Happy Anniversary to the Reverso
In this age of fast and disposable fashion, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as wearing a modern day icon on your wrist; Jaeger-LeCoultre’s classic Reverso. Unique to the brand since it’s invention in 1931; created for British officers playing polo in India, the iconic Reverso collection still maintains a timeless aesthetic. With it’s Art Deco styling and peerless swiveling case, this is a watch that can not only transcend time but also capture unique moments with its solid case back, which can be personalised with bespoke engraving and laquering.
But back to the start. For more than eight decades, Jaegar-LeCoultre have been making what is arguably the most remarkable of all their fine timepieces, the ever-unique Reverso. The story of the Reverso begins in India, in 1931. British soldiers taking up the game of polo as a gentlemen’s sport found their watches would shatter during the course of the game. A watch collector and businessman from Switzerland named César de Trey, passing through the continent, took in one of these polo matches and saw first hand the damage done to the players’ timepieces. On returning to Switzerland, de Trey spoke about the game and it’s challenges to timekeeping with Jacques-David LeCoultre, a noted watch manufacturer. It was decided that LeCoultre would be able to create a movement for such a watch and LeCoultre appointed his friends at Jaeger S.A. to design a reversible case. Jaegar then subcontracted a French watch designer named René-Alfred Chauvot to design such a watch, and on the 4th March 1931, Chauvot patented the iconic sliding design of the watch.
The timepiece was designed to withstand the rigors of a game of polo, but also had to appear formal enough to be worn with the players military dress uniforms. An elegant dress watch, but with the ability to slide and flip over the watch face, was the result.
The watch was a huge commercial success, so huge that the partnership of Jaeger S.A. and LeCoultre was born, creating the luxury watch brand Jaegar-LeCoultre.
2016 marks the 85th anniversary of this timeless classic, but it’s impact and impression has not dimmed. Universally recognised as the epitome of elegance, the strong and clean lines of the Reverso remain as powerful as ever. Jaeger-LeCoultre publicly declare themselves to “nuture the imagination and infuse expertise with boldness”, with the Reverso embodying this “quest for the unexpected”. The Reverso neatly summarises this; it’s swiveling case turning to reveal unseen treasures, whether it be the second face of the two-dial model, the Reverso Duetto and Duo models, or the intricate detailing of the engraving, gemsetting or enamelling that can be seen on other models.
To mark this special occasion, Jaeger-LeCoultre are announcing a new vision of the Reverso, whilst respecting the legendary nature of the watch and preserving its heritage. The new collection sees the installation of three “stylistic expressions”- the Reverso Classic, Reverso Tribute and Reverso One- each available in three small, medium and large options. JLC will introduce an automatic movement on a number of models in the Reverso Classic line, and will allow for greater flexibility in terms of personalisation. The back of the Reverso has always been the perfect space in which to give free rein to the imagination, adding a unique and individual refinement to each piece.