wristwatches during the brutal matches. In 1931, LeCoultre patented its reversible watch (it wasn’t until 1937 that Jaeger merged to become Jaeger-LeCoultre). A triumph of Art Deco restraint and sleek geometric glamour, the Reverso was launched the same year as the Empire State Building, marking the birth of two 20th-century design masterpieces that still captivate today.

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Revisited countless times over its long lifespan, the Reverso has appeared in many guises, all the way from complicated pieces like the Gyrotourbillon and Minute Repeater, to artistic treasures like the models with miniature hand-painted renditions of famous paintings by Rembrandt, Van Gogh or Mondrian.

Reverso Tribute Small Seconds

The incorporation of a small seconds sub-dial occurred very early on in the Reverso’s life, in 1934. The 2019 rendition is an eye-catching model with a lovely rich burgundy red dial and a matching Casa Fagliano strap. As a Tribute model, the styling is decidedly Deco with a slim streamlined profile of 8.5mm and the hallmark gadroons at either end of the case. The stainless steel case measures 45.6mm long and 27.4mm wide, large enough for a man’s wrist but slim enough for a dress watch.

The contrast of the polished steel case and the sumptuous sunray-brushed red dial is strikingly elegant. It provides a dynamic background to the large hand-applied and facetted hour markers, dauphine-style hands and the small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. Reversing the case reveals the closed caseback, an open invitation to personalise it with an engraving.

The leather strap is made by the Argentine bootmakers – see our article about Casa Fagliano here – renowned worldwide for their sturdy handmade leather boots designed for polo players and horse riders. Slightly thicker and more rigid than a conventional leather strap, the strap reaffirms the shared polo heritage of both brands. Inside the steel case is JLC calibre 822/2, a hand-wound movement beating at 21,600vph, with a power reserve of 42 hours.

Quick facts: 45.6mm x 27.4mm x 8.5mm – stainless steel case – 30m water-resistance – burgundy red dial – applied hour markers – manual-winding calibre JLC 822/2 – 42h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds – Casa Fagliano leather strap – boutique exclusive – ref. Q397846J – EUR 6,600 (excl. VAT)

Reverso Tribute Duoface & Reverso Tribute Duoface Fagliano Limited

The two-faced Duoface was introduced in 1994 and, as its name implies, replaced the blank caseback with an additional dial converting into an ideal GMT or second time-zone watch. The genius of this Duoface is the fact that both dials are powered by the same manual-winding movement – JLC calibre 854A/2. The main dial is a lovely sunray-brushed blue with applied hour markers and the small seconds counter at 6 o’clock.

The reverse side is a silvery colour and decorated with Clous de Paris guilloché and two intersecting counters, the larger one for the hours and minutes, and the smaller small one for the 24-hour day/night indicator.

Both Duoface models share the same measurements (47mm length x 28.3mm width x 10.3mm thick) the same blue dial and matching blue Casa Fagliano leather straps. The difference lies in the case material: the Reverso Tribute Duoface comes in a stainless steel case while the Reverso Tribute Duoface Fagliano Limited comes in a luxurious 18k pink gold case and is a limited edition of 100 pieces.

Quick facts: 47mm x 28.3mm x 10.3mm – stainless steel or 18k pink gold – water-resistant 30m – front dial blue with hours and minutes and small seconds – reverse second time-zone dial silver with Clous de Paris guilloché design, hours and minutes counter and day/night indicator – manual-winding JLC calibre 854A/2 – 21,600vph – 42h power reserve – Casa Fagliano leather strap – steel model ref. Q3988482 – EUR 8,700 (excl. VAT) – pink gold model ref. Q398258J, boutique exclusive limited edition of 100 pieces – EUR 18,500 (excl. VAT)

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10 responses

  1. What has always puzzled me about Reversos is their blingy, polished cases. Surely, as a sports watch by design, the cases should be brushed – this would also avoid distracting one’s attention from the dial towards bling!?

  2. Sheer class. These watches make many of the offerings from The Holy Trinity look mundane.

  3. The color of the burgundy dial is definitely fascinating. It’s the best red dial I’ve ever seen.

  4. That red one will be mine. When I can be bothered venturing to The Great Wen.

  5. I thought very hard about buying an “affordable” Reverso but I have no plans to spend so much on multiple watches and it is a tad dressy for my job and wardrobe.

  6. Well I feel an idiot for sharing now Gil!

  7. Haha, sorry!

    I felt the same at one point about the wardrobe issue, but ever since I realised I can get away with wearing a Breguet Classique with a simple white shirt and light khaki trousers, I’ve been able to expand the possibilities. It was like that bit in The Matrix.

    Saying that, the red dial may still pose a challenge…

  8. Unfortunately, where I live it gets extremely hot and humid in summer, so leather straps are out for at least half a year. This means that “technical” T-shirts, walking shorts from the likes of Arcteryx and plimsoles are my uniform for months. A NATO is versatile, but definitely verbotten for a Reverso.

  9. Ah I see. Totally understand that would have a decisive impact on your choices. Verbotten indeed.

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