Jaeger-LeCoultre Fast Flip with Rapid Rotation

On the 75th anniversary of the Reverso, Jaeger-LeCoultre stunned the world by presenting a grand complication with three dials driven by a single movement. At the 85th birthday of the Reverso, the Manufacture this year put the spherical Gyrotourbillon into the Reverso watch and introduces a great many GMT and vintage-inspired pieces. To make these reversible pieces more impressive, the Manufacture has joined force with Christian Louboutin, the master shoemaker, to reveal unexpected facets of the Reverso watches.

History of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

With 183 years already under its belt, the Manufacture has filed almost 400 patents and developed no less than 1,200 in-house movements. Back to 1929, they created the world’s smallest mechanical movement 101 measuring 14 x 4.8 x 3.4mm, which paved the way for making complicated and ultra-thin pieces. And in 1931, the first Reverso was born in response to some British army officers stationed in India craving for a timepiece able to withstand the rough and tumble of polo tournaments. With the Art Deco lines, the Reverso offered a simple yet brilliant solution in a design of a rotating dial to protect the watch. The Reverso watches soon become one of most iconic watches of the brand.

During the 1930s, the brand made already tens of different Reverso models. Among which, the white, silver, and black dial were the most popular ones, while some progressive wearers picked the brown, red, or blue ones. The Reverso with a deep blue dial and small second dial released in 1933 was equipped with the 410 movement. In 1984, the Reverso case was revisited and consisted of over 50 components to offer better wearing comfort, waterproof ability and security. In 1991, on the 65th anniversary of the collection, the Reverso was poised to offer useful functions. The anniversary edition was cased in rose gold and equipped with the hand-wound 824 movement offering a pointer-type date indicator and power reserve indicator, followed by a tourbillon model in 1993, a minute repeater in 1994, a retrograde chronograph in 1996, a multi-time zone in 1998 and a perpetual calendar in 2000.

For the 75th anniversary of the Reverso in 2006, Jaeger-LeCoultre created the first wristwatch incorporating three dials driven by a single movement in watchmaking history. This masterpiece Reverso Grande Complication a Triptyque boasts 18 complex functions and 6 patents. And to celebrate the 80th anniversary, the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin reinterprets the classicism of its Art Deco style. As for complications, the Reverso Repetition Minutes a Rideau takes its juggling with the visible and the hidden, and with technique and beauty, to a new level.

The swivelling dial of the Reverso was designed in the first place to protect the watch. Therefore, the flip side originally has no indications, but only tailor-made badges, owner’s initials, or enamel miniature to showcase the exclusivity, until the dual dial Reverso released in 1994. Three years later, the Reverso Squadra collection featured a dual time zone display driven by one movement, along with scores of women’s watches such as Reverso Duoface, Reverso Duo, Reverso Squadra, just to name a few.

A four-panel advertisement of the Reverso in the 1930s.

The Reverso holds a close tie with polo.

Engraving and enamel painting could be found on the back since 1931. One of the rarest pieces is the drawing of an Indian beauty in 1936.

The Manufacture keeps the clients’ records of drawing and engraving.

Jaeger-LeCoultre has developed a great deal of movements exclusively for the Reverso watches. 

Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon

The star among all the 85th anniversary pieces is no doubt the Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon. You might have seen a similar breathtaking tourbillon on Gyrotourbillon 1 dating back to 2004. Its 117 movement is composed of 679 parts and has three major complications, namely, a spherical tourbillon, a perpetual calendar with double retrograde indicators, and the equation of time. In 2008, the spherical tourbillon was transplanted to the Reverso and came the Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 which features a cylindrical balance-spring and two tourbillon cages that rotate every 60 seconds and 18.75 seconds respectively.

The latest Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon is bestowed an entirely new movement. The spherical tourbillon at 6 o’clock is 30% trimmer in terms of both width and thickness. Pared down to their slimmest form, the two cage performs an external rotation in one minute and an internal rotation in 12.6 seconds, which is 6 seconds more faster than its predecessor. This intricate complication is equipped with the in-house hand-wound 179 movement with the hemi-spherically shaped balance spring and Gyrolab balance wheel. The latter features the Manufature’s symbolic non-circular configuration that considerably reduces air friction to enhance the watch’s precision.

As a duo face watch, each side has different functions. The front side has the hours, minute and small second hands as well as a day/night indicator, while the flip side provides a dual-time display and 24-hour indicator. Speaking of the dial decoration, the front side is adorned with a nicely grained white round dial and the tourbillon is surrounded by hand-crafted sunburst guilloche pattern with a small blue arrow placed on the left serving to read off the seconds. Flip the case can appreciate the skeletonised dial with the engraved bridges and movement. Limited to only 75 pieces, this stunning piece is cased in platinum and measures 51.1 x 31mm.

The case is gently curved to fit on the wrist comfortably.

Size:51.1 x 31mm
Movement:hand-wound 179
Functions:hours, minute, small seconds, day/night indicator, GMT, 24-hour indicator, gyrotourbillon
Power reserve:40 hours
Limitation:75 pieces
Price:around 270,000euros

A small blue arrow next to tourbillon on the left is served to indicate the seconds.

The open-worked movement on the flip side showcases the brand’s craftsmanship.

The spherical tourbillon is meticulously produced as it is 30% trimmer.

The designer works on the Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon.

The hemi-spherically shaped balance spring and Gyrolab balance wheel help enhance the accuracy.

Reverso Tribute Calendar

To honour the 80th anniversary of the Reverso, The Manufacture has prepared spectacular range of models to suit all preferences. The Reverso Classic, Reverso Tribute and Reverso One feature their unisex appeal in different case sizes. And this Reverso Tribute Calendar has a dual time display and full calendar. The rose gold case measures 49.4 x 29.9mm and houses the hand-wound 853 movement offering 45-hour power reserve. The piece has, on the front, the time plus the day, month, date, moonphase and silver-toned grained opaline dial; the back showcases the time in a second time-zone, and has a day/night indicator over a grey backdrop with the “clous de Paris” guilloche. It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a hidden push-button on the top of the case. It enables easy adjustment of the second time zone display when the wearer flips the dial.

The Tri-Axial Tourbillon has 3 axes. The rotation times of each axis are different:.

Reverso One Reedition

Ultra-thin and elegantly curved, the Reverso One is designed exclusively for ladies. This 1930s-inspired piece features a time-only design and comes with a black dial and black alligator strap, an ideal option of paring with a little black dress. The stainless steel case is 32.5 x 16.3mm and powered by the 657 quartz movement.

Reverso One Duetto Moon

Though it’s a duo face moonphase watch, both the dials display the same time zone by the hand-wound 842 movement. With the four corners of the watch face evoking its proud heritage, the front side of the dial is engraved with the sunburst guilloche motif, a typical fashion of the Reverso One collection, while the flip side shows a moonphase represented by a mother-of-pearl lunar disc. The Arabic numerals and linear hour markers on each side make the piece just right in every occasion from day to night. This beautiful piece is available in stainless steel (with a blue dial on the flip side) and rose gold version (with a brown dial on the flip side), fitted with an alligator strap or a bracelet. Both versions are gracefully embedded with 28 diamonds on the moonphase side.

The moonphase on the flip side is represented by a mother-of-pearl lunar disc.

The Reverso One Duetto Moon in rose gold. The two dials are in different hues: white and brown.

Reverso One Cordonnet

Adopting the iconic design codes of original model in 1936, the Reverso One Cordonnet underscores the same design and is set by a leather cord-strap, while the two-toned case combing rose gold and stainless steel reflects geometric aesthetics. With the silver sunburst guilloche dial base, the blue dauphine-type hour and minute hands stand out clearly. The piece is sized at 33.8 x 16.3 mm and equipped the 657 quartz movement.

Reverso by Christian Louboutin

Besides the astonishing Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon, Jaeger-LeCoultre has teamed up with Christian Louboutin, the acclaimed French high-heeled footwear designer, on a Reverso collection full of surprise. Louboutin is probably the most sought-after luxury footwear brand and its clientele includes a list of celebrities. And its signature red-bottoms now admirably appear on the back of the straps.

Louboutin chooses to use the Reverso Classic Duetto as the base of his design. He imagines the watch as jewellery and chooses not only the colour of the dial but adds also striking colours on the leather straps. Having worked with transparency in his shoes, Louboutin transfers that concept into the straps to show off the wearers’ radiant skin tone and match the mirror-style back dial.

Two versions of the Reverso Classic Duetto are on offer. The smaller one measures 34.2 x 21mm and houses the hand-wound 844movement, while the midsize one measures 40.1 x 24.4mm and houses the automatic 968A movement. Both dials display the same time zone and the flip side is dressed with 30 diamonds (0.28carats or 0.42cararts). More information and price to be announced. Ladies, stay tuned.

Master shoemaker Christian Louboutin picks the colour for the straps.

The piece retains its simple and classic front face, while the back is so shimmering like a palette.

Apart from the straps in iridescent colours, Louboutin also designs some straps in lustrous hues and triangle pattern.

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s CEO Daniel Riedo and Christian Louboutin together in photo.

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Text:Delia Shum / Photo:Kauzrambler