We go hands-on with a Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso. The Reverso Classic to be exact. It is one of the most timeless & iconic watches in my book. Jaeger LeCoultre is renowned for its eye to detail and finishing. Watchmakers tend to have a special place in their hearts for them too (read here). Let’s see what all the fuss is about.
Let’s dive right into the Reverso magic. The watch that arguably defines JLC for better or worse! The Classic: The dial is silvered, with a mix of vertical satin-brushed and guilloché finishing. The numerals are Black transferred numerals. The blue heated hands complete the look. This mix of finishing on the dial really comes alive when looking at it from a macro angle:
The sunburst guilloché is so small in real life it appears almost painted on, but in fact it is just a perfect execution of this decoration by the watchmaker. The sunburst flows over nicely in the black markers:
Even the grooves show a lovely pattern which until looking at it from so close, I had not noticed. Notice also how on the outer edging the decoration is engraved and not simple painted dots. The satin brushed flat silvered dial balances nicely amongst this decorative extravagance.
As we look below, we see the nicely black transferred numerals. They appear almost perfect, and by that small imperfection they somehow are perfect, if that makes sense:
Moving to the back of the watch, it shows a simple brushed finish with crisp engravings. I’m talking about the actual back of the case that sits against your wrist, not the Reverso side. Note also the 1000 Hours marking, which refers to JLC’s “1000 hours control” test which “guarantees that during the first six weeks after it was manufactured the watch passed quality tests and that no hidden defect in it was detected.”
That water resistance symbol gets me every single time.
Who knew satin brushed steel could look this good:
On the below picture, there is no optical illusion, there are indeed two backs in that shot. On the left you see the mirror polished Reverso back; and on the right side the actual satin brushed back of the watch. Quite the contrast:
The normally hidden side of the case, shows the simple yet ever lasting ball-bearing construction which locks the Reverso in place:
Oh there’s another back to look at, the back that sits behind the polished Reverso. So the front of the actual back… As you can see, this also received plenty of TLC and shows a perfectly suited perlagePerlage Perlage is a decorative technique used in the finishing of mechanical watch movements. It is a type of circular graining that involves making small, circular marks on the surface of various movement components, such as the main plate, bridges, and gears, using a specialized tool. The marks are arranged in a uniform pattern and are typically very small and closely spaced. This technique is used to enhance the aesthetic of the movement and it also helps to protect the movement from dust, dirt, and other debris. [Learn More] finish:
The groove which allows the Reverso to flip sides effortlessly:
One last look at that perlage:
As you will see on the final shot below, all these details are terribly difficult to spot at a glance. In fact, they mostly go unnoticed when looking at it from a distance. Even the brand name ‘Jaeger-LeCoultre’ is rather difficult to read from even a small distance! The overall case design is however iconic, making it one of those watches which people ‘who know’ will recognise easily from across the room. JLC is known for its attention to detail and finishing, and the above macro shots certainly do provide proof to that claim.
In conclusion, despite this Reverso not having a see-through back nor having a custom engraving on the back (which is an option), the details are quite astonishing especially given its very compact size.
The Reverso, timeless and classic indeed.
Note: The strap featured on this watch is not the stock strap. It is our de Griff Honey Brown barenia strap. You can find it in our shop.