Jaeger-LeCoultre Grand Reverso 1931 | London Flagship Edition | steel
Number 1 of 26
This ultra-rare Jaeger-LeCoultre Grand Reverso Tribute 1931 London Edition (Ref. 278 85 3L) watch 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 bold reimagining of the original reference - reminiscent of the rolling British countryside - with a nod to the classic sporting colour - British racing green. This piece was the first of the line and is numbered “1/26”.
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 that had a swiveling face, allowing the case to be reversed over in order to protect the glass. It was actively promoted “Pour Les Heures D’Activites Physique”, and is unofficially classified as the ‘first sports watch’.
Fast forward to 2015, the Grande Reverso 1931 London Edition was revealed at the new Jaeger-LeCoultre boutique in Old Bond Street, London, when it opened. With a limited run of 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. Since then, its value has only increased.
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 deep-green lacquer dial is a vibrant forest green and has a fluid glossy finish. The applied, rhodium-plated, polished struck hour-markers compliment the dial tone, coordinating perfectly with the traditional baton handset. 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. It has a KIF shock-protection system protecting the 2.94 mm form mechanism, equivalent to that of Incabloc. The reliability of the Cal. 822 is considered comparable with the Cal. 89, the tried and tested calibre manufactured between the 1940’s-70’s, famed for its horological contribution.
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.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
|Model:||Grand Reverso 1931 London Flagship Edition (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:||brown Jaeger-LeCoultre alligator strap, steel tang buckle, also accompanied by two lightly worn straps; a black Jaeger-LeCoultre alligator strap and brown Casa Fagliano strap.|
|Box & papers:||box and papers|
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