The Reverso, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most distinctive watch, certainly has an impressive pedigree. Essentially one of the first sports watches, the Reverso combined utility with a sleek and elegant Art Deco exterior that has become an icon of horological design. But in the case of the Reverso, looks deceive–and no model of Reverso says that more than the Reverso Tribute to 1931 US Limited Edition.
Though the Reverso appears at first glance a dress watch, it owes its existence to the gentlemanly sport of polo. While touring India in the early 1930s, Swiss businessman César de Trey met a British polo player who’d just cracked the crystal of his watch on the field. De Trey returned to Switzerland with an idea already taken root in his head, which he then discussed with Jacques-David LeCoultre: what if a watch could be made with a case that could reverse?
The patent was placed in 1931, and the first Reverso that followed measured 38mm in length, 24 in width. Jaeger-LeCoultre also released the Reverso in gold, and decorated the case back with engravings or even miniatures.
But with changing tastes in the 1970s–for round watches as well as quartz movements–Jaeger-LeCoultre ceased production of the Reverso. The model lay dormant for twenty years, until its triumphant re-issue in 1982. While those watches contained quartz movements, their success represented a future for the Reverso.
To celebrate the auspicious occasion of the Reverso’s 80th birthday, JLC released a limited run of 25 pieces, in the same proportions as the original. The Art Deco styling houses a strong JLC ultra thin manually wound movement.
This elegant watch is like a transporter to a different time.
Dial: salmon dial, arabic markers, lumed.
Size: 37.5x 23mm
Metal: white gold
Status: watch, strap and buckle only
Year of introduction: 1995