The origins of the instantly-recognisable, sleek, rectangular contours of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s iconic Reverso models date back to 1931 when the original Reverso design drew inspiration from the Art Deco movement. Emphasis was laid on geometric patterns, rectilinear shapes and clean lines — all governed by the Golden Ratio. Over the decades and following many Reverso models presented by Jaeger-LeCoultre, the original proportions have remained intact; the Golden Ratio continues to define the Reverso’s design, including all of the brand’s stunning novelties presented at Watches and Wonders 2023.
GMT Indiatakes a closer look at the Reverso launches. These include three Reverso Tribute timepieces and an artistic interpretation of the Calibre 179 in the form of the new Reverso Hybris Artistica Calibre 179.
Reverso Tribute Chronograph: A Stylish Homage to the Reverso Origins
The unique swivelling case of the Reverso — born in 1931 to cater specifically to sporting arenas — was designed to protect the timepiece when worn on the polo field. Now, in 2023, as a tribute to the Reverso’s roots, a quintessential sporting complication has been added to the new model: the chronograph. It draws inspiration from the first Reverso Chronograph of 1996; the new, hand-wound Calibre 860 unites a chronograph with a double-sided display of time.
The watch’s front dial has all the hallmarks of the Reverso Tribute line: baton hour markers, Dauphine hands and the peripheral chemin de fer minutes track. The only giveaway at first glance is that there is much more to the timepiece than the presence of chronograph pushers on either side of the winding crown. To display hours and minutes on both the front and reverse dials, the movement powers two sets of hands that must move in opposite directions to indicate the time in correct clockwise fashion on both faces of the watch.
The caliber, also rectangular-shaped, offers a power reserve of 52 hours. To read more about how Jaeger-LeCoultre chose to reinvent the essence of the Reverso while staying true to its origins, keep an eye out for GMT India’s inaugural issue that’s currently being showcased at Watches and Wonders 2023. It is scheduled to hit Indian stands very soon.
Reverso Tribute Small Seconds: A Celebration of Colour
Striking coloured, sunray-brushed dials and interchangeable Fagliano Collection straps add a vivid contrast to the streamlined symmetry of the Reverso design in the four variations of the Reverso Tribute Small Seconds, presented at Watches and Wonders 2023.
For Ref. Q713257J, in a newly redesigned 18 ct pink gold case (whose thickness has been reduced from 1 mm to just 7.56mm), a black dial contrasts perfectly with the polished metal and pays homage to the black dials of the original 1931 Reverso. A burgundy lacquer dial complements the rich allure of pink gold (Ref. Q713256J); a silver dial lends an elegance that effortlessly aligns with the rich pink-golden glow of the metal (Ref. Q7132521) and the silver opaline dial with black nickel-finished hands and indexes ensures a fresh, contemporary feel to the steel Reverso Tribute case (Ref. Q713842J). The water resistance offered for all four is 30 metres.
All new 2023 dials feature signature Reverso Tribute elements. The hours are denoted by applied indexes and not numerals, and the 12 is marked by a double index. The faceted shape echoes the form of the Dauphine hands and adds visual depth. Powered by Calibre 822, the timepiece has a power reserve of 42 hours.
Reverso Tribute Duoface Tourbillon: Deceptively Simple and Elegantly Complex
The Reverso Tourbillon, introduced 30 years ago, is the inspiration behind Jaeger-LeCoultre’s newly-launched Reverso Tribute Duoface Tourbillon in 18 ct pink gold. It uses the brand’s Calibre 847 that dates back to 2018 and offers a power reserve of 38 hours. It presents itself via two dials, both of which bear two different aesthetics, with a second time zone and a day-night indicator on the reverse dial.
The elegant, understated aesthetics of the silver sunray-brushed front dial allow the tourbillon to take centre stage. On turning the case over, a bolder character of the timepiece is revealed with a miniaturised black dial showing a second time zone and a day-night indicator. The gold bridges — that bring to mind the 1993 Reverso Tourbillon — are textured with Clous de Paris guilloché, a delicate process that demands six hours of meticulous work.
At just 9.15 mm thick, the Reverso Tribute Duoface Tourbillon with its clean Art Deco lines exudes an air of simplicity while it houses more than 50 components, including the patented slide-and-swivel mechanism, all of which make it one of the most complex cases in watchmaking. To read more about the fascinating watch, keep an eye out for GMT India’s inaugural Spring issue that’s slated to be out in India very soon.
Reverso Hybris Artistica Calibre 179: A Marriage of Technology and Tradition
An artistic rendition of the Calibre 179 — which made its debut in the 2016 Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon — the Reverso Hybris Artistica Calibre 179, executed in pink gold, features the innovative multi-axis tourbillon. There’s a Duoface complication too, which implies that the timepiece displays a different time zone on each dial. There’s a 24-hour indicator for the second time zone on the reverse dial. A movement as complex as Calibre 179 (including a Gyrotourbillon) naturally demands a generously-sized case. However, at a thickness of 13.63 mm and newly reconfigured lugs, the watch remains elegant and wearable. The power reserve comes up to 40 hours.
The Reverso Hybris Artistica Calibre 179, available in a limited edition of 10 pieces, is visually enthralling as it pirouettes around its twin axes. The structure of the Gyrotourbillon is highly complex: with a total of 123 components, it comprises one ultra-light titanium cage and a peripheral carriage mounted on ball-bearings; these two elements turn perpendicularly to each other at different speeds. The inner tourbillon cage rotates 360 degrees every 16 seconds and the peripheral carriage makes a full rotation once per minute; this peripheral carriage also provides a small seconds function.
The tourbillon mechanism is supported by a ring of ball bearings instead of being held in place by a conventional bridge. It makes the flying gyrotourbillon appear to be floating in the space between the front and back dials. On the front dial, a fine lattice of golden lines — a subtle nod to the Art Deco roots of the original Reverso design — contrasts with the blue lacquer background. The reverse dial innovatively melds technology and tradition, with laser skeletonisation complemented by hand chamfering and hand-applied lacquer. It is a timepiece crafted for true connoisseurs of art and mechanics and a magnificent collaboration between watchmakers and artisans who are at the peak of their powers.