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REVERSO: TIMELESS STORIES SINCE 1931 – The Story Of Innovation


As the launch of the Reverso Soixantième in 1991 coincided with the rebirth of mechanical watchmaking that followed the quartz crisis, the Reverso embraced its potential to be much more than a time-only watch. It became the vehicle through which the Manufacture would redevelop its expertise in high complications, despite the added challenge that rectangular movements dictate an entirely different architecture from that of the round movements that had traditionally been used for complications.

Calibre 824, developed especially for the Reverso Soixantième, incorporated a date indicated by a central hand and a power reserve indicator. This was followed in 1993 by the Reverso Tourbillon – the Manufacture’s first wristwatch tourbillon. Then came the Reverso Répétition Minutes in 1994, the first time Jaeger-LeCoultre had miniaturised a minute repeater for a wristwatch, Calibre 943 was the world’s first rectangular minute repeater movement. In 1996, La Grande Maison introduced the Reverso Chronographe Rétrograde, with an intricate display on the reverse side that solved the problem of how to arrange the chronograph counters within a rectangular frame. This was followed two years later by the Reverso Géographique and, coinciding with the Millennium, the Reverso Quantième Perpétuel. Naturally, these pink-gold limited-edition pieces are highly sought-after by collectors.

But it is more than simply a watch. The Reverso has rightly become recognised as an icon of 20th-century design, in the true meaning of the term.

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