Despite there being only a handful of new releases from the line, it’s fair to say that 2021 has been a banner year so far for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. From the delicate enamel work of the Reverso Tribute Enamel Hokusai “Kirifuri Waterfall” to the mind-bending complications of the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Caliber 185, Jaeger-LeCoultre has spent the collection’s 90th year pushing the boundaries of the Reverso series both mechanically and aesthetically. For its latest release, the brand returns to more familiar territory with a new minute repeater variant, focused more on showcasing the visual artistry of the complication than introducing entirely new concepts to the series. The new limited edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater brings a carefully considered dual-dial skeleton style and an intricate minute repeater complication to the clean Art Deco lines of the Reverso series, with an impressive depth of finishing.
The polished pink gold case of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater keeps the classic Art Deco design of the series intact, although it does measure in on the larger side of the current Reverso spectrum at 51.1mm by 31mm. The overall case thickness is a manageable 11.4mm, allowing the sloping lugs and grooved rotating central case to remain balanced and well-proportioned in initial images. The sliding pusher that activates the chimes at 10 o’clock has also been reprofiled from previous Reverso minute repeater designs, presenting a sleeker low-profile shape with a coin edge surface for added grip. As this is a dual-dial design, the idea of a caseback on the Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater is somewhat misleading, but both reversible dials naturally use sapphire crystals. The Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater is also far from a sporty design in concept, and the miniscule 30 meter water resistance bears this out.
Although both dials of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater are fully skeletonized, each dial display takes on a markedly different character in images. The main dial is the more intricate and adventurous of the pair, with a web of skeleton bridges highlighting the complexity of the minute repeater complication. These upper bridges and minute repeater gongs are made in case-matching pink gold and finished with a mix of vertical brushing, Côtes de Genève, and blued screws to visually separate them from the centrifugal regulator and open mainspring barrel below. Long, daggerlike applied faceted pink gold indices and a chemin-de-fer outer minutes track keep the standard layout of the Reverso intact above this ornate skeleton display, while silver tone dauphine hands take care of timekeeping functions. However, even with these large indices and contrasting hands, this main dial does show signs of difficult legibility in initial images. By contrast, the second skeleton dial on the caseback is a much more visually reserved and single-layer affair, with a simpler skeleton layout that showcases more of the main timekeeping functions rather than the intricate minute repeater complication. Like the main dial, this reverse option uses the series’ signature indices, minutes track, and dauphine handset, but here the brand renders all hardware in a uniform pink gold that stands out more strongly against the backdrop of the movement. The plates, bridges, and balance cock are finished with a uniform Côtes de Genève pattern, with highlights like a gold balance wheel, gold gear train, gold filled engraved text, and blued screws to create strong focal points in images. The deeply engraved logo plate at 6 o’clock is also a standout element, with a high-relief texture that gives this less complex layout a sense of visual depth.
In terms of performance, the reworked in-house Calibre 944 handwound minute repeater movement inside the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater mostly plays on the strength of its complication. The Calibre 944’s power reserve stands at a below average 35 hours at a 21,600 bph beat rate. Jaeger-LeCoultre pairs the classically luxe design with an equally classical alligator leather strap in deep cognac brown.
While it may not be the most revolutionary Reverso offering of 2021, the limited edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater makes a strong case as one of the most attractive with its gorgeously finished skeleton design and romantic chiming minute repeater complication. Only 10 examples of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of €250,000. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.