Given its age, the watchmaking industry is, rather unsurprisingly, filled with watches that have stood the test of time and gone on to become truly iconic. While these tend to be conventional sports models tied to epic feats of endurance and famous faces, very few can say they were once an early sports watch that has since transitioned into one of the industry's most important dress watches. One watch that can proudly make that claim is the Jaeger Le-Coultre Reverso, the Le Sentier-based brand's signature model.
History and Design
Designed by Jacques-David Le Coultre, the Reverso was conceived with the express purpose of being able to withstand the harsh beating a watch would endure during a game of polo. Born in 1931 as a sports watch by its very definition, the Reverso has evolved into a dress watch thanks to its now-classical aesthetic and graceful design. However, in the 1930s, the Reverso needed to be more durable than other available watches. This is where the Reverso's ingenuity shows itself in the form of its unique design, which its name references.
The Reverso is unique in that its case can be opened, slid along a rail, flipped around on its vertical axis and snapped back into place so that its caseback faces out with its dial against the wrist. This protects the Reverso's dial while playing sports, namely polo. Then, the wearer can return the dial to its natural position, to be displayed and used when there is no threat to the watch.
The Reverso Today
An iconic timepiece thanks to its ingenious design and unique Art Deco-inspired aesthetic, the Reverso has grown from a relatively niche sports model into an entire collection that serves every aspect of Jaeger Le-Coultre's watchmaking prowess. Perhaps their best-suited model to display their horological talents and design ingenuity, models of the Reverso collection have featured gyrotourbillons, minute repeaters, astronomical functions and many more incredible complications that simply boggle the mind.
Ranging from Jaeger Le-Coultre's entry-level offerings to their most exclusive, the Reverso's ability to stand up to whatever task is asked of it has enabled it to occupy such a revered position within the watchmaking community.
The Duetto Medium
Acting as a nearly perfect example of the Reverso collection's strength and universal desirability, Jaeger Le-Coultre's brand new Duetto Medium novelties are rich with feminine aesthetics and striking designs that combine to ensure the Reverso remains as fashionable for women as it has with men throughout its 90-year history.
Perhaps one of the most immediately recognisable watches within watchmaking, the Duetto Medium takes the Reverso's design and updates it with modern luxurious touches that we'll dive into below.
Movement and Engineering
One reason that Jaeger Le-Coultre has become the watchmaking powerhouse that they are today is their ability to create genuinely stunning movements. The original Reverso Duoface was an innovation in and of itself as its single movement powered two back-to-back dials.
The new Reverso Duetto Medium continues this tradition by featuring another stunning movement, the Jaeger Le-Coultre calibre 968A. Self-winding, with 38 hours of power reserve and incredible attention to detail, it compounds upon Jaeger Le-Coultre's infamous reputation as "the watchmaker's watchmaker."
As the Reverso's name might suggest, its eponymous feature lends a significant amount of character and personality to the Reverso as a timepiece. Designed to capitalise on its flip-action by giving it a second dial, the Duoface was, in fact, a means of increasing the Reverso's utility as a functional instrument.
Released in 1994, the first Duoface was split between a lighter coloured 'home' dial and a darker coloured secondary dial that the user would wear to indicate the time in two different parts of the world - making it a dual-time timepiece.
Here in the Duetto Medium, Jaeger Le-Coultre have reworked the Duoface's design so that the timepiece harbours two distinctive aesthetics. Effectively two watches in one, the Duetto Medium has enhanced wearability and practicality with the ability to pair with more outfits, be styled in different ways and maintain intrigue with the watch so that its wearer never gets bored.
Design and Craftsmanship
Like all Reverso models, the new Duetto Medium's design is elegant, refined and luxurious. Featuring the Reverso's signature rectangular case design, the Duetto Medium weighs in at 40mm tall, 24.4mm wide and 9.5mm thick.
With these elegant proportions, the new Duetto Medium fits elegantly on the wrist, as you might expect. Offered in 18kt pink gold or stainless steel, the Duetto Medium's construction is sublime, featuring stunning finishing throughout its case, integrated lugs and grain-set diamonds that adorn both sides of each variant.
Perhaps the star of the show, these 0.85 carats of diamonds work to enhance the Reverso Duetto Medium's sophisticated design and highlight the dials found on each side of the case. Both variants share similar silvered grey opaline dials with appliqued numerals in either white gold or pink gold as their front dials.
The back dials differ in colour yet feature the same layout, lacquered finish and design with a powered hour-markers and Arabic numeral at 12 o'clock. The pink gold variant houses a black dial, while the stainless steel variant houses a blue dial. Additionally, both dials match the leather strap fitted to their respective Duetto Medium. If the wearer wishes, these straps can be swapped out as Jaeger Le-Coultre offers additional straps for sale, ensuring they can personalise their timepiece to their liking.
A stunning duo of Reverso Duetto Medium novelties, these two watches will ensure that the Reverso remains an attractive and elegant choice for a woman with sophisticated taste for the refined and luxurious. If you would like to inquire about either variant of the Duetto Medium or any other Jaeger Le-Coultre timepiece, please feel free to visit us in-store.