A Week On The Wrist: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Calendar

Creating The Reverso

An early stainless steel Reverso Ref. 201, around 1931, controlled by a Tavannes Watch Co. development (Photo: Courtesy Antiquorum).

Strictly speaking, the account of the Reverso pre-dates the tale of Jaeger-LeCoultre, which is the reason the name of the assembling as far as we might be concerned today doesn’t show up on the original 1931 model. Instead, it just peruses “Reverso.” Jacques-David LeCoultre and the incomparable French watchmaker Edmond Jaeger had been collaborators since about 1906, but their companies remained discrete and independent (Edmond Jaeger passed on in 1922, and authority of his company was taken over by Gustave Delage) until 1927, when they were joined under a single holding company. Notwithstanding, the consolidated companies were not renamed “Jaeger-LeCoultre” until 1937. in 1930, César de Trey, who had become amazingly affluent selling dental items in London before turning to watch marketing, given LeCoultre an intriguing chance.

César de Trey

Jacques-David LeCoultre

Mr. de Trey had recently gotten back from an excursion to India, where he had observed how delicate the dials and precious stones of wristwatches were when uncovered during sports like polo, when they may be smacked by a wooden hammer or thumped with a polo ball. British officials positioned in India had broken numerous watches along these lines. Doubtlessly the straightforward arrangement is leave them off the field by and large, but de Trey contemplated whether his companions in Switzerland could find a rich arrangement that would permit players to appreciate the game with their trusty watches close behind.

Polo match-up In Jaipur, India, around 1930s.

Jacques-David LeCoultre embraced improvement of the development, and for the case plan de Trey enrolled the assistance of a French originator called René-Alfred Chauvot. His answer was straightforward: A wristwatch “which can slide on its base and flip over on itself,” in request to ensure the front of the case. Chauvot submitted a patent application for his invention on March 4, 1931, at absolutely 1:15 PM, at the National Industrial Property Institute (INPI) in Paris, and on July 25, 1931, de Trey bought all rights to Chauvot’s invention – and the games watch (read: watch made for a particular game) was born.

René-Alfred Chauvot’s patent.

However, Jaeger didn’t deliver rectangular cases at that point – and, regardless of whether it had, LeCoultre didn’t yet make a development which would fit. Along these lines, in the wake of purchasing the rights to Chauvot’s patent, César De Trey dispatched Specialités Horlogères with Jacques-David LeCoultre. Their new pursuit would produce the progressive plan the old way, using parts made by subject matter experts. The cases were made by A.E. Wenger and the developments by Tavannes. In 1933, LeCoultre would introduce in-house developments intended explicitly for the Reverso. Caliber 410 (with little seconds at 6:00) caliber 411 (focus seconds) debuted alongside caliber 404 (a more modest development intended for women’s Reversos).

The Reverso was before long embraced by wealthy authorities, not simply polo players. Chauvot’s plan consummately epitomized the period’s obsession with Art Deco plan and combined common sense with personalization (because it was undecorated on the back, the Reverso could, and regularly would, be engraved by clients). 

However, as Art Deco gradually become undesirable after World War II, the creation of Reverso watches began to disappear until it arrived at a full stop, to the extraordinary chagrin of its allies, during the mid-1970s. Buried for just about 10 years, the Reverso was revived in 1982 when it got a quartz relocate. Interestingly, the Maison’s Art Deco symbol would be controlled by something other than a mechanical development, but at any rate it was back on the wrists of collectors. 

The 1990s – Or, When Things Got Complicated

Janek Deleskiewicz (right).

The 1990s are when things began getting genuinely complicated for the Reverso. The recuperation from the Quartz Crisis was gaining genuine energy and the industry’s leading makes were quick to show what they were capable of. For Jaeger-LeCoultre, time was of the quintessence. Another chief had joined the company’s creative division only three years before the Reverso’s 60th commemoration. Janek Deleskiewicz was an industry pariah, but the French architect had discreetly observed and appreciated the assembling’s assortment while working on ventures for car producer Citroën, and the TGV – France’s fast train.

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s CEO at that point, Günter Blümlein, and Deleskiewicz, chose to tidy off the Reverso’s plan and re-empower the Maison’s symbol by placing top of the line complications inside, in many cases grew explicitly for the notorious shape. A pink gold Reverso with power-hold and a focal date hand was picked to celebrate the commemoration: the Reverso 60ème debuted in 1991. It was quickly trailed by the appearance of the company’s first tourbillon wristwatch in 1993, first minute repeater in 1994, first retrograde chronograph in 1996, and first unending schedule in 2000 – all in a Reverso. (We should specify, by the way, that there is a never-ending schedule watch in a Reverso case that might be the principal Reverso to have the name “Jaeger-LeCoultre” on the dial; it was offered available to be purchased in 2015 but the part was removed before the bartering. JLC affirmed the credibility of the watch at that point and that it was an exceptional piece, but not that it was from 1937).

Limited release JLC Ref. 270.2.73, Reverso Minute Repeating Reverso, made in 1994 (Photo: Courtesy Antiquorum).

Limited Edition JLC Ref. 270.2.68, Reverso Tourbillon (Photo: Courtesy Antiquorum).

But Deleskiewicz’s most critical contribution, some would contend, was the 1994 introduction of the primary Duo Face, a Reverso displaying two timezones, controlled by a single development. Scarcely any clients were using the verso of the watch as intended, to ensure their watch, Deleskiewicz had observed. Present day materials had made the Reverso more robust than any time in recent memory. The opposite side of the watch was being squandered, in his opinion, thus the introduction of another development, Caliber 854, would make the Reverso pertinent again.

An early JLC Reverso Duoface Night and Day, made in the 1990s. (Photograph: kindness Antiquorum)

The Reverso Tribute Calendar

The Reverso Tribute Calendar, dispatched at SIHH 2016.

The Reverso Tribute Calendar is the furthest down the line watch to carry on this thought. At the point when you flip its reversible case over, what you find isn’t the assurance of a strong metal back, but rather a second dial under a sapphire precious stone. But it likewise introduces, without precedent for a Reverso Duo, a full schedule on the main dial. In pink gold and on a gator calfskin tie, it’s one of the more modern Reversos in the current assortment, and it’s a long ways from the Reverso dispatched in 1931 as a games watch.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reference 2726. (Photograph: Courtesy Zaf Basha)

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s first triple schedule with moonphase was, indeed, a rectangular watch, thought not a Reverso. It was the reference 2726, which dispatched in 1949 to commemorate the demise of the Jacques-David LeCoultre, only one year earlier. The watch was fueled by Caliber 486/AW, a tonneau-formed development which later discovered its way inside roundabout looks also, similar to the one picture below, which were delivered in little numbers all through the 1950s and 1960s.

A JLC triple date and moonphase made in the 1950s. (Photograph: Courtesy Antiquorum)

For quite a while, Jaeger-LeCoultre has remained devoted to the design of those mid-century models, with the date around the edge of the dial, the two windows next to each other for the afternoon and month, and the moonphase all alone or in a sub-seconds register. You can see this, for instance, on the watches in the current Master assortment – the most recent triple schedule there being this shooting star dial variant  –which are now fueled by Caliber 865, a round programmed movement. 

The format and self-winding framework are both absent from the Reverso Tribute Calendar however. Day month actually sit close to one another at the highest point of the front dial, but the date presently sits with the moonphase indicator at six o’clock, instead of appearing on the outskirts. The indicators are not difficult to peruse and the absence of an additional focal hand definitely tidies up the look a ton. The sub-seconds register isn’t missed in any way, there’s unquestionably enough going on without it.

The front side of the Reverso Tribute Calendar, with the triple schedule and moonphase displays.

The opposite side of the watch is similarly interesting. It shows a subsequent time region with an adapted day and night indicator on a profound dim anthracite dial. The converse of the watch looks significantly more easygoing than the front, and the dim dial offers a solid differentiation to the pink gold hands and markers. But both dials are amazing, particularly when you consider the sheer measure of information they give in an unmistakable, coordinated way. In many cases, you’d get one soaked dial, but instead JLC conveys two extremely exquisite dials. Such is the enchantment of the Reverso.

The invert side of the Reverso Tribute Calendar, with the second timezone and day/night indicator.

The contrasts between the two dials are practical, but likewise expressive. This stretches out to the more modest subtleties and finishes, giving the dials each their own remarkable feel. Note that the moon is hand-pounded on the front side, but not so on the other (nor are the moon and stars on the day/night indicator besides). Also, the front dial is silver with a fine iced finish, while the back dial includes a hobnial guilloché design. One pleasant touch tying the two together is that on both sides the real indicators are finished level, without the separate surrounding finishes. It’s a subtle thing, but it shows Jaeger-LeCoultre’s regard for detail. 

The moonphase on the front dial has a hand-pounded gold moon.

The day/night indicator on the converse has a compliment finish.

On The Wrist

I wore the Tribute Calendar during seven days in New York City went through catching up with the remainder of the HODINKEE group. So I as often as possible wound up flipping the Reverso over for the duration of the day to check what time it was back home in London, however as a rule, I spun the case around because I needed an alternate look and feel. This is one of the incredible joy of owning a watch that you can adjust to your state of mind and impulses. Furthermore, the sound the case makes as it adjusts back properly must be perhaps the best solid in watchmaking. Simply attempt it, I guarantee you’ll like it.

The concealed slide that controls the subsequent time region.

Setting the ideal opportunity for both dials is exceptionally simple  –neighborhood time is set through the crown, home time by a cunning fast set switch. Jaeger-LeCoultre has been playing around with the best situation for this capacity since the introduction of the main Reverso Duo. Beforehand it’s lived as a button situated against the case, but JLC has chosen to nix that plan for a switch slide which stows away on the top piece of the case. The outcome is a slimmer and more balanced profile.

However, it’s important that the Reverso Tribute Calendar is as yet a big watch. Such is the expense of fitting this combination of complications in a rectangular case. The watch is fueled by another hand-wound development, Caliber 853, which is a secluded development with in excess of 280 sections competing for elbow room. What’s more, that makes the caliber rather thick. We’re talking 5.15mm thick to be careful. Somewhat more than double that to get the size of the watch for its situation (10.9mm), and we’re abruptly a long way from the 7.3mm of a portion of the super thin Reversos to which numerous Jaeger fans have become acclimated. It’s not huge in a bad manner, it’s simply a question of calibrating expectations.

The Tribute Calendar is one of the bigger parts in the Reverso assortment, but the tallness to-width proportion remains the equivalent.

Officially the watch estimates 49.7 x 29.9mm, definitely putting it at the huge finish of the Reverso range. This is 4mm longer than the Reverso Classic Large, but still more modest than a considerable lot of the better quality pieces (tourbillons, and so forth) and it sticks to JLC’s belief that the stature to-width proportion of the Reverso case ought to around follow the brilliant proportion to maintain balance. Obviously, wearing a gold watch this enormous inevitably negatively affects the wrist following an entire day. But the subsequent you begin reaching for the fasten, you get a brief look at it on your wrist and acknowledge how extraordinary it is. Also, you leave it on notwithstanding the weight.

This is a long ways from the original games watch Reversos of the 1930s.


What I’ve come to appreciate while wearing the Reverso Tribute Calendar is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s work in producing a watch that truly feels like two separate watches at this value point. This is as yet one of the more costly models in the Reverso assortment however (until you get to the truly insane stuff ). Right now it’s just available in pink gold and retails for $25,200. That is more than double JLC’s new time-just Reverso Duo, which additionally offers a subsequent time region, but no schedule, and comes in a more modest stainless steel case. That watch costs $12,200. In stainless steel, the Master Calendar, which offers the missing complication in a format reminiscent of the 1960s model, is valued at $10,300, meaning you can really get two watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre that satisfy the brief of the Tribute Calendar and still have a bit of money left finished. But, truth be told, I think that kind of overlooks the main issue of this watch.

With the above for setting, it’s straightforward why this new model truly needs to convey a considerable amount to legitimize its worth. Which is by and large what it does. The Tribute Calendar is arguably a more adaptable watch than the other two combined, with the contrasting styles of the dials and the various kinds of finishing. It additionally carries on a custom, interesting to JLC, of introducing new calibers inside the always dependent Reverso. In case you’re interested in this watch, it’s not because you need both a triple schedule moonphase and a double time Reverso. This is because you need the entirety of this, stuffed into one precisely complex little bundle, with all the comforts that accompany it. 

Flipped up, you can see the finishing on the inside of the case carriage/lugs.

The Reverso is, and probably consistently will be, the model individuals think of when first when the name Jaeger-LeCoultre is referenced. But as an item it’s given the brand something other than an effectively distinguished shape. JLC has invested its finest watchmaking amounts of energy in Reversos, from super thin calibers to multi-hub tourbillons. Furthermore, some way or another, it generally works. This is no special case. This is another extraordinary section in the Reverso’s history.

For more information on the Reverso Tribute Calendar, if it’s not too much trouble, visit the authority website of Jaeger-LeCoultre .