January 18, 2016
by Bilal Khan
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is easily one of the most iconic and recognizable watches ever made. The rectangular-shaped, double-faced watch is celebrating its 85th birthday this year, and we were teased with some novelties late last year, but they saved the big reveal for SIHH 2016. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon watch is a limited edition platinum watch that serves the legacy of the Reverso very well while also advancing the brand’s already impressive Gyrotourbillon.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has actually made a Gyrotourbillon Reverso before, with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon II watch (Hands-on here) which was also in platinum and limited to 75 pieces. It’s worth noting just how much a technical feat the older Gyrotourbillon was, and Jaeger-LeCoultre is likely as proud of this accomplishment as they are the with the legacy of the Reverso. Eric Coudray developed the Gyrotourbillon several years back now and while it appears that it is moving like a gyroscope, it’s actually a very cleverly designed two-axis tourbillon set within a spherical cage. It features a spherically shaped balance wheel and ball-shaped hairspring. Again, it’s really not a surprise at all that JLC would update the Gyrotourbillon in their birthday tribute to the Reverso.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon watch, has a brand new Gyrotourbillon movement in their new in-house manual winding Calibre 179. It’s 30% lighter than its predecessor and has an external driving mechanism that has it perform its rotation. The bi-axial flying tourbillon has two carriages which perform an external rotation in one minute and an internal rotation in 12.6 seconds. A really novel approach Jaeger-LeCoultre has taken is the inclusion of an anchor-shaped balance wheel designed to evoke the brand’s logo.
It’s not a Reverso without two sides, and on the front there is a white hour and minutes dial on the upper section, joined by blued steel Dauphine hands as found in several iterations of the Reverso. At 11 o’clock, you’ll see the day/night indicator. Take a look at the blue arrow at the lower lefthand side of the dial, surrounded by the beautiful sunburst guilloché pattern. It points to the seconds display, which is actually a graduated disc which rotates at the cadence of the Gyrotourbillon.
On the reverse side of the dial, you find the engraved movement which is really just incredibly well done, especially when you realize how difficult this must have been to do considering the thinness of the movement. Here, you’ll find the dual time display, looking vastly different from the display at the front of the watch. At 2 o’clock, you’ll see the day/night indicator in a 24-hour mode.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon watch, while not technically a grande complication watch as some are wont to say, is beautiful and mechanically impressive. It’s also limited to 75 pieces, with a price of $270,000. jaeger-lecoultre.com