Unrivaled Dress Watch: The Reverso

At almost 90 years old, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso still retains its charm and an unrivaled case design.

Every respectable watch enthusiast or collector must have a great dress watch. For those formal occasions such as weddings or black tie events, a sports watch used for daily wear simply doesn’t cut it. Instead, the perfect wrist companion is often a timepiece that is a bit more discreet, thin, elegant, maybe even in gold, and which would easily slide under a cuff but always make an impression when it is revealed.

There are many choices available on the market when it comes to dressy timepieces, but some just have an aura around them. The watch we are talking about today is one of them: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso.

 

 

Origins in Sports

The fabled story of the Reverso started at the beginning of the 1930s far away from the green pastures of Switzerland and straight in the middle of a polo field in British-ruled India. British Army officers posted in the country would enjoy spending their down time playing polo. The 1930s was an era of change in social norms and more men were seen wearing wristwatches. A problem arose when the aforementioned polo players would experience the struggle of having their watch crystals shattered while playing the game.

 

 

This issue was brought to the attention of Swiss businessman and watch trader César de Trey while he was visiting India. Players wanted a timepiece they could wear which was strong enough to withstand the numerous beatings given out by the gentlemen’s mallets. Upon his return to Switzerland, he reached out to his good friend Jacques-David LeCoultre to task him with coming up with a solution. LeCoultre partnered with Edmond Jaeger and his company to create the case design that would solve the issue. René-Alfred Chauvot was the French engineer in charge of the development of this new watch case and on March 4th, 1931 the patent n.712.868 was submitted to the Paris patent office for a watch whose case could reverse and flip 180 degrees so as to protect the fragile front glass of the timepiece.

Published

June 2020

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