The history of the Reverso Jaeger LeCoultre watch is that of a legendary manufacturer. An iconic and daring design born from the practice of polo – indeed, a watch capable of emerging unscathed from polo matches was needed… and whose caliber and winding were done at high speed.
The first sports watch, La Reverso ?
How did the idea for such an ingenious design come about? From experience… From Caesar de Trey’s experience. In 1930, the Lausanne businessman and distributor of watches for Jaeger and LeCoultre (they only merged in 1937 to become Jaeger LeCoultre) – the businessman César de Trey – was in India to develop the market for watches from Swiss manufacturers.
India was a British colony at the time, and polo was played extensively. Caesar de Trey rubs shoulders with the players of the British colonial army, and one of them has a challenge for him. The British army officer regretted the breakage of his timepiece – he showed him his watch and challenged him to develop a model robust enough to survive these matches.
César de Trey takes his close friend, Jacques-David LeCoultre, into his confidence. And Jacques-David LeCoultre took up the challenge. He is responsible for the design of the watch movement and the caliber signed by the manufacture. And entrusted the engineer Alfred Chauvot with the housing. The idea that would revolutionize the world of watchmaking was born – instead of materials that don’t break, they designed a watch with a case that flips over at will, thereby protecting the dial from concussion.
In 1931, they presented it to the players and named it Reverso, from the Latin meaning ‘I turn around’. In this precious receptacle, the timepiece actually conceals a true heritage made up of passion and watchmaking prowess. The company created in 1833, founded in 1866, details there a case equipped with lugs, which slides in the grooves of a support to turn over on itself at 180°. In a most elegant gesture, the fragile face of the watch gives way to a more solid back cast in steel. A feat made all the more aesthetic by the fact that the manufacture has managed to slip in a phenomenal caliber.
The Reverso, A Support of Imagination In Steel
In inventing this watch, a small group of imaginative and innovative men did more than create a reversible case: they invented an emotion.
From the 1930s onwards, its popularity was such that the company allowed its customers to choose, among dozens of models, the dial that would adorn their Reverso. This is because the watch has insisted on this personalization since its inception. Whether engraved with a coat of arms or initials, the back of the dial is available in black, silver or white, while the modernism and rarity of the icon is revealed in colors such as blue, red and brown.
The Reverso only responds to creativity! Magnified on occasion by the Métiers d’Art, paying homage to Van Gogh or worked by the geniuses of high jewelry … The Reverso by Jaeger LeCoultre has known the end of a world, the competition of Japanese watches, the war, the advent of quartz, the fashion of round watches … But the icon remains as desired as ever!
It is in the cinema that the beauty and refinement of the icon takes shape in iconic films. Batman Forever (1995), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) ou encore Spectre (2015)… The Reverso is, on the wrist, the representation of an elegance that does not fear combat!
Telling You More About… La Montre Reverso De Jaeger LeCoultre
The Reverso by Jaeger-LeCoultre in Métiers d’Art mode
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The Reverso Captured In The Jaeger-LeCoultre Yearbook, For Its 85th Anniversary
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Reverso One High Jewerly From Jaeger-LeCoultre
La Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 London Special Edition
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The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Watch pays tribute to René Magritte
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The Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1948 by Jaeger-LeCoultre
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The Reverso by Jaeger LeCoultre