Possessed with incomparable versatility and a characteristic identity, the Reverso is the single watch most compellingly associated with the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand and probably will be for the foreseeable future. It is a rare true icon of luxury watch making and the latest model takes timepiece opulence into unchartered territories of luxe elegance.
The most illustrious invention of the Le Coultre Empire – Reverso has enjoyed an undisputed iconic status amongst watch collectors’ world over, with the onset of its 85th anniversary we reminisce the most powerful variations of this master timepiece. Reverso in Latin means “I turn around”, the iconic brand has had a few ups and downs throughout its century’s worth of history. To celebrate this milestone the brand has joined forces for a creative collaboration with shoe maestro Christian Louboutin incorporating his signature aesthetics to release a line of brilliant, resilient and super-stylish timepieces.
For over 180 years, luxury watch brand Jaeger LeCoultre has successfully innovated and made technological breakthroughs in watch-making and has become synonymous with excellence, innovation and precision. To commemorate the 85th anniversary of their most notable timepiece, they have revisited their classic Reverso with updated models, for men and women along with a strategic union with footwear maestro Christian Louboutin to launch a special collection of Reverso models. He has infused timeless design and tactical innovation to create a collection that’s as much a fashion statement as it is state-of-the-art technology. The color mastermind has adopted a stylish palette of blue, violet and green for the watch’s evening strap. Available in two sizes with a shimmering decorative face, the result is an original, ultra-feminine take on the iconic timepiece honoring its 85 years of existence in style.
The pioneering of the legendary Reverso collection started during the winter of 1930. While travelling in India, a Swiss businessman and watch enthusiast César de Trey attended a polo match at a club of the British army commandment. One of the officers challenged de Trey to design a watch model sturdy enough to resist a precarious polo match. César de Trey discussed this inspiration with the owner of the LeCoultre manufacturing, Jacques-David LeCoultre, who could provide the movements for the new watch.
LeCoultre appointed the firm Jaeger S.A. for the creation of a unique design using a reversible container to protect the dial, which in turn contracted the French designer René-Alfred Shavuot, the actual inventor of the exceptional slide and flip mechanism. He used a simple device of two spring-mounted spurs fitting into grooves on either side of the watch’s frame. The result was a classic timepiece with a dial that could turn over, shielding it from obstruction while offering a case back with a significant panel that could be used for designing. A brilliant principle providing an inexhaustibly fertile source of design inspiration which now 85 years later still enjoys illustrious success.
Born out of the sheer need to provide an elegant, sophisticated and robust response to a technical challenge, the Reverso established itself as an eminent Art Deco classic constantly stimulating artists, designers and inventors to reinterpret the back of the watch. The watch personifies the quest for the unexpected.
The impact of its pure, almost discreet lines makes the Reverso timepieces the embodiment of elegance and class. With unique modifications, it has been a vehicle for high complications, dual time zone watches to some of the most skillfully carved watches ever made.
The oldest known enameled Reverso illustrates a beautiful Indian woman dressed in the manner of the Paris, a community located mainly in Mumbai region of India. Details regarding the love story behind this gorgeously enameled timepiece continue to be a secret, but what remains is the love affair between the Reverse’s case back and personal enameled artworks.
The Reverso Lady, launched later retained all the features of the original model while combining a chrome steel band with the soft warmth of 18 carat rose gold. The amalgamation of tradition with a modern spirit is sure to appeal to the most feminine of women.
Another variation launched that year offers a sleek black lacquered dial, stamped and glit numerals and an 18 carat yellow gold dial, and additional versions with red and blue lacquered solid silver dial bearing the Reverso signature.
The Reverso Cordonnet designed in a contrasting combination of cool steel shimmer and warm gold radiance, this exceptional timepiece boasts resolute feminine spirit with a gracefully slim case and strikingly offbeat strap.
They launched another heritage version in 1948 with blue steel hands and lacquered engravings depicting the emblem of the Basel divisions of the Aero-Club de Suisse, the Swiss aviation association. In 1985, they presented the first-ever water-resistant Reverso case. This required a complete transformation to offer exceptional comfort and guarantee total security in pivoting. In 1994, they introduced the Duo face concept with the back of the watch featuring a second dial although driven by a single movement. For the brands 70th birthday in 2001, the Reverso acquired an 8-day double barrel, giving it enhanced accuracy offered by teaming a high-frequency balance wheel with over a week’s running power. 500 examples were made. To celebrate its 80th birthday, they came out with a fresh take on the absolute classicism of its Art Deco lines, with the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin including two Tribute to 1931 models in honour of the very first Reverso models.
The collection launched at SIHH this year, flawlessly exceeds expectations in design excellence, elegance and technical supremacy – Reverso Classic, Reverso Tribute and Reverso One. The Reverso Classic comes in a stainless steel case with a sleek, silver toned surface dial, transferred black numerals, around a guilloché center with a black transferred minute track, along with blued baton hour and minute hands. Its Art Deco inspiration, geometrical case, Arabic numerals, along with its minute track, exudes a touch of brilliance.
The Reverso Tribute is intended for luxury connoisseurs with an eye for horological craftsmanship and design. It comes with a slightly grained front dial, with blue hour markers, hands, and a blue-printed subdial, and Dauphine-type hands. Driven by mechanical movements, all the Reverso Tribute models feature the Duo concept of two independent faces complete with a day/night indicator.
Quintessentially feminine, the Reverso One collection is dedicated to the ladies, characterized by an elongated rectangular shape and mother-of-pearl lunar disc representing the moon phase and typical Dauphine-type hour and minute hands. They have also created a personalized service – Atelier Reverso that allows customers to select aesthetic features to personalize their timepiece using an online configurator currently available in Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques
The collaboration with celebrity design ingénue – Christian Louboutin celebrates the landmark event with extreme style. The French designer’s stylish stilettos adorned with his trademark red-lacquered soles are coveted by fashionista’s and shoe aficionados globally and the collaboration makes for the perfect union of luxury, style and elegance.
As the Reverso is a fresh slate ready for customization, it didn’t take Louboutin long to identify the playful accents that could illustrate a design reflecting his personality – including one with telltale red leather inside the strap. Iridescent colors and striking textures highlight the straps and dials of the Louboutin edition, which contrasts perfectly with the Art Deco lines inherent in the Reverso collection. It features rounded, sensual elements, as well as details rooted in texture — a circle of pavé diamonds on a rose-enamel dial, rose-gold chains, looping to form tiny circles that edged a white-leather watchband. The Louboutin Reversos are available in the small and medium sizes of the Reverso Classic Duetto.