The Reverso appeals to the ladies. They have always loved playing with the possibilities afforded by the swivel case, the pleasure of revealing one face while concealing another. 21st century women are as keen on technique as they are on elegance, and any timepiece destined to accompany them by day and night must take account of these twin demands. The Manufacture Jaeger LeCoultre has long since treated feminine devotees of the Reverso to refined watch mechanisms based on the Duetto concept, which endows each watch with two dials featuring a completely different appearance. In 2010, the line was enhanced with an additional enhancement in the shape of the Duetto Duo principle, which devotes each side of the watch to a useful function. Two years ago, the Reverso Ultra Thin made its grand stage entrance in order to accentuate the curves of women’s wrists with its stunningly slender shape. To mark the 180th anniversary of the Grande Maison in the Vallée de Joux, these two ultimate symbols of watchmaking tradition raised to an unprecedented level of refinement meet up in the Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin Duetto Duo, a prodigious blend of technical sophistication and aesthetic elegance.
In Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques, the Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin Duetto Duo will be accompanied by a leather strap by the famous Italian firm Valextra. This second strap gifted to women who acquire the new model will be white, in the “pergamena” colour symbolising the inimitable Valextra style.
Here and elsewhere, at noon and at midnight
In 1997, the Manufacture sensed the winds of change and developed the Duetto concept enabling women to own two watches in one: in one smooth move, the case swivels to enable the day with its numerous activities to give way to the world of the night. We live in a fastpaced age in which various commitments tend to last longer than expected and there is often no time to change into a new outfit. In the field of fashion, the famous LBD (little black dress) effectively reconciles the occasionally contradictory goals of a multi-faceted existence. Viewed from a watchmaking angle, the Reverso represents far more than just an all-purpose solution that adapts to every circumstance. It is instead two personalities in one, with a luminous face for daytime when it is important to be able to juggle appointments; and a dazzling face for evening, when time at last appears to slow down a little. Two worlds, two watches, but a single movement – since the Manufacture has been keenly ware for the past 180 years that watch mechanisms have a life of their own, of which the heartbeats accompany ours. There is quite obviously no particular reason to make this pleasant perception the exclusive preserve of the masculine half of humankind – which is precisely why the Reverso models for ladies have always represented watchmaking achievements in their own right.
There is certainly no room for ostracism in the Jaeger-LeCoultre workshops: the Reverso with its sporty and versatile nature that symbolised the ideals of freedom in the 1930s has lost nothing of its passionate ardour. The watch with the swivel case was a horological feat right from the start, and now, eight decades on, is firmly determined to remain so. Soon after introducing the Duetto principle, the Manufacture offered devotees of Fine Watchmaking, in addition to the thrill of wearing two watches in one, the possibility of indicating a second time zone on the second dial of the watch, according to the Duetto Duo principle. The latter involved taking a further technical step. The movement no longer displays the same indications on both faces of the watch – a tour de force in its own right – but instead entirely different information. When staying on other continent, a discreet gesture during the night hours is enough for the wearer to establish a mental link with those who have remained at home. In the morning, the Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin Duetto Duo swivels once more to display the travel time at the dawn of a new day that would be unthinkable without the loyal ally to which the owner quite naturally becomes attached.
Nonetheless, gender equality, a self-evident principle with direct implications on the approach to watchmaking pursued within the Manufacture, is quite the opposite of egalitarianism – and there is no imperatives to dictate that the Vallée de Joux and its artisans should confine a timepiece to solemnly proclaiming its precision and reliability. For Jaeger-LeCoultre, which from the 19th century onwards had enriched the range of possibilities offered to Parisian designers with prodigious inventions, such as the world’s smallest watch movement ever, a technical accomplishment that did not go hand in hand with aesthetic refinement would be as inconceivable as a horological mechanism without a soul.
With its generously sized swivel case specially designed to delight the feminine heart, the Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin Duetto Duo adopts a slightly curving shape. Elegance is also expressed in its remarkably slender 8.87 millimetre-thin case – a feat designed to host the beauty of two dials – along with the sturdiness of an astonishingly inventive movement and the cradle or carrier which serves as a base for the swivelling of the mechanism enlivening two faces. Jaeger-LeCoultre has devoted many years to developing the new case of the Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin in order to ensure perfect comfort – because the Manufacture knows that most of the fervent Reverso enthusiasts wear their favourite watch at any time of day or
Aesthetic elegance at the heart of technical refinement
The two faces of the Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin Duetto Duo play a complementary role within a unique whole – of which the full and complete awareness is generally the exclusive privilege of the woman who has chosen it. Hers is the pleasure of deciding which dial she wishes to show, depending on the moment, the mood or the company. The two faces do this watch proud, testifying to richly ornamental workmanship in harmony with the finest tradition of artistic crafts. On the front, the clarity of the dial is accentuated by the delicate guilloché motif specially designed to catch and reflect the light on the steel and pink gold versions, or the finesse of white mother-of-pearl on the white gold variation. The back, which is dedicated to the dual time-zone indication, comprises only a circular chapter ring marked with the 12 o’clock numerals and with strong rays that appear to extend the hour-markers that might have potentially appeared within the hour circle. The splendidly luminous effect precludes any risk of mistaken reading. Moreover, each beam features a differently coloured mother-of-pearl surface composing a superb three-hued marquetry that shimmers like the soft glow of the night hours. Inside the steel or 18-carat pink or white gold case beats Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 864 A. This mechanical manually-wound movement comprising 142 parts is equipped with a balance oscillating at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. It is a robust, accurate and reliable mechanism boasting all the signature qualities that have earned Jaeger-LeCoultre movements their sterling reputation. In conditions of daily wear, the ultra-thin case proves to be a sturdy and exceptionally resistant “off-road” model that is water-resistant to 30 metres. Teamed with a black alligator leather strap, this creation combining technical inventiveness, slenderness and elegance is set with two rows of brilliant-cut diamonds that underline the beauty of the second watch dial. Moreover, for women fascinated by the radiance of these timeless gems, Jaeger-LeCoultre offers a High Jewellery version set with 153 brilliant-cut diamonds exquisitely framing the faces of the Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin Duetto Duo, highlighting the mother-of-pearl workmanship and transforming the dual time-zone indications into radiant beams of light.