THE JAEGER-LECOULTRE REVERSO TRIBUTE TOURBILLON DUOFACE COMBINES THE WONDERFUL DESIGN CODES OF THE LEGENDARY 1931 WATCH WITH A DIMINUTIVE FLYING TOURBILLON. ANGUS DAVIES LOOKS CLOSELY AT THIS PLATINUM TIMEPIECE, LIMITED TO ONLY 50 EXAMPLES.
This detailed review of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface includes images, specification details and pricing.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has a diverse portfolio of watches, including the Polaris, its legendary diver’s watch, the feminine Rendez-Vous collection and the slender Master collection, to name but a few. However, the most iconic model from this Manufacture has to be the Reverso. This collection of unassuming timepieces is inextricably linked to the Maison’s history.
Released in 1931, the Reverso is infused with Art Deco styling and a highly practical case. The innovative flipping case allowed polo players to wear the watch during a keenly contested chukka, safe in the knowledge that the upward-facing solid caseback would shrug off minor impacts. This functional aspect of the Reverso imbued the watch with a notable degree of practicality, while exhibiting an elegant mien.
The high-end watch company is based in Le Sentier, a village located in the watchmaking heartland of the Vallée de Joux. This region is synonymous with making watch movements, in particular complicated and ultra-thin calibres. Over the years, the Swiss firm has produced ‘thin’ Reverso models as well as several references endowed with various complications.
Recently, Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled a new Reverso, the Tribute Tourbillon Duoface. This watch, consistent with other Duoface models, can display the time in two-time zones on two separate dials. Moreover, the watch is equipped with a flying tourbillon, a version of the coveted ‘whirlwind’ which eschews an upper bridge.
A few weeks ago, I was offered the chance to see the prototype version of the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface, an opportunity I grasped with both hands.
The upper dial
The upper dial of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface upholds the design codes of its simpler siblings. Dauphine-shaped hands and faceted batons articulate the time with seemly tone. Indeed, grace abounds.
The epidermis of the blue dial is adorned with a sunray motif emanating from the centre of the dial. Consistent with its Art Deco origins, the periphery of the dial is framed with a chemin de fer. This latter detail aids readability as well as instilling the dialscape with a touch of period glamour.
Most Reverso models exude a degree of visual simplicity. It is this aspect which augments the allure of the 1930s inspired timepieces. While I have always appreciated the horological showboating of a tourbillon, I was unsure whether this would be consistent with the pure persona of the simpler Reverso models.
Rest assured, I did not need to worry. The appeal of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface is that the scale of the tourbillon aperture and the watch as a whole remain modest. Furthermore the absence of an upper bridge confers the rotating cage with a discreet and tasteful aesthetic. The unhindered sight of the rotating cage in flight is spectacular and showcases the Maison’s horological virtuosity to spectacular effect.
The lower dial
The reverse dial allows the wearer to display the time in an alternative time zone, a facility which will find favour with many frequent flyers. Once again, Dauphine-shaped hands impart the time. In this instance, the hands float above a silver grained, circular dial.
A day/night indicator is positioned at 2 o’clock and the tourbillon is positioned at the base of the dial area.
The elaborately shaped tourbillon bridge is beautifully bevelled and secured with four blued screws. Indeed, there are numerous blued screws populating the bridges, enriching the vista presented. The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève rayonnantes and engraved with golden text. Partial views of the wheels and the lone barrel provide a tantalising spectacle for the mechanically inquisitive.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface is presented in the noblest of precious metals, platinum. Despite the complexity of the watch it measures an unobtrusive 45.5mm x 27.4mm. While the watch is not marketed as ultra-thin, its thickness of 9.15mm proves particularly lithesome, especially when contrasted with the model’s less complicated ‘Duoface’ siblings. The svelte profile of this tourbillon equipped Reverso stands testament to the brand’s prowess at making ‘ultra-thin’ movements. Indeed, Jaeger-LeCoultre shows that complexity does not necessitate behemoth dimensions.
This exemplar of haute horlogerie upholds the long-established Reverso design language. Positioned above and below the dial, a series of horizontal lines enrich the appearance of the case. Below the dial, one of these lines follows a curving trajectory, mimicking the arcing form of the tourbillon aperture. This latter detail is executed with great subtlety, reinforcing the softly spoken temperament of the watch.
Sliding the upper case section sideways, prior to ‘flipping’, reveals the inner surface of the caseback. It is embellished with a circle, surrounded with radiating lines.
The hand-wound Calibre 847 comprises of 254 parts. The freely disclosed balance has a frequency of 21,600 VpH (3Hz) and the movement contains 31 jewels. The Calibre 847 contains one barrel. Jaeger-LeCoultre does not specify the power reserve in its literature.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface is, quite simply, beautiful. Unlike many complicated watches, it does not assume bulky proportions or walk with a clumsy gait. This is a neat watch, despite its technical complexity.
The movement finishing is excellent. In the past, this prestigious Maison has supplied the great and the good with its esteemed calibres. Indeed, I can think of few brands which can surpass its expertise. The svelte Calibre 847 is impressive in terms of its functionality and peerless finishing. The flying tourbillon confers superb views of the Swiss lever escapement industrially working within a rotating cage. This is a sight I could never tire of watching.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has respected the design codes of the 1931 Reverso and coupled this with a sublime flying tourbillon. The Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface showcases incredible horological flair and reaffirms why many connoisseurs hold this Swiss firm in the highest regard.
- Model: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface
- Reference: Q3926480
- Case: Platinum; dimensions 45.5mm x 27.4mm; sapphire crystal to front and rear; water resistant to 3 ATM (30 metres)
- Functions: Hours; minutes; tourbillon with seconds indicator; second time zone, day/night indicator
- Movement: Calibre 847; hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 VpH (3Hz); 31 jewels; 254 components
- Strap: Blue leather strap
- Price: £110,000 (RRP as at 21.1.2019)
- Limited Edition: 50 pieces