Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Calendar Duoface
Movements and the Reverso. These two essential pillars have defined Jaeger LeCoultre for the past 90 years. With hundreds of patents and over 1,000 in-house calibres, they've become the maker the watch industry has been built from, and in 2016 the Maison celebrated the 85th anniversary of its most iconic model with this, the Reverso Tribute Calendar. Carrying the reference number Q3912420, this Reverso represents the true meaning of a celebration with a calendar complication and a second timezone housed in precious metal.
Governed by its all-polished 18k rose gold body, this full-sized polo player watch is an archetypal expression of Art Deco with the triple gadroon motif illustrating its character, sloped angled lug design, and generously barrelled case body. There is nothing quite like the truly legendary Reverso case, a slice of functional art. Despite the mechanical complications of this specific reference, this complex case design involves 55 components to realise—a modernisation which occurred during the 80s from the original Reverso, which had just 23.
Beneath the rectangular crystal is where the depth of this model's charm truly shines, with its rectangular dial telling a story of precision, lineage, and character. On the front, we're greeted by an opaline silver dial adorned with a consistent sea of frosting, only broken by the sunken radial date, moonphase and calendar apertures. Fine finishing persists throughout the moonphase, as the golden moon is hand hammered. It goes without saying that the Reverso wears its history on its sleeve, and the applied faceted dart-style markers are a direct call back to some of the earliest dials from the 1930s. Framed by a railroad track, with the day and month complication above the JLC signature at twelve, and a pair of chunky dauphine-style hands, this dial is steeped in heritage and dynamism.
Yet between the watch's exterior and its silver dial, we've only told two-thirds of the Q3912420's story, as flipping the watch reveals its second dial, purpose-built for timezone tracking. Although the 18k rose gold dart markers, dauphine hands, and railroad track remain, everything else is unique. Of defining form, the dial here is a nickel anthracite Clous De Paris guilloché surrounding a smaller, rounded timekeeping dial. A day/night indicator also occupies the six o'clock position, a helpful reminder that it may (or may not) be a good time to call home.
The flipping operation of a Reverso is a visceral engagement, and pausing midway reveals a sunray engraved case with an off-centred origin as well as the hidden pusher adjuster for the second timezone, a clean and unassuming approach of adjusting when compared to the previous generation's button which sat on the case flank.
The Reverso Tribute Calendar is perhaps the perfect encapsulation of everything JLC offers—the utter elegance of art deco, market-leading complication integration, and top-class functionality. We'd expect nothing less from Jaeger LeCoultre.
Powering this Tribute Calendar is the JLC Calibre 853. New in the same year as this watch, this modular movement is a hand-wound calibre offering 42 hours of autonomy at a frequency of 21,600 vph. Comprising 280 components, there's a lot of watchmaking packed into this movement, along with being completely finished, despite being hidden away. Chamfered edges, mirror polishing, Geneva striping, this movement has it all, such is the savoir-faire from the watchmaker's watchmaker.
How It Wears
The glow of a Reverso on the wrist is nothing short of magnificent, and at 49.7 x 29.9mm with a thickness of 10.9mm, there's a lot of it to enjoy. A piece that reflects the modern evolution of the Reverso, the Tribute Calendar is an example of a larger watch that is large for a purpose. Plenty of technicality resides within this piece, so although its size may favour the larger wrists among us, it's all for good reason. Describing how this piece wears is a tale of two stories, with the silver dial exuding tradition and sheer class, while the second dial underscores the practical essence of the Reverso's spirit.
Each dial has a different relationship to the pink hues of its rose case, and although it may seem cliché, this is a two-for-one wearing experience.
This Reverso Tribute Calendar Q3912420 is presented in worn condition with light signs of wear. Fitted to the original Jaeger-LeCoultre strap, the piece is complete with its original box, papers and matching rose gold folding clasp.
A handful of watchmakers universally capture the hearts of watch connoisseurs. Jaeger LeCoultre arguably has set the benchmark here, and no reference embodies the Maison more than the Reverso. But there's far more to the 'JLC' name than just one model, with nearly 100 years of operation under its belt before the game-changing 'flipping' watch arrived. 11 years after starting the brand in 1833, one Antonie LeCoultre designed something called a 'millionomètre'. This device could measure to a millionth of a metre, a fundamental advancement that enabled LeCoultre to produce components remarkably precisely. Viewed as the genesis of the brand's mechanical mastery, within 30 years, 'Le-Coultre & Cie' had made over 350 calibres.
During the infancy of the 20th century, Antonie's grandson, Jacques-David, took the helm and banded with Edmond Jaeger of 'Jaeger SA' to produce ultra-thin calibres. By 1937, the two had formally merged and became 'Jaeger LeCoultre' as we know them today, but only after LeCoultre released a monumental watch six years prior. That signature timepiece was a watch where the dial, crystal, and movement could be flipped within a case to protect the glass from damage. Conceptualised during the peak of the Art Deco age, the Reverso is one of the horological greats, born out of the necessity of function. With the help of LeCoultre's acquaintance César de Trey and French designer René-Alfred Chavot, the Reverso came to fruition due to British Army officers and their desire to protect their wristwatches while playing polo games.
As the model matured into the 21st century, its evolution was in full effect thanks to the efforts of Günter Blümlein (a name Lange fans will recognise) during the 1990s. The flipped side of the watch was identified as prime real estate, and with a vast array of complicated movements that supplied many of the great Swiss watchmakers to its name, marrying these two sides of JLC was a logical progression. Jaeger LeCoultre elevated this further with the Reverso Tribute Calendar, one part calendar, one part dual timezone.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium
No stock kept on site
* Every watch is delivered in a Mr WATCHLEY Membrane Protection Box for a safe transportation in addition to its original set *
JLC Calibre 853
|Opaline Frosting - Anthracite Clous De Paris
|49.7 x 29.9mm
|Brown JLC alligator strap