Grande Reverso 1931 | London Flagship Edition | steel
This Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Tribute 1931 London Edition is one of very few limited Boutique Edition pieces, created as a tribute to the earliest Reverso wristwatches. The deep green lacquer dial is a careful reimagining of the original Reverso, with a nod to the classic sporting colour, British racing green.
An Early Sports Watch
Introduced in 1931, the Reverso was born out of functional necessity. Its purpose stemmed from a common complaint by British officers stationed in India, often disgruntled by the damaging of their wristwatch glass during polo matches. Swiss businessman and brand associate of the time, César de Trey, conveyed this message to his supplier Jacques-David LeCoultre, bringing about a solution in the form of a wristwatch with a swivelling face, allowing the case to be "reversed" in order to protect the glass. It was actively promoted “pour les heures d’activité physique”, and is unofficially classified as one of the first sports watches.
The Reverso's innovative design was created with the help of René-Alfred Chauvot, then a French engineer at LeCoultre. The original "flipping" mechanism consisted of nearly 30 parts, whilst modern Reverso mechanisms can contain up to 50 parts. This is made up of three primary components: the case structure where the spring-mounted spurs rest, the pivots that allow the watch to rotate 180 degrees, and the spheres, which provide a satisfying click when the watch is locked into place. Throughout history, the Reverso has been worn by a range of distinctive individuals, from King Edward VIII to Amelia Earhart.
The London Edition
Fast forward to 2015, the Grande Reverso 1931 London Edition was revealed to commemorate the opening of Jaeger-LeCoultre's Bond Street boutique, in London. With a limited run of just 26 pieces, the London Edition is one of the most exclusive in the Grande Reverso Ultra-Thin 1931 collection, after the "Magritte". The green dial version had enjoyed universal acclaim amongst collectors and brand enthusiasts before quickly selling out.
This Grande Reverso 1931 is sized at a contemporary 46.8mm x 27.4mm and has a distinctive, stepped, rectangular case. The iconic reversible housing features angular, straight lugs and is polished throughout. The case back is brushed and displays the manufacture's signature, along with "REVERSO" - "The London Flagship Edition" and its unique reference numbers. On the reverse side, the case-back features the engravings of Westminster Palace and Big Ben.
The lacquer dial is a vibrant forest green, which has a fluid glossy finish. It has applied, rhodium-plated, polished struck hour-markers and traditional baton hands, which compliment the dial. Rather surprisingly, the dial merely features the "Reverso" signature, without any mention of the brand, a nod to the earliest Reverso pieces which carried this unobtrusive and discrete signature. It also has its original signed crown, and comes equipped its original brown alligator strap and JLC-stamped tang buckle.
This Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is powered by the 21-jewel Cal. 822 manual-winding movement, beating at a rate of 21,600 A/h, boasting a power reserve of up to 45 hours.
Redefining the Reverso
The Reverso was somewhat of a utilitarian solution to a practical problem, but has since reinvented itself into a contemporary dress watch, fully retaining its identity. Throughout its 86 year production run, the dial has often proved the canvas on which Jaeger-LeCoultre have experimented and redefined itself. The London Edition encapsulates this is the best possible way.
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|Model:||Grand Reverso 1931 London Flagship Edition (limited to 26 pieces)|
|Movement:||mechanical manual-winding Cal. 822|
|Functions:||time-only: hours, minutes|
|Features:||limited edition, green lacquer dial, engraved reverse|
|Case:||46.8 x 27.4 mm|
|Bracelet:||black Jaeger-LeCoultre alligator strap, steel JLC tang buckle, Zürich grained calfskin strap|
|Box & papers:||box and papers|
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