Though the success of the Gerald Genta designs are perhaps an inadequate benchmark, it does also lead us to consider the Reverso under a certain angle. After all, it has a rich history, an iconic design, desirable iterations, and continued modern production. The more niche appeal of the design could be partly down to the fact that it fell out of production for several decades. Because of this, there are fewer pieces to be hunted down, which naturally limits the number of collectors which can be involved in this market. The more restrained proportions, and classic aesthetic, also probably contribute to this.
An adequate comparable could be the world of vintage Cartier, which spans from the 1920s to the ‘70s, and that long remained the focus of a small, dedicated group of collectors. The same elements of scarcity, classic design and distinctive aesthetic are at play. After all, the discreet nature of the Reverso is part of the appeal for many which choose to focus on these. As an anecdotal example, when the rapper Jay-Z asked Ben Clymer, the founder of HODINKEE, for the most “non rapper watch” he could wear for two performances at Carnegie Hall, he chose a Reverso.
For those that focus on them, there is much to be discovered and appreciated. “You can find some really rare ones out there, especially those from the ‘30s, like two that I own,” Chang tells us. Indeed, his two early pieces are amongst the earliest produced. One is signed LeCoultre, with their first in-house calibre, which is easily identifiable by the use of the small seconds. Meanwhile, the other is unusually signed Uniplan, and runs off the first Tavannes movement.