The iconic Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is without a doubt the most iconic watch from the brand and even one of the iconic watches in the entire history of wristwatches. It might read like a bold statement, but do realize that the Reverso is around for no less than ninety years. Born from the necessity to protect the fragile crystal from the hard polo balls, the possibility of reversing the case was a clever solution. Today the Le Sentier based watch brand introduces a new colour to the Reverso line, which is green. Although, on second thought, it’s not entirely new and the 26 pieces for the London boutique are now changing owner for 4 to 5 times the retail price…
Born in 1931, the Reverso and its emblematic shape and reversibility, always catch the attention. Although mostly in the ‘classical’ realm, the Reverso comes in various sizes and proportions. And more importantly, with a host of complications, although adding complications didn’t start until 1991 when the Reverso turned 60. In recent years Jaeger-LeCoultre added a more clear segmentation to the collection, which is now categorized in three: Reverso One, Reverso Classic and Reverso Tribute.
To explain a bit the current collection and how it compares to the previous collection, it’s important to know that the Reverso Tribute comes in the largest case size, measuring 45.6 from lug to lug and 2.4 from left to right, excluding the crown. This is what used to be called the ‘Grande Reverso Tribute to 1931‘, and now comes with the addition of a small second hand at the 6 o’clock position. That Grande Reverso Tribute to 1931 was initially only available with a black dial, while the Parisian boutique offered a red dial version (not limited) and the London boutique had a green dial version that was limited to only twenty-six pieces. Later a white dial version with small seconds was added and slowly the collection was renamed to “Reverso Tribute” only offering models with either a ‘monoface’ with small seconds, or a duoface featuring one dial with off-centre small seconds and a second ‘face’ without small seconds but with an additional 24-hour hand.
To mark the 90th anniversary of this iconic watch – I know, the word iconic is probably too often used, however in this case I guess it’s entirely justified – Jaeger-LeCoultre comes with several new Reverso models and the one we will look at today is the green dial version of the Reverso Tribute. Completely in line with the rest of the monoface Reverso Tribute models, it features applied faceted hour markers and a small second sub-dial at 6 o’clock and of course a closed case back. Surrounding (or ‘squaring’?) the perimeter of the dial is a railtrack ‘minuterie’ to make it easier to read the time more precisely.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre logo is applied, just above the printed full name of the brand. Befitting the Reverso Tribute line, the hands are so-called dauphine hands, and in good JLC tradition, they are faceted and polished like the applied hour markers. The green dial and strap, according to the press release, is “reminiscent of the deep green of the pine forest that surrounds” the manufacture in Le Sentier. To me, it’s a lovely colour green! The sunray finishing, which is applied before the green lacquer comes atop, adds a lot of depth and richness to the colour.
The movement inside the iconic reversible case remains the same, being JLC in-house calibre 822/2. A small hand-wound movement, oval-shaped, that measures only 2.94mm in height (or thickness). This calibre is a variation on calibre 822 that was used in the aforementioned Grande Reverso Tribute to 1931, which is derived from calibre 824, JLC’s first movement that was revealed through a sapphire inset pane in the case back, created for the 60th anniversary back in 1991. The 108 individual components, of which 19 are jewels, indicate hours, minutes and seconds and the tick at a steady 3Hz (21,600Hz). The case measures 8.5mm in height, 45.6mm from lug to lug and 27.4mm from left to right. As a side note, it’s good to mention that the ‘old’ Tribute to 1931 only measured 7.5mm in height.
The Reverso Tribute comes on a beautiful green smooth calf leather strap, made by the famous Casa Fagliano, who are well known in the world of polo for its handmade leather polo boots.
More info at jaeger-lecoultre.com.