Of all the modern Reverso models available, the aptly named Tribute series most closely resembles the original pivoting polo-ready Reverso watches from the 1930s. They’re also some of the most fun iterations thanks to an assortment of dial and strap colors that include both bright hues and safe neutrals. And now, as part of its Watches and Wonders 2023 new releases, Jaeger-LeCoultre is adding four fresh variations of the Reverso Tribute Small Seconds to the lineup. There are three pink-gold versions, available with black sunray, burgundy lacquer, and silver sunray dials, along with a stainless steel version fitted with a silver opaline dial. All references are paired with straps made by Casa Fagliano, the renowned polo bootmaker that’s been collaborating with Jaeger-LeCoultre since 2011.
The most causal (and affordable) option of the four new models is the stainless Reverso Tribute Small Seconds (ref. Q713842J) with a case that measures 45.6mm-long by 27.4mm-wide by 8.5mm-thick. The sunray-brushed silver opaline dial is home to the Tribute’s signature Dauphine hands and applied faceted hour markers, yet they’re finished in black nickel for a nice contemporary touch. The hand on the small seconds indicator at 6 o’clock is also black nickel-finished. The watch is furnished with a strap that combines calf leather and canvas.
The three new 2023 18k pink-gold Reverso Tribute Small Seconds references benefit from a redesigned case that’s been slimmed down by almost 1mm to achieve a thickness of 7.56mm (the 45.6mm by 27.4mm dimension remains the same). This is no minor feat given the complexity of the Reverso’s famed slide-and-swivel mechanism, which requires almost 40 components (out of a total of more than 50 for the entire case) to construct. As expected from Jaeger-LeCoultre, the cases are produced and hand-assembled entirely in-house.
All the pink-gold Reverso Tribute Small Seconds models are sold with two interchangeable straps that are fitted with pin buckles to allow for quick strap changes. The silver sunray dial variation (ref. Q7132521) comes with a dressy black alligator strap, which can be switched out for a laid-back canvas and leather strap when the occasion calls for it. On the other hand, the black sunray dial (ref. Q713257J) and burgundy lacquer dial (ref. Q713256J) models are packaged with full calf leather straps and combo calf leather and canvas straps — in shades that match the dials.
Of the four, the pink gold Reverso Tribute Small Seconds with the lacquered burgundy dial is especially striking. Colorful dials aren’t a modern development of the collection; they were already an option soon after the 1931 launch of the maiden Reverso. The contrast between the clean lines of the case and the exuberant let-your-hair-down color of the dial just works.
To land that intense shade, up to four layers of colored lacquer must be applied. That’s followed with up to 20 layers of sheer lacquer, which serves not only to add depth but also set the color. Each layer is applied by hand, and the next coat can only be added once the previous one has dried perfectly. The multiple coats of lacquer are then varnished and hand-polished to a mirror-like finish. Regardless of the specific color, all the dials that are housed inside the pink-gold cases include pink-gold Dauphine hands and applied faceted indices, complete with the characteristic double-indices that mark 12 o’clock.
Staying faithful to the original Reverso design that allowed polo players to turn the case to hide the fragile dial during dangerous matches, swiveling the Reverso Tribute Small Seconds case reveals a solid metal caseback. Inside the case of the new Watches and Wonders 2023 Reverso Tribute Small Seconds is the same celebrated Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 822 manual-winding movement that’s been powering numerous Reverso watches for decades. The tonneau-shaped movement that fits seamlessly into the rectangular case includes 108 components and supplies the watches with 42 hours of power reserve. Even if these in-house movements are hidden, in customary Jaeger-LeCoultre fashion, they are expertly finished and decorated.
With the thinner pink-gold case, a fresh batch of dial colorways, and interchangeable straps, these new Reverso Tribute Small Seconds watches will undoubtedly be appreciated additions to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s flagship watch collection. Prices have yet to be announced. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.