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Role Reverso

Audrey Simon
Audrey Simon • 5 min read
Role Reverso
Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Reverso
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While the world enters the year with cautious optimism, Jaeger-LeCoultre enters it with much to celebrate as this year marks the 90th anniversary of the maison’s iconic timepiece, Reverso

The announcement was made at the tail end of last year when CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre, Catherine Reiner made a virtual call from her office in Switzerland to a small group of media at the Jaeger-LeCoultre boutique at Marina Bay Sands.

Although separated by distance and technology, Reiner’s enthusiasm and her love for this special limited edition timepiece, presented in a burgundy-red dial and pink gold case, the Reverso Tribute Duoface Fagliano, is palpable.

Reiner says, “We want to celebrate the Rever- so for kicking off an important year of 2021 for us. This is the time for us to dive further into what has made the style, the elegance and the design of Reverso that is so unique.”

She takes us on a magical tour of the past as she waxes lyrical about a watch that is so unique in the way it was started and in its design that has stood the test of time. “The true birthday of the Reverso is 4 March 1931, when the patent of the swivelling case was done, at that time, it was still a concept.”

The patent came soon after and it gave life to the Reverso, she adds. Reiner goes on to say that today, the timepiece remains very loyal to the design of the 1930s, back in the art deco period, you will notice the curves, the lines, the simplicity of the case, and the dial was a very important signature style for Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Before we delve into the anniversary special, let us take a look at how it all began. The Reverso was born out of necessity during the Art Deco period of 1931. Necessity because the British who were based in India at that time, realised that their watch was always damaged after a game of polo. Swiss businessman César de Trey set Jaeger-LeCoultre the task of creating a watch that could withstand the rigours of the game.

The watchmakers adopted Art Deco lines and combined that with a unique reversible case and it instantly became one of the most iconic watches over the last nine decades. It has evolved and has seen many iterations such as it has housed more than 50 different calibres, while its blank metal flip side has become a canvas for creative expression, decorated with enamel, engravings or gemstones.

90 years and attractive as ever

Jaeger-LeCoultre honours one of its most admired models with a burgundy-red dial and pink gold case. The Reverso Tribute Duoface Fagliano combines a dual-time zone complication of the Duoface along with the aesthetics of the Tribute collection.

This special edition sees the use of its original strap, specially designed and hand-crafted by Casa Fagliano, the world-famous Argentinian maker of polo boots.

The Duoface, launched in 1994, offers two contrasting dials, each displaying a different time zone, done via the hand-wound Calibre 854A/2. Not wishing to compromise the case design, the second time zone is adjusted by a small slider set into the top case-band and completely invisible except with a light flick of the fingers, the case is flipped over to re- veal a deeply etched sunray pattern on the inner surface of the carriage.

SEE: A sound strategy

Keeping to the original Reverso design, the front dial features the hours that are marked by straight indexes, doubled at 12. Their faceted shape adds a visual treat when set against the rich burgundy-red of the lacquered surface and the Dauphine hands.

Both dial treatments are balanced by the warm tones of the pink gold case which is complemented by the two-tone strap. Inspired by the canvas-and-leather boots that it makes for summer polo, Casa Fagliano combined cordovan leather and canvas for the new strap.

Dimensions : 47 x 28.3mm x 10.3mm

Calibre:: Manually wound mechanical movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 854A/2; 21,600 vibrations per hour

Functions: Front: Hours, minutes, small seconds. Reverse: Second time zone, 24-hour day/night indicator

Power reserve: 42-hour Case: 18-carat pink gold

Dial: Front: Burgundy-red lacquer, applied golden hour markers, Dauphine hands. Reverse: Silvered grey and velvety Clous de Paris guillochage, applied golden hour markers, Dauphine hands

Strap: Two-tone cordovan leather and canvas, designed and hand-crafted by Casa Fagliano, pin buckle in 18-carat pink gold

Water resistance: 3 bar

A page turner

Jaeger-LeCoultre continues the tribute in the form of a new book, Reverso, launched in collaboration with luxury publisher Assouline.

Between the pages, fans will be treated to a visual history lesson of one of the world’s most recognisable wristwatches. The maison has dug deep into its archive to provide never-before-seen images and original photography, together with an in- formative narrative by noted author historian journalist and horological specialist Nicholas Foulkes.

History trivia buffs will get a detailed insight into the fascinating story of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s founders and how their inventions have had a profound impact on horological history.

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