Jaeger-LeCoultre‘s headline watch at this year’s SIHH was its ultra-complicated Duomètre à Sphérotourbillon, but the Swiss brand did not by any means ignore its iconic Reverso model, releasing several new additions to the collection, including a “Triptych” of new models, all showcasing traditional artisan handcrafting, from enameling to skeletonization to guilloché.
The Grande Reverso Blue Enamel has a dial made of white gold and finished by hand in traditional grand feu enamel. The dial undergoes approximately 20 firings in an oven at 800°C in order to achieve its eye-catching electric blue color. The final layer is a translucent enamel that imparts a shiny brilliance to the dial that is intended to stand the test of time. A hand-guilloché motif created prior to the enameling reveals a raised pattern, reminiscent of clouds floating across a blue sky, spreading out from the dial’s center. The hours are marked by white gold numerals that provide a striking contrast with the azure background. Baton-shaped hands indicate the hours and minutes. The watch contains a manually-wound movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 822, which has been developed, assembled and decorated in-house. It oscillates at 21,600 vph and has a 45-hour power reserve. The polished, white-gold case features a satin-brushed outer carrier adorned with discreet finishing. The Grande Reverso Blue Enamel is issued in a 50-piece limited edition, priced at $43,200; owners have the option of a personalized engraving on the second face. (Click on photos for larger images.)
The Grande Reverso Calendar represents a new complication in this collection, powered by Jaeger’s manufacture Caliber 843. The watch is available in a stainless-steel or rose-gold case. The silver-tone dial has a vertical satin-brushed exterior framing an interior enhanced by a hand-guilloché motif reminiscent of those used on vintage pocketwatches. The watch indicates the day and month on respective disks visible through two apertures at 12 o’clock, and the date on a subdial at 6 o’clock that also displays the moon phases. The manually-wound movement, visible through the exhibition caseback, has 21 jewels and a 45-hour power reserve and boasts elegant finishes including a vertical côtes de Genève pattern. The stainless steel version costs $11,800; the rose gold, $20,900.
Blue enamel is also used effectively in the Art Deco-inspired Grande Reverso Ultra Thin SQ, an openworked version of the existing Grande Reverso Ultra Thin. The translucent enamel coating on the periphery of the dial — which is in white gold — echoes the blued hands and frames the watch’s face, dominated by Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 849RSQ, an openworked, manual-wind movement whose detailed skeletonization and decoration has been executed entirely by hand. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s artisans have painstakingly removed material using the blade of a small saw in order to reduce the watch’s inner mechanisms to their bare essentials. All the sides have been individually hand-drawn, chamfered, polished, chased and engraved. Blued screws are dotted across the movement’s lacework, as are 19 jewels. The movement, comprised of 128 total parts, is exceptionally thin — only 1.85 mm thick — and beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph. Its extreme slenderness requires great precision in the machining process, and the extra step of openworking adds to the level of difficulty for Jaeger-LeCoultre’s artisans. The Grande Reverso Ultra Thin SQ (for “squelette,” French for “skeleton”) is a limited edition of 50 pieces, priced at $57,000 each.
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