Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso: An Iconic Status Symbol
The Reverso is the most famous and successful wristwatch from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre. Its reversible rectangular case is truly iconic. Top models come with a perpetual calendar, sidereal time, and a tourbillon.
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An All-Time Classic With a Reversible Case
When you hear the name Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Reverso is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Developed in the 1930s for polo players, this rectangular timepiece is the Swiss company's most famous model. At the time, polo players were complaining that their watch crystals would often break during matches, so Jaeger-LeCoultre developed a timepiece with a reversible case to protect the delicate dial. Over time, the Reverso has evolved into a status symbol and icon that has graced the wrists of royalty and celebrities alike.
This once simple timepiece is now available with complications like tourbillons and minute repeaters. The collection's most impressive model is the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque, the world's first wristwatch with four faces. All told, this white gold watch has 11 complications and costs nearly 1.9 million USD.
The collection is divided into three series: Classique, One, and Tribute. Of the three, the One line has the widest selection of women's watches. Jaeger-LeCoultre crafts most Reversos out of stainless steel, rose gold, or white gold; however, there are some platinum editions, such as the Reverso Tribute Duoface Tourbillon.
In 2021, Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrated the Reverso's 90th anniversary with two limited editions: the Reverso Tribute Duoface Fagliano and the rose gold Reverso Tribute Nonantième. The latter features a moon phase display against a beautiful night sky on its reverse side.
Prices at a Glance: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, size|
|Gyrotourbillon 2, Q2336420||226,000 USD||Platinum, 55 x 36 mm|
|Tribute Calendar, Q3912420||26,500 USD||Rose gold, 50 x 30 mm|
|Tribute Duoface, Q3902420||17,000 USD||Rose gold, 43 x 25.5 mm|
|Duoface, 270.1.54||9,000 USD||Yellow gold, 42 x 26 mm|
|Classique Classic Medium Duetto, Q2588422||8,300 USD||Stainless steel, 40 x 24 mm|
|Classique, Q3828420||7,900 USD||Stainless steel, 46 x 27 mm|
|Grande Date, 240.8.15||7,900 USD||Stainless steel, 29 x 29 mm|
|Grande Taille, 270.8.62||5,400 USD||Stainless steel, 42 x 26 mm|
|Squadra Hometime, 230.8.77||5,700 USD||Stainless steel, 35 x 35 mm|
|Classique Medium Thin, Q2548440||5,600 USD||Stainless steel, 40 x 24 mm|
|Gran Sport, 290.8.60||4,700 USD||Stainless steel, 43 x 27 mm|
|Classique, 250.8.86||4,000 USD||Stainless steel, 38 x 23 mm|
|Lady, 140.025.8||2,500 USD||Stainless steel, 26.5 x 19.5 mm|
How much does a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso cost?
The most affordable Reverso models combine stainless steel cases and quartz calibers. One example is the Reverso Lady ref. 140.025.8, which demands just over 2,300 USD in good condition. The next level up includes watches with manual calibers, such as the Reverso Classic ref. 250.8.86. This timepiece is also stainless steel and sells for roughly 4,000 USD.
The introduction of precious metals and complications to the mix results in a significant price jump. For example, the rose gold Reverso Tribute calendar ref. Q3912420 comes with a moon phase display and costs around 39,500 USD. At the very high end of the price range, you'll find models with a tourbillon or minute repeater. The platinum Gyrotourbillon 2 ref. Q2336420 had a limited production run of 75 pieces and requires an investment of more than 220,000 USD.
Reasons to Buy a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
- Vintage sports watches originally developed for polo players
- Innovative reversible rectangular case
- High-quality in-house calibers
- Top models: gold or platinum timepieces with a gyrotourbillon
- True to the original: Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931
Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931
The Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931, which Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced in 2011 in celebration of the timepiece's 80th anniversary, comes closest to the original model from the 1930s. Though initially designed for polo players, this timepiece has become the perfect dress watch. Jaeger-LeCoultre was able to keep the case to an astoundingly thin 7 mm high thanks to the manual, in-house caliber 822. The dial is clean and simple with narrow indices and no second hand. The 2011 model is available in stainless steel or 18-karat rose gold. Three horizontal grooves at the top and bottom of the reversible case give this timepiece an elegant look and emphasize the timepiece's Art Deco influences. The Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 is also available with the caliber 822/2 and a small seconds at 6 o'clock.
You can purchase a mint-condition stainless steel edition like the ref. Q2788570 without a small seconds for as little as 7,000 USD. Models in white or rose gold with a small seconds demand roughly 16,500 USD.
The 2021 90th Anniversary Edition
The Reverso celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2021. In honor of the occasion, Jaeger-Lecoultre launched two limited editions.
The first is the rose gold Reverso Tribute Duoface Fagliano, which measures 47 x 28.3 mm. This timepiece displays two time zones: one on the front and one on the back. While the front dial is burgundy and has a small seconds, the back dial features "Clous de Paris" guilloché engraving and a day/night indicator.
Its power comes from the in-house caliber 854A/2 with a 42-hour power reserve. Another interesting detail is the red strap made of leather and linen. Argentine polo bootmaker Casa Fagliano produces the straps exclusively for this timepiece. Jaeger-LeCoultre will only make 190 copies of the Reverso Tribute Duoface Fagliano and lists it for 24,300 USD. At the time of writing, there were no listings for this watch on Chrono24, so be sure to check back in regularly if you want to get your hands on this stunning timepiece.
Reverso Tribute Nonantième
Like the Duoface Fagliano, Jaeger-LeCoultre crafts the Reverso Tribute Nonantième out of rose gold. At 49.4 x 29.9 mm, the Nonantième is several millimeters larger than its fellow limited edition. The in-house caliber 826 powers this timepiece and provides it with rose gold hour and minute hands, a small seconds, a moon phase, and a large date window on its front-facing silver dial. The reverse side is a bit more adventurous and boasts a digital time display with a jumping hour and a minute disc. A beautiful night sky with golden stars sits above the minute display. A golden sun and moon also make their rounds in the dial's center, serving as a day/night indicator. This remarkable timekeeper is limited to a run of 190 pieces and has a list price of 40,500 USD. Again, if you are considering buying this model, it's worth regularly checking in on Chrono24.
Reverso Grande Complication à Triptyque
"Triptyque" is French for "triptych," a painting consisting of three panels. Fittingly, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Complication à Triptyque has three main functions: It displays the standard time, the sidereal time, and has a perpetual calendar. Sidereal time is based on the Earth's rate of rotation in relation to the fixed position of stars and deviates from standard time by about four minutes per day.
The front side dial of this white gold Reverso shows the standard time and features a 24-hour display, tourbillon, and power reserve indicator for the calendar. A perpetual calendar, sky chart, zodiac calendar, sidereal time display, moon phase, and the sunrise and sunset times all appear on the reverse side. If this is the watch you've been dreaming of, you should be prepared to spend around 350,000 USD.
Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque
At Watches & Wonders 2021, Jaeger-LeCoultre announced a more complicated Reverso than the Grande Complication à Triptyque with its three faces. The Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque has four faces and a total of 11 complications.
The first face has a time display, tourbillon, and perpetual calendar with a large date; displays for the month, day, and leap year; and day/night indicator. The second face comes with a digital hour display and running minutes. Here, you'll also find the minute repeated with a patented mechanism to eliminate the pauses between each set of chimes (hours, quarter hours, minutes).
The third face is on the inner base plate and home to month and year displays, as well as a moon phase display for the Northern Hemisphere that includes the Moon's altitude and distance from Earth. Thanks to these displays, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque can even depict astrological phenomena like supermoons or solar eclipses. Of course, there is also a moon phase display for the Southern Hemisphere, which you can find on the watch's fourth face (i.e., the case back).
Since only ten copies of this masterpiece exist, getting your hands on this limited-edition Reverso requires three things: a lot of time, plenty of patience, and deep pockets. Officially, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque costs around 1.9 million USD.
Reverso Models With a Gyrotourbillon
Conventional tourbillons have a balance wheel, balance spring, and escapement placed together in a cage that completes one rotation per minute. Abraham-Louis Breguet invented this mechanism in the early 19th century with the goal of compensating for pocket watch deviations caused by gravity. These deviations occurred because, at the time, most men carried their pocket watches upright in their vest pockets. Jaeger-LeCoultre improved upon the tourbillon with their gyrotourbillon. The gyrotourbillon's cage is enclosed in a second cage, creating a three-dimensional rotating complication. The complex mechanism increases precision by compensating for positional deviations. Jaeger-LeCoultre has already released three generations of this unique mechanism.
Reverso models with a gyrotourbillon are excellent examples of haute horlogerie. The cases are exclusively available in either gold or platinum. A new rose gold Reverso with a gyrotourbillon costs upwards of 220,000 USD; a platinum Reverso with a standard tourbillon is in the same price range.
Reverso Duoface: Two Displays, Two Time Zones
Introduced in 1994, the Reverso Duoface is an excellent watch for business people and frequent flyers alike. The front dial displays the local time, and the reverse dial shows another time zone. The case is available in stainless steel or yellow, white, or rose gold, and Arabic numerals serve as hour markers.
Thanks to its baton indices, the Tribute Duoface resembles the first models from the 1930s. Manual in-house movements like the caliber 854 power these timepieces. A never-worn stainless steel Duoface ref. 270.8.54 will set you back roughly 7,000 USD. Gold editions like the ref. 270.1.54 change hands for about 9,100 USD.