In the first winter of their uterus, a watch collector and businessman from Switzerland named César de Trey was traveling through India and stopped to take at a polo match played with British officers. During the match, one of the officers broke his watch. As they discussed it, the officer suggested perhaps de Trey could make a wristwatch that would hold up to the rigors of this match. Upon his return, de Trey talked about the match and the difficulties players had with their watches with Jacques-David LeCoultre, who possessed the eponymous watch manufacturer. Within this conversation, it was determined LeCoultre would have the ability to produce the movement for this timepiece and LeCoultre made his friends at Jaeger S.A. to design a reversible case. From there, the design team set out to make a timepiece that has been formal enough for its officers to wear with their dress uniforms, yet strong enough to withstand a game of polo. The timepiece has been a tasteful dress watch which could slide and turn to guard the crystal and dial out of any impact by displaying the good case back. They invented that the situation could be personalized for every buyer.
For over 180 years, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been producing what collectors have deemed some of their very outstanding luxury timepieces in Switzerland. One of their most remarkable watches is that their flagship Reverso, which we’ll discuss in this article because we look at its own history, its models and making it such an intriguing timepiece to have. To learn all about the history of the famous brand, click here to read our all-inclusive policy on Jaeger-LeCoultre. India, 1931. British soldiers begin to adopt the sport of polo as a gentleman’s sport. The crystal of the watches would often shatter through the rush of the match.
Jacques-David LeCoultre undertook development of the movement, also for its case design de Trey enjoyed the help of a French designer called René-Alfred Chauvot. His solution was simple: A wristwatch “that can slide on its foundation and turn over on itself,” in order to protect the front part of the situation. Chauvot filed a patent application for his creation on March 4, 1931, at exactly 1:15 PM, in the National Industrial Property Institute (INPI) in Paris, and on July 25, 1931, de Trey purchased all rights to Chauvot’s creation — and the sports watch (read: watch made for a particular sport) was born. But, Jaeger failed to create rectangular instances at the time — and, even though it had, LeCoultre didn’t yet manufacture a movement which would fit. Their new enterprise would produce the revolutionary layout the old manner, using components made by specialists. The cases were made by A.E. Wenger as well as the moves by Tavannes. In 1933, LeCoultre would introduce in-house movements intended particularly for the Reverso. Caliber 410 (using small seconds at 6:00) grade 411 (center minutes) surfaced along with caliber 404 (a smaller motion intended for women’ Reversos).
1982 — JLC relaunches the Reverso with a distinctive field of quartz watches regardless of Corvo’s plea. It is a success, and also the Reverso II is born. 1985 — Following significant earnings, JLC enlists a group that re-invents the Reverso to provide water resistance even while the timepiece slides and flips. It also provided the ability to pivot at any stage throughout the slide instead of needing to be pushed into the front end of its cradle. 1991 — The magnificent Reverso 60ème is started, which becomes the first limited edition Reverso complication. 1993 — A tourbillon edition is launched. 1994 — JLC generates a second repeater because of the Reverso line. They also begin production on the DuoFace Reverso, which permits the owner to buy a Reverso using two dials that run off the identical movement. Rather than the tough protective instance, the back of the watch is the next dial, therefore a simple flip benefits in a second timepiece. This becomes perfect for people who need two distinctive timepieces to the price of one. We highly recommend this for people with smaller budgets, and we propose considering a milder dial for daytime wear in the office using a dark dial for evening wear in the symphony or even a gala.
We’re pretty utilized to the Reverso now and almost take its presence in Watchworld for granted. But imagine back in 1931 if René-Alfred Chauvot, a designer, registered the brevet d’invention (the patent) to get a watch which swivels and turns over in its own instance… Most watches were around and were still evolving from the idea of a ‘trench watch’ using its military heritage and slightly ungentlemanly undertones. Roamer were producing several deco-style oblong cased watches, Cartier began making the flippable Tank Basculante in 1933, But nobody needed a watch that caught the basis of Deco so purely or one that so simply turned over to show its caseback. Sounding like a dodgy sort of pirate, a gadroon is actually a type of fluted carving. On the Reverso, the gadroons are the 3 fluted lines across the top and underside of the watch case. And you’ll find them on every Reverso. You will also find them as a design theme in JLC’s new Bond Street boutique. They are part of the whole Art Deco theme that the Reverso typifies. Every time someone talks or writes about the Reverso, they clarify that the reason it’s flippable is to guard the crystal from carelessly deployed polo mallets. Hmm. Tim explained that, having spoken to JLC’s historian, there’s not a great deal of evidence to prove that the Reverso was a committed polo watch. Would you be assessing the time when you’re sat on a nervy pony with four major guys galloping towards you swinging long-handled mallets? Why wear a watch at polo in any respect? But ads from the Reverso’s ancient days certainly show it being marketed as a sports watch, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be used that way. Regardless of the elegance, most Reversos aren’t exactly delicate.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s CEO at the time, Günter Blümlein, and Deleskiewicz, decided to dust off the Reverso’s design and re-energize the Maison’s icon by placing high-end complications inside, often times designed particularly for the iconic form. A pink gold Reverso with power-reserve and also a central date hand has been selected to observe the anniversary: the Reverso 60ème debuted in 1991. (We have to mention, incidentally, that there is a perpetual calendar view in a Reverso case that could possibly be the first Reverso to have the title “Jaeger-LeCoultre” on the dial; it was offered for auction in 2015 but the lot was withdrawn before the auction. JLC did confirm the credibility of the watch at the time and that it was a unique piece, although not that it was from 1937). But Deleskiewicz’s most significant contribution, some would argue, was the 1994 introduction of the first Duo Face, a Reverso displaying two timezones, powered with a single motion. Few clients were using the verso of this watch as planned, to guard their watch, Deleskiewicz had observed. Modern materials had made the Reverso stronger than ever. The other side of the watch has been wasted, in his view, and so the introduction of a new motion, Caliber 854, could make the Reverso related again. (Photo: courtesy Antiquorum)