The iconic journey of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watch

The iconic journey of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watch 08 February 2024

The Reverso watch has a fascinating history that began in 1931 when it was created to meet the needs of polo players. César de Trey, a Swiss businessman, was challenged to design a watch that could withstand the rigors of the sport. He collaborated with Jacques-David LeCoultre, owner of the LeCoultre manufacturer, and together they developed the unique reversible case. The case, designed by René-Alfred Chauvot, featured a flip mechanism to protect the dial from damage.

Originally, the Reverso had a small size similar to the Reverso Classic and a simple dial with hour and minute hands. In 1934, a version with a small seconds counter was introduced. In 1937, Jaeger S.A. and LeCoultre merged to form Jaeger-LeCoultre.

After World War II, the popularity of round watches and the rise of quartz technology led to a decline in mechanical watches, including the Reverso. However, in the 1970s, Giorgio Corvo, an Italian watch dealer, purchased unused Reverso cases and convinced Jaeger-LeCoultre to reintroduce mechanical movements. The Reverso was relaunched in 1982, initially with quartz movements.

In 1985, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the first water-resistant Reverso case, which required a complete redesign and a complex construction consisting of over 50 components. Despite the challenges of rectangular movements, Jaeger-LeCoultre has continued to enhance the Reverso with various complications and innovations.

Notable Reverso models include the Reverso Répétition Minutes, featuring the world's first rectangular minute repeater movement unveiled in 1994, and the Reverso Grande Complication à Triptyque, which incorporates 18 different functions, including civil and sidereal time, as well as a perpetual calendar.

In 2021, Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Reverso with the introduction of the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque. This exceptional timepiece features four functioning display faces and a remarkable 11 complications, including a perpetual calendar, minute repeater, and indicators for various astronomical cycles. The development of this watch involved the filing of 12 patents, showcasing Jaeger-LeCoultre's commitment to innovation and pushing the boundaries of watchmaking.

Throughout the years, the Reverso has been a canvas for creativity, featuring exquisite enamel work, engravings, and gemstone decorations. It represents the epitome of excellence and innovation at Jaeger-LeCoultre, and its enduring legacy has solidified its status as an icon in the world of watchmaking.



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