Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 Rouge - Edition Speciale
JAEGER-LECOULTRE GRANDE REVERSO ULTRA THIN 1931 ROUGE
Steel | Red dial - Edition Speciale
Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the oldest – and as some say truest – watchmaking maisons in the Vallée de Joux, in the Swiss Jura mountains, producing in-house movements since 1833. Since its beginning, the brand has filed more than 400 patents and produced over 1200 calibers, also highly valued and used by other fine watchmaking brands such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin.
The brand was founded by self-taught watchmaker Antoine LeCoultre. His original workshop where he embarked on his journey over 180 years ago, is still to be visited as part of the manufacture in Le Sentier. By 1888, the manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre already employed 500 people and was referred to as the ‘Grande Maison of the Vallée de Joux’.
Some years later, in 1903, a rumour in the Swiss watch industry began circulating: the Paris-based watchmaker to the French Navy, Edmond Jaeger, was challenging Swiss manufacturers to develop and produce the ultra-thin movements that he had invented. Jacques-David LeCoultre, the founder’s grandson, accepted his challenge after having walked for hours to the nearest telephone booth in the Jura mountains to make his call to Paris. It turned out to be a right call: the collaboration led to the thinnest watch collection in the world (equipped with LeCoultre caliber 145 that was only 1.38mm thick) and the birth of Jaeger-LeCoultre.
A key date in the brand’s history, 1931 marked the birth of the iconic Reverso watch, in response to a request from British colonial officers in India who were tired of damaging their timepieces during polo matches. A simple gesture swivels the case in its carrier to protect the watch glass. Featuring a blend of elegance and sportiness, the Reverso became a cult object, classic of the Art Deco movement and being considered as the first ever sport watch.
On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of this timepiece, Jaeger-LeCoultre created the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931, inspired by the aesthetic codes of the historical model, yet with contemporary dimensions. Three vintage editions have been made: the Grande Reverso Rouge with a deep red dial (2012), the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface Blue (2013) and the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 with a chocolate-toned dial (2014).
The Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 Rouge is a contemporary interpretation of the red enamel dial Reverso from the 1930s, a collectible with a capital C. The red re-edition was a boutique-only edition originally revealed at the opening of the Jaeger-LeCoultre boutique in Milan. After three years the red dial version was discontinued – despite its praise around the world.
Characterized by its slender 7.3mm thick case and traditional polished gadroons framing the rectangular dial, the watch stands out with its glossy Rouge lacquer face – being vibrantly present yet discretely elegant, full of fire but whispering in tone. The seemingly simplicity of the dial, following its vintage design ethos of ‘less is more’, is further enhanced by applied rhodium-plated struck hour-markers and traditional baton hands.
The steel case measures up to the size of the Grande Reverso, being bold on the wrist despite its slenderness with dimensions of 46.8mm by 27.4mm. The ‘REVERSO’ signature is a reproduction of the early logo as depicted on the vintage model. It has also been inscripted on the brushed case back, below the manufacture’s signature and above the inscription of ‘Edition Spéciale Rouge’.
The in-house caliber 822 measures just 2.95mm thin, beating at a rate of 21,600 A/h and has a 45-hour power reserve. The shock-protected movement (with a KIF antishock system) has 21 jewels and is manually wound.
The watch is in new condition and has perfect mechanical functionality. It has never been worn and has not been personalized on its case-back. It comes with the original protection stickers and a new original black alligator leather strap with JLC-stamped tang buckle (the strap pictured here is a hand-crafted black saffiano strap from the Mr Watchley collection).
The watch comes as a full set (boutique edition as ordered by Gassan in 2015), including Jaeger-LeCoultre box and manual.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment.
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Calibre JLC 822
|Red - Rouge
|47 mm x 27 mm
|New - Unworn