Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931
- a gorgeous achievement in style for an emblematic model
- the steel/black dial version which is not a limited edition
- the scratch-prone pin buckle which we would have preferred with a 1930’s style
- the price, a bit high for a two hand watch
Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931
Pink gold 18 carats
|Case diameter (without crown)|
46.43 mm x 27.57 mm
|Case diameter (crown included)|
46.43 mm x 29.25 mm
|Length from lug to lug|
Pink gold 18 cts
|Retail price USA at February 3rd, 2011|
|Movement Optimisation / Garnishment (/5)||4|
|Ease of handling and adjustment (/5)||5|
|Movement control proceeded by the Manufacture / horlogical awards (/3)||2|
|Power reserve (/2)||1|
|Dial finishing (/6)||5|
|Case finishing (/6)||5|
|Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2)||2|
|Crystal quality (/4)||2|
|Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2)||1|
|Diurnal legibility (/5)||5|
|Night legibility (/4)||0|
|Water resistance (/3)||0|
|Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4)||3|
|Clasp : quality and safety (/4)||4|
|Additional items (/10)||6|
|Limited edition (/3)||2|
|Watch delivered with several straps (/2)||0|
|Quality of the watch box (/1)||1|
|Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2)||2|
|Goodies included (/1)||0|
|Understandability of the brochure (/1)||1|
|Value for money (/15)||13|
|When to wear it ?||For teatime!|
The Reverso, with its reversible case, is a watchmaking icon everyone thinks they’re familiar with.
However, the Reverso has gone through several evolutionary changes since its creation at the beginning of the 20th century.
Its reversible casing mechanism was primarily conceived to deal with the violent shocks the watch would be exposed to while playing polo.
The watch then quickly became a symbol of elegance and was released in multiple variations. Yet, it almost disappeared entirely from the Jaeger-LeCoultre catalog when the Swiss watchmaking industry was going through some difficult times.
Then, the Reverso had a rebirth with various enlarged formats – even going as far as the square design of the Squadra – and began to incorporate increasingly complex watch functions. As a result, the protective back was replaced by a second dial to allow for additional displays.
A Return to Simplicity and Elegance
With the arrival of the Grand Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931 to the SIHH 2010 exhibit, its return to basics is a source of great delight.
Its intermediate size, bigger than the original, provides a natural and comfortable fit for the contemporary modern man’s wrist, larger today than its ancestors’ who used the Reverso in
The slender design of the case – barely over 7mm – gives a feeling of great lightness.
The thin crown, a common trait in the watchmaking industry between the two world wars, adds to the elegance of the case’s art deco pink gold design.
Once we’ve flipped the case, we discover with great surprise that the protective back is bare…but yet so simple and classic!
A Balanced and Harmonious Dial
Let’s look at the dial: first off, the 500 copies of this limited edition only have the simple “Reverso” inscription instead of “Jaeger-LeCoultre”.
This refined detail will greatly please the fans of the model, and simplicity enthusiasts.
The silver dial with its long pink gold markers and its sword-shaped hands provides an excellent intuitive reading experience.
One could simply say that you can’t go wrong with two hands (no seconds hand), but that is not quite correct.
The proportions between the hours and minutes hands are extremely important, and perfectly achieved in this case.
The variable length of the stick markers also contributes to the readability of this Reverso.
That wouldn’t be the case if the watch only had the rectangular train tracks like its predecessors, resulting in the awkward reading “in the corners”.
Here, the whole is well-balanced and in harmony.
Movement: JLC 822 caliber
No chance of having a look at the JLC 822 caliber, protected from view by a solid back.
We know that this thin caliber runs at the rate of 21,600 alternations per hour, more than adequate for today’s use.
It is also in full compliance with the internal norms of Jaeger-LeCoultre, not only in the quality of its set-up and finish, but also with the firm’s
“1,000 Hours Control” test.
Beside, we would never dream of an automatic movement on such a watch…
Especially with its manual winding system – once the case is flipped and you’ve grabbed the crown in a very natural movement, without having had to take off the watch – is not only comfortable, but more importantly, a pleasure unique to the Reverso…
Lastly, the black alligator strap is a good match for the pink gold case and the pin buckle.
Unfortunately, the vast polished surface of the pin buckle is prone to micro scratches. We would have also preferred a specific art deco-style buckle, instead of the standard curved one…
What to remember
With this Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931, Jaeger-LeCoultre has successfully reclaimed the magnificent simplicity of a manufactured object, while associating the norms of refined elegance to today’s watchmaking expectations.
It is “simply” an amazing new Reverso!