Jaeger-LeCoultre Grand Reverso Duo

Developed about 80 years ago, the iconic Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watch case is an enduring tactile treat and a symbol of why (at least some people) love watches so much. The story of the watch’s creation is now known to many people, but is worth repeating. British soldiers stationed in India wanted a wrist watch that they could wear whilst playing polo – and not have to worry about damaging the (then) delicate glass crystal over the dial. For soldiers they were a bit spoiled if you ask me.

Swiss watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre came to the rescue with a new type of sports watch, which had a flippable face. With the piece still on the wrist the watch case could be flipped over to reveal a solid metal caseback – ensuring added protection from shock (though a direct polo mallet strike might have had a bit of a lasting effect). Jaeger-LeCoultre needed to make sure the case was engineered to be flipped on a repeat basis, but still be a beautiful high-end item. Combining inventiveness and an art deco aesthetic, the Reverso was born.

The amazing thing about the Reverso is that even when it was new it was not considered an avant garde watch. It employed a contemporary aesthetic, legible dial, fine movement, and masculine rectangular case. Funny enough, today after several generations the design still looks fantastic without feeling to “retro.” It is true that Jaeger-LeCoultre has increase the size of the case for models like the Grand Reverso, but the concept and style remains very true to the original.

Today Jaeger-LeCoultre offers a wide range of Reverso models including this Grand Reverso Duo watch (aka Duo Face). Rather than have a solid caseback to protect the watch, models like this have two dials. On this model Jaeger-LeCoultre offers an attractive dual time zone watch perfect for travelers. The Jaeger-LeCoultre produced manually wound caliber 986 movement powers both dials. Each side is beautiful and has a unique visual aesthetic. The more traditional machine guilloche engraved silvered dial has the time and date with subsidiary seconds dial (meant to be the local time), while the reverse dial is more sporty in black with the time and AM/PM indicator. You get two time zones and two looks.

The Grand Reverso case comes in both steel and 18k rose gold. Here in steel, the case is just over 32mm wide and about 48.5mm tall (depending on how you measure it). Comfortable on the wrist, the “Grand” part of the name in this instance does not mean the watch is massive in size. It has a proportional look sitting across the entire wrist without having protruding lugs.

As a classic design fit for most occasions it is hard to go wrong with Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. Not only do you get a case and movement expertly produced in-house under the same roof, but it is a solid value to boot. Price for this model is £6,800.

Buy the iconic Jaeger-LeCoultre Grand Reverso Duo.