As most wristwatch history buffs are aware, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s legendary Reverso model began its life in 1931 not as a luxury accessory but as a literal sports watch, its swiveling reversible case designed specifically to be worn by mounted polo players during matches. Few such equestrian athletes would wear the Reverso on the field of play these days, but Jaeger-LeCoultre has not forgotten its leader model’s origins. The latest timepiece to pay tribute to the sport of polo is a new version of the Reverso Tribute Duoface, which sports a Cordovan leather strap handmade by Casa Fagliano, the Argentinian artisans behind some of the world’s finest equestrian boots.
The watch — which makes its world debut at the SIHH watch salon in January 2018 and is limited to 100 pieces, sold exclusively at Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques — carries on the tradition of the Reverso Tribute Duoface collection, introduced during the Swiss brand’s 185th anniversary year of 2016, with two independent dials each displaying a different time zone. On the front side of the hallmark, rectangular Reverso case — here in 18k rose gold, measuring 49.4 mm x 29.9 mm in diameter and a mere 12.6 mm thick — is a slate grey, satin-brushed sunray dial, with gold-plated dauphine hands and gold-plated, hand-applied hour indices. A small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock rounds out the classical design from the original Reverso’s Art Deco-era heyday.
On the opposite-side, silvered dial, which combines an opaline finish in the center with a Clous de Paris motif in the background, another set of gold-plated dauphine hands indicates the local time on another set of gold-plated hour markers, while the front dial’s small seconds display is replaced by a 24-hour GMT subdial for a second time zone indication, along with a day/night indicator. A discreet trigger system to adjust the second time zone is seamlessly integrated into the case at 6 o’clock so as to preserve its smooth, aesthetic lines. At the heart of this watch’s traveler-friendly functionality is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s manual-winding in-house Caliber 854/2, with a 21,600-vph frequency, a 42-hour power reserve, and 19 jewels among its 167 parts.
Horological attributes aside, the Reverso Tribute Duoface’s other major talking point is its Casa Fagliano strap, crafted specially for the watch by the family-owned artisanal leather purveyor founded in Argentina in 1892 and operating continuously since. Casa Fagliano uses the same soft and supple leather, and the same long-held traditional techniques, that it does for its world-famous polo boots. The two tone strap marries a light brown shade for the main strap and a darker brown for the foldover flap that attaches it to the Reverso case’s lugs, lined up with the telltale gadroons, adding a light brown contrast stitching to the latter dark area. Notably, according to Jaeger-LeCoultre, each strap in the 100-piece collection has a unique patina imparted by the hand-crafting process, thus making each one slightly distinct from the rest. The caseback is engraved with “Limited Edition – One of 100.” The price is expected to be announced at SIHH 2018.