02/07/2023
 5 minutes

The Best Special Editions of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso  

By Barbara Korp
Bild-1-Eclipse

There are so many classics in the watch world, but no timepiece combines great design, innovation, and craftsmanship like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. This model’s angular reversible case makes it an unmistakable industry icon and the brand’s most popular model. When the Reverso first debuted in the early 1930s, it was intended as a watch for polo players, who otherwise risked breaking their watch glass on the field. Flipping the case helped protect the dial side from direct impact. The watch soon took off with the general public as well, thanks to its versatile Art Deco aesthetic that made it suitable as a sports or dress watch. Fans also appreciated the potential to personalize the watch; not only did the case back serve to protect the dial side in action, it also offered the ideal place to add engravings. 

In 1994, Jaeger-LeCoultre took things one step further with the Reverso Duoface. This variant displays the time in a different timezone on each side of its case – ideal for frequent travelers! The manufacturer went on to release the Reverso Duetto with women in mind. Here you have a streamlined face for daytime and a diamond-studded side for elegant evenings out. Of course, the innovation didn’t stop there. Many special editions of this icon have followed, each showcasing the model and brand in a new light, and underscoring Jaeger-LeCoultre’s reputation as a skilled watchmaker. So, let’s jump in and discover the most visually and technically stunning special editions of this unique timepiece. Buckle up, you’re in for an exciting journey through the world of haute horlogerie

 

Reverso Tribute Septantième 

The Reverso is undoubtedly a classic, and the anniversaries of icons deserve celebration. Thus, to celebrate the model’s 70th birthday, the brand unveiled the special edition Reverso Tribute Septantième. The watch was released in two limited versions of 500 examples each, one in rose gold, the other in platinum. This special edition also marked many firsts for the model: It was the first Reverso with an 8-day power reserve, the first with a white gold movement, and the first to feature a grande date complication. Plus, the platinum version was the first Reverso to come in a 29 x 46.5 mm case. 

In addition to the mechanical specs, the aesthetics of this edition are on point. The Reverso Tribute Septantième offers something completely new to the series, and yet it’s still recognizable as a traditional Reverso. A power reserve indicator, day/night display, large date, and small seconds have all been added to the dial without majorly altering the overall look. The case back, on the other hand, does offer something different: a view of the pure gold caliber at work inside. Here, Jaeger-LeCoultre has proven they know how to keep things innovative and fresh, while still honoring their history. 

Reverso Tribute Septantième 
The Reverso Tribute Septantième

 

Reverso Tribute Nonantième 

The model’s 90th anniversary didn’t pass without another special edition, this time limited to just 190 examples. The Reverso Tribute Nonantième is a rose gold timepiece that can be captured in two words: grail watch. Why you ask? Well, we need to take a closer look. First off, you can clearly see the Reverso DNA on the dial side despite the addition of all the complications we love, i.e., small seconds, grande date, and moon phase display. The silver-toned dial features a classic sunburst finish, which gives the watch an almost sacred look in combination with the applied golden indices. 

The real surprise is waiting on the case back, however, which differs vastly from standard models. In addition to a day/night display, you’ll also find a digital semi-jumping hour and minute. Wait, is that the dial or case back? You’ll have to decide for yourself! Whatever the case may be, there is no denying that it is stunning. The applied celestial bodies on the rotating disk and Jaeger-LeCoultre logo in among the sun ray pattern will literally stop watch fans in their tracks. This watch offers a striking variety of classic complications in a completely new way. Add to that the model’s icon status, and you have an easy winner. Here, Jaeger-LeCoultre shows us that you really can achieve self-actualization when you leave old habits behind. 

 

Reverso Tribute Nonantième 
The Reverso Tribute Nonantième

 

Reverso à Eclipse 

When the Reverso moved beyond the polo field, its case back got a new lease on life. It was like a blank canvas asking to be decorated. Of course, it was easy enough to simply add a personalized engraving at the owner’s request, but it also proved the perfect place to add works of enameling genius. This way, you could carry a hidden gem around with you wherever you went. The Reverso à Eclipse played on this idea in a new way: While the case back remains empty, the masterpiece is hidden on the dial side. Only the wearer themselves can decide when and how much to showcase this feat of watchmaking art.  

How does it work? Well, this Reverso is equipped with small “shutters” that are operated via a small wheel on the side of the case. The time is always displayed, regardless of whether the shutters are open or closed, but the wearer can determine how much of the painting hidden beneath the dial is revealed. This is particularly convenient if your watch features a painting that you might not always want on display, i.e., a nude. This feature enables you to easily transform a classic Reverso into an extravagant one-off timepiece with just the spin of a wheel. The Reverso à Eclipse is the ideal choice for anyone who loves classical art, classic timepieces, and appreciates a good technical gimmick. 

Reverso À Eclipse  
The Reverso à Eclipse

  

Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 

Watch lovers often exaggerate by claiming this or that watch is the greatest of all time, but I truly mean it here. This timepiece, limited to just 75 copies, is pure perfection and a prime example of haute horlogerie at its finest. The gyrotourbillon is an improvement on the traditional tourbillon, a complication that aims to counteract the negative impacts of gravity on a watch’s accuracy. Typically, the balance rim, balance spring, and escapement are all housed in a cage that rotates 360° every minute. In a gyrotourbillon, however, this cage is placed within an outer cage, ensuring three-dimensional rotation and even better accuracy. Plus, the movement is the first to utilize a cylindrical balance spring. 

Again, the Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to looks. The finishing here is second to none: Geneva stripes and Clous de Paris are the finishing patterns of choice. Of course, you’ll also find blued screws and chamfered bridges. Most importantly, the timepiece’s 371 total components are perfectly balanced. I don’t think it’s possible to showcase watchmaking in a more aesthetically-pleasing manner. Although the watch boasts six different anti-shock features, it’s still not a model that’s meant for everyday wear. No, this is a watch that is made to take a long and lingering stare at. 

 

Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2  
Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2

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About the Author

Barbara Korp

The moment I learned that watches were a lot more than just simple jewelry, I was hooked; I become enamored with the elegance of timekeeping. But there was one small hitch: most models were just too big for me to wear! That didn't discourage me, however. In fact, I developed quite a niche interest.

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