Paris, France — It is a journey through nine decades of art and craftsmanship. The house of Jaeger-LeCoultre is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its celebrated, sophisticated timepiece, the Reverso in the house’s typically elegant style. An exhibition, entitled Reverso: Timeless Since 1931, revolving around the timepiece, its history and that of the manufacture is currently underway in Paris on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Extending over four floors just down the street from the U.S. Embassy, the show explores the history of the watch, its complications and the story of the house of Jaeger-LeCoultre, the house that created 1,266 movements and has filed 436 patents.
The show is a journey through myriad models of the watch from the originals to the high jewelry watches and the recent releases. From the beginning Reversos were brought out in versions for both ladies and men. There are also special editions on show like the Reverso made specifically for General Douglas MacArthur and the American pilot Amelia Earhart, commemorating her non-stop fight from Mexico to New York.
The show explores the creative and cultural universe of one of the world’s most recognizable and celebrated wristwatches. An immersive and sensory experience, it begins with an art installation specially commissioned by Jaeger-LeCoultre from the American artist Michael Murphy. Visitors can admire an amazing selection of Reverso models that have left their mark on history and that continue to keep alive the legend of this piece that has become a benchmark in design. A highlight of this exhibition is Café 1931, an elegant setting designed in homage to Art Deco, which offers a special menu of sweets and cakes created by the Parisian pastry chef Nina Métayer. And served with period tableware.
The Reverso was designed by the French engineer René-Alfred Chauvot for the Swiss house. The story is one of legend, adventure, sport and a challenge. A challenge of designing a watch that could withstand the polo matches of the British Army officers in India. And so its dial is smoothly concealed by reversing the case, revealing a back that fully protects the face from possible mallet strokes. That’s why the centerpiece of the opening exhibition space is a polo saddle, mallet or stick, helmut, boots and ball.
“We invite you to join us on a journey – one that began in 1931. Born at the height of the Art Deco era, the Reverso watch has become a cult object over time, a symbol of style and elegance. May this be an unforgettable journey of discovery for you,” said Catherine Rénier, the CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre when she opened the show last October 21st.
The show is slated to travel to New York some time next year. Stay tuned for details. Entry to the exhibit, which runs until December 24th, is free to the public. Reservations are recommended and can be made on http://www.exposition-reverso.com. Audio guides are available.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
15 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Paris, France 75008