About Time: Breaking Down An Icon – The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso has been around since 1931, and as the brand prepares to mark its 90th anniversary in the new year, we thought it was high time we took a closer look at this true icon of watchmaking. Few designs are as immediately recognisable as the Reverso; there have been many iterations over the years but the basic proportions and Art Deco details stand unchanged.
It hails from an era when experimentation with case designs was rife. Sliding cases to protect from water getting in and other, flimsier types of rotating cases were produced in the 1920s and 1930s as watch brands really got to grips with the future of timekeeping being on your wrist, rather than in your pocket. On a simple mechanical level, the Reverso’s case design survived thanks to its simple, robust mechanism. But far from its origins as a protective measure against the hurly-burly of a polo match in colonial India, the Reverso holds a special place in watch fans’ hearts for its artistic potential – the ability to hold a personalised engraving. Or, as you’ll see in the video above, if you forgo the protective steel back in favour of a second dial, it can display two different time zones, and at the same time give your watch two distinct personalities in one. In our short film, we are lucky enough to have on hand a very special customised Reverso, that was once owned by General Douglas MacArthur, who had his Reverso emblazoned with his initials in a modern logotype, as well as modern versions of the Reverso Classic and Reverso Duoface.
For the rest of our About Time videos, make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel – we have already profiled the IWC Big Pilot and Vacheron Constantin Overseas, as well as picking our ideal one-brand watch wardrobe from Jaeger-LeCoultre.