This complex, beautiful and resounding timepiece is a marvel of what the hand of man can fashion. It was ninety years ago in 1931 that the house of Jaeger-LeCoultre launched a timepiece that would become a classic of 20th century design, the Reverso. Today the great Swiss house, 90 years after having created the Reverso and 150 years after creating its first minute repeater, the house has brought out its Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater in a limited edition of 10 pieces.
Meanwhile the Reverso was created to withstand the rigors of polo matches and its hallmarks are its sleek Art Deco lines and unique reversible case that make it one of the most immediately recognizable watches of all time. The house has mastered the chiming mechanism since the inception of the house back in 1833 and its profound expertise is confirmed by an archive of more than 200 chiming calibres.
Embodying technical advances such as Jaeger-LeCoultre’s patented trebuchet hammers, silent regulator and a new generation of gongs, the Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater is powered by a revised version of Calibre 944 – a movement entirely conceived, designed and produced within the Manufacture. The new timepiece is distinguished by dials on both the front and reverse sides, bringing a fresh visual expression to the timeless Reverso design, as well as to the minute repeater mechanism itself. While the dials both display the same time, they are very different in character – one exuberant, the other more muted.
This is a timepiece that embodies complex craftsmanship. The front dial has been entirely skeletonized in a spectacular fashion and so reveals the full complexity of the minute repeater mechanism. It is a miniature world in which the components appear to be floating in three dimensions. The slider that activates the chimes has been especially designed for the new Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater and it is as slim as possible while visually complementing the Art Deco lines of the case. The watch case is fashioned in pink gold, is outfitted with a manually-wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 944 and an alligator strap. It has a power reserve of 35 hours and is water resistant to 30 meters.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette