The adage “cult classic” is often overused when referring to wristwatches. However, few could argue the relevance of such a cliché when the watch in question is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso. It is simple, it is beautiful, it is reassuringly understated and it is instantly recognisable, even across a crowded room. Created in 1931 as a solution to a sporting conundrum, the Reverso has been a nurtured part of the Jaeger-LeCoultre portfolio ever since – apart from just a few brief interruptions in its production. Part of its appeal is the option to personalise the piece so that in its flipped-over guise it displays artwork or an inscription unique to its wearer and over the years bespoke models have been made for Kings, sporting heroes, celebrities – even ordinary watch enthusiasts like you and I – the Reverso does not discriminate and it is a meritorious addition to any watch collection.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Grand Reverso Ultra-Thin 1948 – “Fabriqué En Suisse”
If you liked the Grande Reverso 1931 Rouge with its red lacquered dial, the deep blue of the Duoface Blue model and the simply delicious chocolate dial/pink gold case combination from earlier this year then I think that you will find much to admire in this latest historical edition.
Watch collectors will already be aware of the rarity of early models whose subtle evolutionary design changes and various dial signatures elevate the potential of a generous return on investment – this latest historical edition recalls the models of 1948, the year when the Reverso was already seventeen years old – by replicating the inscription of “Fabriqué En Suisse” on its dial.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Grand Reverso Ultra-Thin 1948 – An Authentic Edition
This edition offers the purity of a silver-toned dial as a backdrop for stunning blue hour markers and baton-style hands. The sharpness of the blue minute railtrack heightens the Art Deco form of the case and its trio of grooved horizontal lines (a synonymous feature except for the early 1980’s when they were reduced to just two) flirt with the lugs adding a perfect frame.
Jaeger-LeCoultre painstakingly match their modern tribute editions to the original where possible and this 1948 edition has the added charm of a small seconds on the lower dial with its own railtrack edging in miniature. Ingenious lug design ensures that all Reverso models rest comfortably on the wrist, but the Ultra-Thin models at just 7.3mm in height slip easily beneath the cuff – and really, the proportions are astounding considering the construction of the integrated swivelling mechanism.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Grand Reverso Ultra-Thin 1948 – Exclusivity As Standard
Inside the manually wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 822/2 measures just 2.94mm high and when fully wound provides a power reserve of 45 hours. Purists will take comfort from the fact that the calibre is created, assembled and hand-decorated by the Master Watchmakers at Jaeger-LeCoultre and those with a desire for exclusivity will be impressed by the fact that this model will only be available for purchase from Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques and is priced at $9,450.