The original Reverso design, dating back to 1931, was first conceived for the polo field, but even before the first anniversary of its launch, it had started to appear in feminine form — staying true to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s philosophy of creating technically sophisticated timepieces for both men and women since its early years. For 2023, that philosophy has been reimagined to present two brand new expressions of the Reverso’s feminine side. Presented at Watches and Wonders 2023, these include the Reverso One Precious Colours (offered in two eye-catching colour variations) and the magnificent Reverso Secret Necklace.
GMT India takes a closer look at both the novelties.
Reverso One Precious Colours: Bold, Feminine, One-of-a-kind
The Art Deco movement that emerged in the 1920s emphasised clean, strong, elegant lines. In terms of surface decoration, this translated into the use of parallel lines and rectilinear motifs to form chevrons and zigzags. This was further amplified by blocks of colour and gleaming metal accents that hold a classic, timeless appeal. For Reverso One Precious Colours (available in 18 ct pink gold or white gold), this very design language has been championed by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s in-house Métiers Rares® atelier to create a dazzling pattern that covers the entire caseback and wraps around the case sides to frame the dial.
Rich and elegant are the words that first come to mind when one takes a look at the Reverso Precious One Colours. The front dial faces outwards, its white mother-of-pearl dial contrasting perfectly with the vivid hues of the enamelled frame. The diamond-set gadroons and lugs add an extra sparkle. Signatures that remain true to all Reverso One jewellery models are evident on the dial, including the applied numerals and the Dauphine hands. The shiny alligator strap, colour-matched to the case decoration, adds an extra layer of sophistication.
On turning the case over, the Jaeger-LeCoultre new Reverso transforms into a stunning piece of high jewellery. The pattern — presented in shades of blue with black on a pink gold background or in different tones of green on a white gold background — is executed in miniature-painted grand feu enamel with diamond-set accents. From start to finish, the process of crafting the timepiece requires absolute mastery of each technique and extreme coordination of the different crafts involved. These include enamelling, hand-drawing the lines that define the geometric design, the colouring, application of the Geneva technique and a final hand-polishing to ensure a shiny, glazed appearance and a finish as smooth as a sheet of glass. Additionally, setting the 274 diamonds that decorate the Reverso One Precious Colours requires 45 hours of work.
The timepiece, sized at 40 x 20 mm, is powered by the hand-wound Calibre 846 and has a power reserve of 38 hours. It cements Jaeger-LeCoultre’s dedication to combining a mastery of decorative crafts and high jewellery techniques with the highest standards of watchmaking.
Reverso Secret Necklace: Distilling the Art Deco Legacy into a Sautoir
The brand’s founder — LeCoultre & Cie — recognised the aesthetic and technical potential of timepieces that could be worn as jewels and accessories and, at an early stage of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s history, began creating watches for both women and men. At Watches and Wonders 2023, the brand unveiled a new interpretation of the Reverso that takes the brand’s creative legacy to a whole new level: the Reverso Secret Necklace.
A stunning high jewellery piece, the Reverso Secret Necklace incorporates the iconic design aesthetics of the Reverso into a graceful, feminine sautoir or long necklace. The original black textile bracelet seen on Reverso models of the 1930s has been reinvented and reimagined as a delicate chain of intricate diamond-set links and polished onyx beads, from which a richly gem-set Reverso is suspended. The length of the necklace is as follows: 80 cm circle of onyx beads and diamond-set links; and 55 cm length from clasp to tips of charms.
In the world of high jewellery watches, secret necklaces are not uncommon — they are watches with gem-set covers hiding the dials until the wearer wishes to read the time. The swivelling case of the Jaeger-LeCoultre new Reverso elegantly twists this idea by concealing the time when turned over. When worn with the caseback turned to the front, the Reverso Secret Necklace presents itself as a beautiful Art Deco-inspired jewel. Worn with the front dial showing transforms it into an exquisite timepiece that hides its reverse side.
The necklace stays faithful to its Art Deco origins: the reverse side of the 18 ct pink gold case is set with white diamonds and black onyx in an intricate pattern of geometric repeats, contrasting with the metal’s warm tone. Grain-set diamonds, set in vertical rows, wrap around the convex sides of the case and frame the dial. Each of the links that form the chain has also been skilfully set with diamonds. The gem-setting of the diamonds (there are over 3,000) needs over 300 hours of work.
The Reverso Secret Necklace is powered by the manually-wound Calibre 846 that remains concealed within the case. The power reserve comes up to about 38 hours. The movement is testament to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s commitment to mechanical excellence and the novelty, overall, functions as a strong reminder of the brand’s dedication to marrying high jewellery, rare handcrafts and fine watchmaking.