A stunning testament to the fact there is no end to which a classic design can be re-imagined has arrived in the form of a new, haute horlogerie rendition of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s iconic Reverso timepiece.
Called the Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface, it is both a showcase of the Swiss brand’s distinct aesthetics and its engineering expertise—Jaeger-LeCoultre, after all, is regarded in the horologic universe as the watchmakers’ watchmaker. Marrying its innovative but classical-looking (and already existing) Duoface concept with a flying tourbillon—precisely what the brand has achieved in its new Reverso Tribute rendition— only proves this title further.
Creating this special piece, limited to only 50 examples, is not such a terrible way in which to celebrate Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 185th year either.
Of course, in Duoface form the Reverso is able to display two time zones on two separate dials placed opposite of one another—a clever use of the Reverso’s reversible case which, as Jaeger-LeCoultre points out, is an “inexhaustible source of inspiration” for the maison. The obverse side of the dial is rendered in the signature Reverso visual language, with a rich blue surface marked by a sunray pattern, dauphine hands, and stick indices that deviate ever so slightly from the Reverso norm (they’re a bit pointier). The other side, rendered in silver, is more intricate, its landscape relying on Cotes de Geneve engraving and the visible parts of the watch’s mechanism itself as décor. It also has a small seconds and day/night indicators. On both sides of the case, the Art Deco lines for which the Reverso has partly built its fame (since the collection’s debut in 1931, to be specific) remain quite distinct.
Aesthetically, this is no small feat. But consider also that on both dials the hands are spun by a single calibre, with each set able to display a different time zone. Now add to this the fact that punched through both dials is the aperture for the flying tourbillion, whose moving carriage and sprung balance Jaeger-LeCoultre managed to carry over by means of a ball-bearing system. To accomplish all this, the various components have to be rearranged so these can fit within a platinum case no more than 9.15 millimeters deep. Plus, a new manually wound in-house movement, coded the 847, powers this anniversary piece. So, to say that the Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface raises the collection’s horologic dexterity a couple or so notches up is to understate things—it’s like dismissing the Bugatti Chiron as just a car, the Mona Lisa as a doodle.
Fact is, Jaeger-LeCoultre bills the watch as “following in the footsteps of [its] iconic models, such as the Hybris Mechanica 11 and Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon.” Both are the brand’s flagship technologies, both innovate such haute horlogerie hallmarks like the minute repeater and the tourbillon, both place Jaeger-LeCoultre at the cutting edge of watch making.
By all indications, the Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface does earn its spot alongside these greats.