Featured Hands-On illustrated Jaeger-LeCoultre Watch talk

Hands-On: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic REF. 3858520 (VIDEO)
A Time Tested Classic

Today we have a look at one of my all time favourite watches, The JLC Reverso. Such a a classic. Spoiler alert – I really, really really like this watch. Let’s have a closer look together why that is. The version we are looking at today is the Reverso Classic Large Small Seconds. Everything you need to know, and more, in our latest hands-on video right here:

Let’s have a quick look at the essential specifications of this watch. The rectangular shaped stainless steel case is 45.6mm long and 27.4 wide. The thickness is around 9mm and the lug width is 20mm. The calibre powering this watch is the manual winding  calibre 822/2. A total of 108 parts make up this movement which has a thickness of approximately 3mm. The movement hums along at 21600 vibrations per hour. With its single barrelBarrel The barrel is a cylindrical container that holds the mainspring. The barrel is connected to the winding mechanism. The winding mechanism rotates the barrel, which in turn winds the mainspring. [Learn More] it has a modest 42 hour power reserveRéserve de marche Also known as Power Reserve. A watch's power reserve refers to the amount of time a mechanical watch can run without being wound. The power reserve of a mechanical watch can vary depending on the size of the mainspring, the efficiency of the gear train, and the rate at which the mainspring releases energy. If a watch has a Power Reserve 'complication' it simply means that the status of the power reserve can be seen on the watch itself (either on the dial or movement side of the watch). [Learn More]

The dial is silvered grey and features an elaborate guilloché finishing combined with vertical brushing and black transferred numerals. The heat blued hands add a splash of color to the silver dial. This is a time only watch with small seconds at 6 o clock. 

I have been wanting to get a Reverso for as long as I can remember. It took me a while to make up my mind, but here we are. The Reverso Classic in Large. As you might know, there are quite a few variations of the Reverso available right now and as such there is plenty of choice available. This made choosing the right one (for me) that more difficult. In the end I went with this one, no Duo Face, no special complications, but a good old Reverso with a time only dial and a plain case-back. 

The dial feels like several dials in one. First, you can see it has a center which features gorgeous guilloché, a barleycorn pattern in straight lines. The small seconds dial sits a little bit recessed and has its own distinct look. Moving to the  outside of the dial you find a brushed surface and the black transferred numbers. On the outer edge of the dial, you can see further intricate decorations. Thanks to this design and the different textures, the dial really springs to life in daylight.

One detail perhaps is the branding on the dial. On the video and in pictures here you can see Jaeger-LeCoultre quite proudly mentioned, however in reality you can barely read this text. If you want the outside world to know the brand of the watch you are wearing, this is really not the watch for you since nobody can actually read the text.

Now then, the case from which the Reverso takes its name. It is a rectangular case shape which  can be a rather polarizing case shape. Firstly, because the dimensions on paper don’t make any sense if you compare these to the dimensions of a round watch. In addition, well, most of us are just not used to wearing rectangular shaped watches. The vast majority of mechanical watches are not rectangular. And that is specifically what I like about it as well, I have more than enough traditionally shaped watches, but not a single one shaped like this. 

The case in itself here, is of course very special as well. Firstly, notice  those decorative fluted lines, known as gadroons. The case doesn’t just look good of course, it also has this very peculiar mechanism which allows you to reverse the dial. In this case it reveals a solid back on which you can then have a custom decoration added if you wish.

It goes without saying that it takes quite a bit longer to put together this case and assemble it with the carriage when comparing it to the assembly of a regular round case. Little known fact, when a Reverso is made the carriage and case never leave each other’s side once put together during the manufacturing process. It is a surprisingly manual process as well actually. 

On the wrist, it feels super light and it will fit under any cuff you throw at it. It is a classic themed watch but I have to say it is much more versatile than I had initially thought. I expected to wear this mostly with a suit or jacket, but find myself wearing it pretty much all the time in normal daily life. It works with a simple polo shirt, all the way up to more formal attire.

While the name of this watch says Large, this is in fact the smallest ‘Large’ Reverso in the catalogue. This watch wears quite a bit smaller than pretty much any other mechanical watch I have so I would certainly suggest that you try these out before you buy. You can then pick the size that works best for you. Keep in mind that most of the current Reverso’s with complications are either larger or thicker than this Classic one. In addition, JLC currently puts this Reverso in the men’s category, which I think is a little bit old-fashioned. This watch would certainly work for men and women alike. 

If there is any doubt left, yes, I am a massive fan of the Reverso. If budget was no concern, I would have a few other variations and complications as well since I really like these a lot. However, wanting to pick just the one – I went with this one and haven’t looked back since. 

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