It maybe seems like needless excess to “commend” a commemoration like 85 years, however when you’re a wristwatch as old and as evergreen as the Reverso, it some way or another becomes appropriate.
In honor of the long and effective vocation of the horological symbol, we should investigate the last 85 years.
India is the place where this generally exemplary of all games watches was brought into the world 85 years prior. The story so legendarily goes that provincial India was polo-insane, with 175 polo clubs springing up around the country before the finish of the nineteenth century.
The wristwatch – which had become extremely popular in the mid 20th century – was not something that wealthy polo players were wont to take off to play their #1 game. Such countless watches endured broken precious stones: sapphire gem was not at this point in use, so the solitary other decision was mineral gem, basically plain, delicate glass.
And there is no chance that mineral precious stone would confront the hardships of a polo coordinate, during which all around trained polo horses can obtain rates of as much as 60 kilometers each hour and the balls and sticks fly significantly quicker and harder.
César de Trey, a nearby partner of Jacques-David LeCoultre who had as of late become involved in distributing extravagance Swiss wristwatches, was visiting in India in 1930. In the wake of witnessing a game that inevitably finished in some crushed precious stone, the Swiss compatriot took this issue to heart.
He set engineer Alfred Chauvot to the errand of inventing a case that would be considerably more reasonable for the game of polo. Also, in 1931 he thought of simply such a case, filing a patent on March 4 in Paris for a casing that pivoted on its own hub to secure the delicate crystal.
De Trey realized that there was just one production in Switzerland to make a particularly complicated watch case, and he went to Jaeger-LeCoultre to make the uniquely molded component for the craftsmanship deco-styled timepiece.
The rest, as they say, is history. It was a splendid principle involving a straightforward component of two spring-mounted spikes fitting into grooves on either side of the watch’s edge. What’s more, presently 85 years after the fact this equivalent plan (with a touch of modernization, obviously) still appreciates extraordinary success.
Eighty-five years is a hell of quite a while for any watch to maintain such a level of notoriety. Truly, however, the Reverso – whose name is Latin and signifies “I pivot” – did have a couple high points and low points all through near a century of history.
Its early history set the tone
The most established known enameled Reverso portrays a delightful Indian lady wearing the way of the Parsi, a community found mainly in the Bombay (Mumbai) area of India. Insights about the romantic tale behind this perfectly enameled watch continue to be a mystery, yet what remains is the relationship between the Reverso’s case back and individual enameled artworks.
Indeed, the defensive case back of the Reverso has consistently been utilized for individual adornment, be it the enamel that has encountered outrageous renaissance under the cautious tutelage of the grande maison‘s own Miklos Merczel starting at 1992 or individual engravings (see Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Art Of In-House Enameling ).
The continuing history of the Reverso is likewise intertwined with the assembling’s mechanical imagination: probably the finest molded developments in the historical backdrop of watchmaking stem from the longing to furnish the Reverso with an enormous variety of calibers.
Alone in 1933, Jaeger-LeCoultre planned three new types for it: Caliber 404 intended for the more modest women’s models, Caliber 410 with auxiliary seconds at 6 o’clock, and Caliber 411 with clear seconds.
Until the episode of World War II, Jaeger-LeCoultre had made no under eleven unique developments for the Reverso.
During World War II, creation was definitively down, if not altogether out, as for each other watch – and remained so in post-war Europe, when all watch makers depended on solid, round watches to help sales.
In the 1970s, the Reverso got its first precious stone setting, and in the 1980s under the tutelage of unbelievable administrator Günter Blümlein, the case was patched up, thereby increasing the individual components required for its production from under 30 to more than 50.
Developed, produced, amassed, and finished within Jaeger-LeCoultre’s own dividers in Le Sentier, Switzerland, the Reverso case remains perhaps the most complicated on the market.
The current age
For the Reverso’s 60th commemoration in 1991, the production’s engineers chose to utilize that interesting flip side for an alternate reason: complications on both the front and the back. At the same time, it was given a bigger case, and the “Grande Taille” was born.
Following on, the production’s innovative watchmakers added a subsequent time region to the other side of the Reverso interestingly, which opened a totally different span of opportunities for the reawakened icon.
The Reverso Tourbillon showed up in 1993 housed in a 18-karat pink gold case – the first tourbillon in the flip case and one of the principal sequential wristwatch tourbillons by any means – in a restricted arrangement of 500 pieces. Its back was totally involved by the tourbillon and force save indication of Caliber 828.
The following year brought the Reverso Duo, controlled by Caliber 854. While the front dial showed nearby time, the back was committed to home time as a 24-hour indication. After three years in 1997, the more modest and ornamental Reverso Duetto equipped with Caliber 844 did likewise for women.
By 2001 the principal platinum case showed up in the Reverso line within a restricted arrangement of 500 pieces called the Reverso Platinum Number One. This skeletonized magnificence was trailed by the Reverso Platinum Number Two in 2003, additionally restricted to only 500 pieces.
The Reverso Grande GMT of 2004 brought something new to the line: it was equipped with a single development powering the consecutive dials displaying two diverse time regions. This was just conceivable gratitude to Caliber 878, a physically wound development featuring a force hold of eight days.
The mechanics of remarkable jewels
In 2004, Jaeger-LeCoultre likewise continued its long relationship with extraordinary Reverso watches for feminine wrists.
This was the year that Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the breathtaking Grande Reverso 101, one of my unequaled most loved watches. At that point, it was fittingly depicted side-effect chief Stéphane Belmont as “the loftiness of the infinitely small.”
It remains a secret to me concerning why the innovative créateurs at Jaeger-LeCoultre hadn’t come up with this before then, as it is a watch that most proficiently and perfectly combines the entirety of the assembling’s center points of feminine expertise.
The unimposing mechanical wonder Caliber 101, a simple 3.4 mm in tallness, is in a real sense put in plain view in a breathtakingly hand-engraved adaptation behind a sapphire precious stone dial in a similar Grande Reverso case utilized for the chunkier men’s watches.
The inside case back – by and large enhanced with perlage on the standard Reverso models – has been spectacularly snow-set with precious stones of varying size and shape to give a glittering setting to the mechanical superstar. The development seems to coast within its sapphire gem confines, without even a come from the crown to upset its physically twisted 21,600 vibrations for each hour.
That may appear to be puzzling, yet the mystery is lifted once the swiveling Reverso case is turned to uncover the rear. The crown situated on the case isn’t really utilitarian. To wind the watch, the crown is eliminated from its place of rest and inserted into the opening saved for it working on this issue back. This excellent watch cum-gem with its 1,106 jewels (complete carat weight: 3.93) will then remain twisted for roughly 33 hours.
Not to be outperformed by the watchmakers in Le Sentier, the pearl setters at the Jaeger-LeCoultre office in the Vallée de Joux made a few more extraordinary jeweled pieces in 2004, the most innovative of which is certainly the Grande Reverso Rock Setting.
Master diamond setter Alan Kirchhof invented the new stone setting strategy for Jaeger-LeCoultre. Subsequent to turning the enormous loaf cut jewels and other gemstones like rubies topsy turvy, essentially positioning them support up, Kirchhof got them into place by pouring liquid gold between them, in this manner creating a custom, yet invisible, setting. The cycle is extremely troublesome and tedious as even the smallest slip of the hand or a metal temperature that is off by even one degree could harm a few carats of the valuable stones. The impact can be named as a matter of fact totally breathtaking, and it’s a given that the watch shown was an exceptional piece.
It ought to be noticed that these watches established the principal utilization of snow setting in the watch industry.
First programmed Reversos
Featuring the lone programmed Reverso development to that point as expected, the Gran Sport Automatique of 2004 was situated as both a ladies’ and a men’s watch. With a 45-hour power hold, Caliber 960R is a production development comprising 226 hand-made parts beating at 28,800 vibrations each hour. The hours, minutes, clear seconds, and date are highlighted on a matte dark dial with charcoal dim zoning, with white luminescent Gran Sport numerals and silver-plated hour markers.
A popular component that would take on more meaning for Jaeger-LeCoultre from here was the chestnut-hued, bothered calfskin lash with deployant catch. The ensuing quest for amazing lashes normally drove the Swiss watchmaking to Casa Fagliano in Argentina, which by and by integrated with the polo theme.
A year later, the main programmed Reverso Grande Taille appeared at the 2005 version of the SIHH, furnished with Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 970 comprising 233 components and boasting 50 hours of force reserve.
Though the other side of this Reverso shows a surface held for adornment, its front houses a significant number of the capacities that would for the most part be found on different sides: home time, second time region, huge date, auxiliary seconds, and day/night indicator for the subsequent time region. The reversible case is accessible in stainless steel and 18-karat rose gold on either a tie or a bracelet.
The 75th commemoration in 2006
The 75th commemoration of the Reverso ten years prior achieved a large number of interesting watches housed in the swiveling case.
One of these is the Reverso à Éclipses, one of its most imaginative Reverso watches to date.
The name of the watch is misleading, however, for it has nothing to do with the galactic wonder of the shroud. Rather, the incredible capacity is a screen situated on the dial that can be opened and shut voluntarily by the wearer.
The screen can be opened, or even just in part opened, to uncover a masterpiece made by Merczel and his then-understudy Sophie Quenaan (presently the second most experienced enameler at Jaeger-LeCoultre). By a similar token, the shade can be completely shut, allowing the dial to remain metallic and clandestine. Truly, Jaeger-LeCoultre has set its enameled miniatures on the other side of the Reverso case, yet this time the work of art made using a brush comprising one single marten hair makes up the mysterious 18-karat gold dial under the metal shutters.
Jaeger-LeCoultre regarded the watch’s Indian roots by choosing craftsmanship inspired from crafted by Renoir, Ingres, and Klimt just as the mysterious experts of Mogul workmanship and even a scene from the Kama Sutra.
The gold plates under the enamel are first guilloché by Merczel using a pantograph, as customary guilloché made by using a rose engine would have distorted the thin plate. Then the plate is covered with an unmistakable enamel, after which it is painted by the two specialists in particularly splendid tones and terminated at more than 800°C (making it fabulous feu). This cycle is known as champlevé and gives the finished masterpiece a profundity and intensity not otherwise possible.
Jaeger-LeCoultre picked hand-wound Caliber 849 to control this magnum opus because of its smooth stature. Three “thousand feu” themes were made in 18-karat rose gold Grande Taille cases, each restricted to 25 pieces: eight “Sexual” themes restricted to three pieces each in platinum; 16 “Travel and Discovery” themes each likewise restricted to three each in platinum cases; and “Chinese Zodiac” themes restricted to 28 each in red and blue in 18-karat rose gold cases.
Jaeger-LeCoultre likewise utilized the commemoration freedom to evaluate something completely new: the primary square Reverso!
Perfectly proportioned, the Reverso Squadra fit right in with the brand’s quest for the games watch segment.
Designer Janek Deleskiewicz put together his drawings with respect to a 75-year old patent that was put away at the assembling. Also, he discovered the perfect recipe for turning the rich, rectangular craftsmanship deco case into a lively square, filling out the wrist in a masculine way while maintaining the definite quality of the Reverso.
It is a generally secret actuality that both the rectangular and the square case shapes were originally made simultaneously, with the original makers choosing to push ahead with the workmanship deco-style rectangular case to fit the flavors of the time somewhat better. The square shape was believed to be excessively post-present day at that point, and remained in a cabinet every one of those years.
Unfortunately, the Squadra likewise didn’t wind up meeting the overall tastes of the twenty-first century, and it has since been discontinued. I most definitely, was a fan, though.
The Ultra-Complicated Reverso Grande Complication à Triptyque
Continuing the 75-year festivity at the 2006 SIHH, the brand introduced a Reverso combining presentations of mean, sidereal, and interminable occasions in a single stupendous complication in a real sense requiring the abilities of 14 unique specialists and around 700 components.
The French word triptyque interprets as triptych in English, “an antiquated Roman writing tablet with three waxed leaves hinged together, or an image or carving in three boards next to each other, or something composed or introduced in three pieces of areas,” according to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
The Reverso Grande Complication à Triptyque uses each part of the extraordinary Reverso case in request to house its eighteen complications appropriately. The front of the Reverso dial shows, nearly obviously, the hours, minutes, a day/night indication, and auxiliary seconds on a one-minute tourbillon cage.
The flip side of this dial, utilizing the similar physically twisted Caliber 175, is saved for the cosmic capacities that include sidereal time, a decision of galactic outlines for the northern or southern halves of the globe, the long periods of dawn and nightfall, which should be individually set up in the production line according to the topographical area of the proprietor, a zodiacal schedule, and the condition of time.
An incredibly one of a kind thing is found in the base of this Reverso case, where one would typically experience the roundabout grained inside of the metal case back. Instead, we see the incredibly decipherable schedule dial controlled by a module situated within the base (case “back”). This dial shows an unending schedule including a retrograde advanced date, jump year indication, hands for the afternoon and month, and the stages and periods of the moon. The schedule module situated here is just 1.7 mm high, an accomplishment that is simply feasible because of the way that it doesn’t include a winding mechanism.
This module gets its energy from a similar two spring barrels that power the main development, however it is sent in an extraordinary way. At precisely 12 PM, if the swiveling Reverso case is in a shut position, a switch slides into a snail cam’s score, instantaneously liberating energy that has been put away in the barrel. This energy enacts an actuator in the module, which truth be told progresses the retrograde date and the wide range of various pertinent schedule shows found there.
Ensuring that the case is appropriately associated at 12 PM couldn’t be easier. All the wearer needs to do is actuate a jolt system to retain the case in the right position. Otherwise, the wearer just necessities to pick the dial the person would like to take a gander at while this cycle is taking place.
The Reverso Grande Complication à Triptyque contains a tourbillon escapement, yet an extraordinary. Jaeger-LeCoultre chose to forego using the customary Swiss bed escapement for an immediate framework, which the company has named a circle isometer escapement, inspired by conventional marine chronometer escapements that send motivations just once per complete vibration as compared to the present common escapements, which do so twice per complete swaying, once after each beat (the tick and the tock, so to speak).
It ought to likewise be noticed that Jaeger-LeCoultre has additionally debuted the utilization of cutting edge materials in this customary sort of escapement in regular JLC style, without the ballyhoo related with it right now by other companies.
Since monocrystalline silicon was the most ideally equipped material for the work of making the blocking-switch arm and the break wheel, Jaeger-LeCoultre felt free to utilize it, at the same time guaranteeing the development various preferences like enemy of attraction, erosion opposition, and, obviously, no requirement for escapement lubrication.
Caliber 175’s one-minute tourbillon is additionally one of ethereal delicacy as its filigreed confine is composed of Grade 5 titanium, weighing just 0.08 grams. The confine and its new escapement weigh just 0.29 grams all together.
The Reverso Grande Complication à Triptyque has acquired no less than six new patents for the brand. “It’s a watch of exemplifications,” Jérôme Lambert, the company’s then-CEO, commented at that point. For which reason there were just 75 pieces in valuable platinum cases carrying a sticker price of about $400,000 each.
Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2
When Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced its Gyrotourbillon I in 2004, it was hailed as a progressive watch in high watchmaking. This status has not changed, and it is therefore nothing unexpected that the show-stopper containing a circular tourbillon would be patched up for use in one of the brand’s notable Reverso cases in 2008 (the previously was housed in a round Master case).
The diverse case shapes were not by any means the only reasons that the production attempted some essential changes in the Gyrotourbillon’s round twofold tourbillon type. Continuing escapement research in a journey for more accuracy saw the Swiss brand introduce a cylinder-formed equilibrium spring to it, the first of its kind in a wristwatch, and a spring that presently had the Gyrotourbillon beating at a quicker paced four Hertz instead of the past three, ensuring much more precision.
The cylindrical equilibrium spring was invented in 1782 by John Arnold. The outrageous complexity involved in manufacturing a miniaturized variant ensured that it remained the selective watch for his marine chronometers and maybe a couple of bigger pocket watches. Just with this watch had it been effectively made completely reasonable for a wristwatch.
Combined with the circular twofold tourbillon – whose external carriage rotates at a speed of one minute and inner carriage at 18.75 seconds – exactness is really the request for the day.
Manually twisted Caliber 174 likewise made it vital for the assembling’s case engineers to plan another swiveling housing for it since its circular tourbillon requested a thicker shell than was routinely accessible. Type 174 flaunts a force hold of 50 hours with only one barrel fitted with a sapphire precious stone cover to lessen grinding and comprises a sum of 371 components, 58 of which are jewels.
Because the mechanics of this watch are so outwardly stunning, it is not difficult to fail to remember that it really tells the time also. And the sky is the limit from there: the front shows the hours, minutes, seconds (on the tourbillon carriage), and has a 24-hour show. Being a Reverso, there is normally an interesting back to this watch also, and it is equipped with a force hold indicator.
The Gyrotourbillon 2 was likewise just accessible in a restricted release of 75 pieces.
For an inside and out glance at this excellence, see Beautiful Contrasts: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 .
The story of the Reverso’s introduction to the world remains the stuff of legends and this splendid principle involving a straightforward system comprising two spring-mounted spikes that fit into grooves on either side of the watch’s casing remains new as a daisy.
Eighty years after the fact, the Reverso case comprised an entire 55 components, reaching a remarkable complexity that hardly any, other case producers can coordinate. “The Reverso is the exemplification of capacity and style,” then-CEO Jérôme Lambert – who currently heads up Montblanc – explained as he tallied the “insider facts” of the Reverso’s life span at the SIHH: consummately proportioned case including a decent change between carries, lash and case and an exceptionally utilitarian plan. “The feeling of today remains the feeling of tomorrow,” he said at the time.
On the event of this commemoration, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced a few new models to the assortment, beginning with the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin, which is housed in the thinnest Reverso case at any point made: 7.2 mm. Accessible in red gold or stainless steel, Lambert uncovered that this super smooth size is “an accolade for the 1931 spirit.”
Even a greater amount of this soul is shown by the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931, which is also furnished with a recreated vintage dial from the time: it isn’t marked “Jaeger-LeCoultre,” but instead “Reverso” as it was completely inspired by a model found in the documents. “The immaculateness of the style was reinterpreted here,” Lambert said of the two hand-wound restricted version models.
For a full once-over of this watch from a proprietor, see Why I Bought It: Jaeger-LeCoultre Tribute To Reverso 1931 .
A new Grande Reverso Duo depended on the original Duo model that turned out in 1994; its distinguishing strength is “one development, double cross zones on two countenances,” as Lambert explained. “In those days, a watchmaker had a revelation,” he jokingly explained of the principal “down to earth” utilization of the Reverso’s flip side. Physically twisted Caliber 986 with synchronized date additionally sports another dial configuration: white on one side, dark on the other. The stainless steel or 18-karat rose gold case comes in at 48.5 x 30 x 10.2 mm.
The Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin was introduced by Hollywood entertainer Diane Kruger: a physically twisted stunner in a proportionate stainless steel or rose gold case just 7.2 mm in height.
The haute horlogerie piece accompanying the commemoration was, obviously, a Reverso: the Reverso Répétition Minutes à Rideau.
Capturing the passionate soul of the authority, the Reverso Répétition Minutes à Rideau even offers a never-been-seen component: a “pivoting curtain” that permits the wearer to indeed see different “faces” of the timepiece.
Simply using a fingertip to slide the “curtain” covering one of the sides of the case uncovers the concealed excellence of the development and furthermore actuates the repeating system. This model, which likewise goes through the 1,000-hours test the brand performs on its watches, is just accessible in a 75-piece restricted release in white gold. At the point when the curtain is open, a decent piece of the 340 components of physically twisted Caliber 944 are obvious through the sapphire crystal.
And in 2016?
At SIHH 2016 Jaeger-LeCoultre will uncover another Reverso assortment to the world, which CEO Daniel Riedo portrays thusly, “To stamp its 85th birthday, we wished to offer another vision of the Reverso, so every individual can quickly perceive the assortment that coordinates their own character and the model destined to become theirs. It was about deferentially evolving this incredible watch while bearing certain vital essentials in mind: preserving the idea of this excellent watch that is a concentrated mix of the abundance of ability within our Manufacture, just as safeguarding its polish and its contemporary soul; clarifying the assortments by instating three complex articulations – Reverso Classic, Reverso Tribute and Reverso One – with their own distinct universes and goals; structuring the exemplary sizes by offering three little, medium and enormous choices; introducing a programmed development on various models in the Reverso Classic line to guarantee genuine ease of use; and, finally, inviting every one of you to imagine your own watch by means of the Atelier Reverso. Such was our central goal, of which we are currently enchanted and glad to uncover the results.”
In other words, we can hope to see three new assortments: Reverso Classic, Reverso Tribute, and Reverso One, each accessible in little, medium, and huge options.
Additionally, there will be the Atelier Reverso, which permits customization.
We will bring you the full story after SIHH 2016 shuts its doors.
For more information, if it’s not too much trouble, visit www.jaeger-lecoultre.com/reverso.