Jaeger-LeCoultre’s New Reversos Offer Decorative Finishes

JLC_Grande_Reverso_Ultra_Thin_SQ_150Jaeger-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.)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Blue Enamel

Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Blue Enamel

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.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Calendar

Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Calendar in rose gold

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.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin SQ

Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin SQ, front (above) and back (below)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin SQ back

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About Mark Bernardo

Mark Bernardo is the digital media editor of WatchTime magazine, responsible for developing and overseeing the editorial content on WatchTime.com as well as for WatchTime's tablet editions for the iPad, Nook, and Kindle. As WatchTime's managing editor, from 2006 through 2011, he has written about numerous watch companies from major brands like Omega, TAG Heuer and Piaget, to exclusive artisan lines such as Jean Dunand, De Bethune and DeWitt. Prior to joining WatchTime, he was the editor of Smoke, a lifestyle magazine for cigar enthusiasts, whose beats included cigars, watches, cars, wines and spirits, celebrities, men's fashion, and other subjects, and has written about luxury items for a variety of men's-interest publications, including Robb Report, Robb Report Motorcycling, Stratos, Worth, and Bloomberg Markets.

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