Whereas it could have way more aesthetic frequent floor with a costume watch (no less than by right now‘s requirements), the reversible case of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso was initially designed particularly to guard its crystal whereas enjoying polo, and at its very core, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is, the truth is, a sports activities watch. Though becoming an extra show to the reverse aspect of the case fully defeats the unique function of its design, it additionally unlocks a completely new realm of each aesthetic and purposeful prospects, permitting customers to primarily have one watch with two very completely different personalities. Amongst a handful of latest Reverso releases unveiled this 12 months at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023 is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph, which is my private favourite among the many model’s novelties this 12 months. Out there in both stainless-steel or strong gold, one aspect gives a clear and basic time-only show within the spirit of the very first Reverso from 1931, whereas the opposite is a completely fashionable skeletonized chronograph with a retrograde minutes counter.
Moderately than debuting this fairly drool-worthy new mannequin solely in valuable metals, JLC gives the Reverso Tribute Chronograph in each stainless-steel (ref. Q389848J) and 18k pink gold (ref. Q389257J). The oblong circumstances themselves measure 29.9mm-wide by 49.4mm-tall with an total thickness of 11.14mm, and whereas these proportions would possibly sound fairly compact, rectangular watches all the time put on bigger than round ones of comparable dimensions, and the quadrilateral profile of the JLC Reverso Tribute Chronograph nonetheless gives loads of wrist presence. Pictured right here on Jake’s wrist (as he was the one who took the photographs), the watch hardly appears to be like undersized, and it in the end gives way more visible influence than a case diameter of 29.9mm would in any other case point out. Moreover, because the majority of the load resides inside its heart revolving case, the signature “Reverso” operation gives a very satisfying mechanical motion because it flips round and locks into the outer body of its case.
Though the underlying Reverso case idea has been used to create a remarkably broad assortment of various fashions over time, the case of the brand new LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph gives a much more conventional tackle the gathering’s rectangular profile, as its “Tribute” designation implies that it attracts its inspiration from the unique Reverso watches from the Thirties. With decorative grooves on the highest and backside of the case, the general aesthetic influence of the brand new Tribute Chronograph could be very true to the model’s unique imaginative and prescient for the watch, and whereas the time-only show additional leans into this basic look, the skeletonized chronograph aspect gives a stark distinction with an inherently fashionable total design. Simply as you’d anticipate, a pair of sapphire crystals are fitted to both aspect of the revolving heart case with a view to defend the 2 shows, whereas 30 meters of water resistance guards in opposition to each day incidental moisture contact (which was one thing that was missing on the unique Reverso watches from the Thirties).
On the right-hand aspect of the case (when viewing the time-only show) is a signed winding crown flanked by two rectangular pushers which can be used to function the chronograph capabilities of the motion. Nonetheless, when the chronograph aspect of the watch is dealing with upwards, the crown and pushers will seem on the left-hand aspect of the case, which permits them to be operated by the thumb of your proper hand (assuming that you’re sporting it in your left wrist). On conventional spherical watches, chronograph pushers on the 9 o’clock aspect can typically really feel a bit awkward to function, however when the case of the watch is rectangular, working them together with your thumb turns into a reasonably pure movement, attributable to the truth that they reside in a straight vertical line, fairly than being positioned alongside the curved perimeter of a round case. Moreover, the skinny rectangular profile of the pushers gives minimal visible presence, so there may be little to distract from the straightforward and basic traces of the watch throughout the events while you merely want to put on it as a time-only piece.
Largely staying true to the basic design of the unique Reverso from 1931, the time-only dial of the brand new Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph conceals the mannequin’s mechanical complexity with a easy pair of centrally-mounted dauphine arms and a chic set of faceted batons for the hour markers. On the stainless-steel mannequin, the dial seems in a cool blue-gray colour with a sunray end, whereas the 18k rose gold model is fitted with a gloss black dial that has matching rose gold arms and polished indexes. Except for the pair of pushers on the aspect of the case, the time-only aspect of the JLC Reverso Tribute Chronograph is about as easy and basic because it will get, with out a lot as even a operating seconds hand or date window to detract from its clear and minimalist show.
Whereas the time-only aspect of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph is basic and conventional, the chronograph aspect is completely up to date, with a skeletonized show and an arc-shaped retrograde minutes counter. On the higher half of the open-worked dial, you get a secondary show of the time with a outstanding centrally-mounted chronograph seconds hand. Two concentric rings make up the dial itself, with the outer one in the identical steel end because the arms and markers, whereas the inside one encompasses a gloss black 60-unit scale, which can be utilized for each the minutes of the time and for the seconds of the chronograph. On the decrease half of the dial is an arc-shaped retrograde 30-minute counter for the chronograph, and this configuration gives most legibility given the pretty restricted quantity of accessible area inside the rectangular case. Blued arms for the chronograph match the blued screws of the motion, and this creates a powerful sense of visible concord that connects the inner motion of the watch to the accents on its largely skeletonized show.
Powering the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph is the model’s Caliber 860 manual-wind motion. Working at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with an influence reserve of roughly 52 hours, the JLC Cal. 860 is a completely built-in chronograph operated by a column wheel and horizontal clutch, the latter of which was chosen over a vertical clutch to assist guarantee a thinner profile on the wrist. According to the model’s design philosophy that the form of a motion ought to match its case, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 860 gives a definite rectangular profile, and the choice to show the chronograph seconds on the higher half of the dial with the time, whereas the minutes obtain their very own retrograde show beneath, in the end helps create a most quantity of legibility whereas nonetheless preserving a balanced and largely symmetrical total structure. Lastly, simply as you’d anticipate from a model often called “the watchmaker’s watchmaker,” the pushers on the JLC Reverso Tribute Chronograph provide an extremely crisp and snappy operation, thanks largely to the precision column wheel mechanism that sits totally seen by way of the dial aspect of the watch on the 7 o’clock location.
Each the stainless-steel and 18k rose gold variations of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph include two completely different straps that function an interchangeable buckle system, which is a signature function of the model’s Reverso Tribute collection. Included with every mannequin is one bi-material strap comprised of calf leather-based and canvas, together with an extra strap crafted completely from calf leather-based that gives a barely extra dressy total look. The straps are designed by the celebrated Argentinian polo boot producer Casa Fagliano, which additional connects the Reverso Tribute Chronograph to its historic roots on the polo area, whereas additionally offering the watches with two completely different personalities to correspond with the 2 very completely different aesthetics of their shows.
Reverso watches with two faces are all the time costlier than people who solely have one, and on condition that chronographs are inherently extra complicated than time-only watches, the brand new Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph is of course one of many costlier choices at present obtainable inside the assortment. With an official retail worth of $21,400 USD in stainless-steel (ref. Q389848J) or $37,400 USD in 18k pink gold (ref. Q389257J), the brand new JLC Reverso Tribute Chronograph is objectively a fairly costly timepiece, though it’s onerous to not agree that these costs additionally appear fairly cheap in a world the place individuals are persistently paying greater than twice these values for traditional Rolex Daytona chronographs in the identical supplies. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is likely one of the true icons from the world of watchmaking, and whereas the brand new Reverso Tribute Chronograph represents a big departure from the unique spirit of the mannequin, it’s also primarily two completely different watches housed inside a single case, and it’s arguably some of the visually hanging renditions of the Reverso that the model has ever put ahead. For extra data on the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph, please go to the brand’s website.