Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 - US Edition
Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the horological darlings of the watch world with the Reverso being their most recognisable model. The double-barrel named company that brought us one of the true icons from the last century started off life as just ‘Le-Coultre’ when gifted watchmaker and mechanical genius Antoine LeCoultre opened a watch factory in Switzerland during 1833. Only 11 years after opening, he invented the millionometer, a device capable of measuring to a millionth of a meter enabling movements to be produced even more precisely. A further three years passed and a keyless watch (essentially a crown winding system) was developed. This established reputation enabled the brand to go on to produce over 350 different calibers under ‘Le-Coultre & Cie’. Creations included grande complications powering timekeeping devices from the likes of Patek Philippe for 30 years. The monumental presence of the brand during the 19th century showed zero sign of slowing down as they ticked over into the early 20th century. Edmond Jaeger of ‘Jaeger’ began supplying movements to Cartier with Le-Coultre producing them. This relationship continued to flourish and eventually resulted in the two brands coming together to create Jaeger-LeCoultre as we know it today.
The cornerstone of the brand’s legacy is deeply rooted in their movements. The brand has over 1200 calibers under its belt as well as a star-filled résumé of watchmakers using their creations such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin. With countless innovations, this reputation is one that continues to this day with many aficionados colloquially referring to Jaeger-LeCoultre as ‘ The Watchmaker’s Watchmaker’.
In 1931, Jaeger-LeCoultre released a brand new model which would go on to cement its longstanding credentials: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. Legend has it that the Reverso’s case was designed to help British officers based in India to protect the glass on their watch from smashing when playing polo. The central section of the watch was able to be slide out, rotated to display the solid case back face-up, and then returned to its original position between the flanking lugs. This reversing action in turn protected the dial and crystal of the watch from any polo-based accidents. Being Jaeger-LeCoultre of course, the watch mechanically and visually was a stunning piece of design with an art deco guiding language cleverly combined with elegance and just the right amount of rugged sportiness.
Since then the Reverso name has been linked with many different variations include a range of different sizes, precious metal pieces, and complications including the likes of a chronograph, flying tourbillon, minute repeater, and moon phases. In fact, in 2021 the brand released their most complicated Reverso to date with a staggering 11 complications.
In 2011 Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrated the Reverso’s 80th anniversary. Naturally, they did so in style with a carefully curated selection of special Reverso models. One such model was this gorgeous Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 US Edition. As the name suggests, this version of the famous Reverso comes in thinner than the standard Reverso and was limited to just 200 pieces.
This watch is pure sophistication featuring a black dial with elongated, pointed hour markers filled with yellowed lume. Likewise, the hands on this watch also feature yellowed lume; but they’re not just any normal hands. On this limited edition they’re actually syringe hands, making this already special watch just that little bit more whimsical.
Once again traditional, accurate design decisions continue as a railroad track perfectly frames the characterful dial. As an elegant, understated dress watch the Reverso understands that less is certainly more. This particular model proudly displays just the ‘Reverso’ branding, a feature that is taken straight from the original 1930s models.
However, what makes this watch particularly special is that it was originally released exclusively for the US market. Since its initial release, this model has remained in high regard with collectors thanks to its fantastic, accurate portrayal of the early Reverso as well as its hugely desirable proportions.
Powering this re-creation is the in-house caliber Jaeger-LeCoultre 822 movement. With a power reserve of 45 hours vibrating at 21,600 vph, this manual wind movement is the perfect companion for such as elegant watch ensuring desirable proportions and reliable performance is achieved.
On the wrist thoughts
Measuring 46mm x 27mm with a thickness of just 7.4mm, this Ultra Thin Reverso is a true pleasure on the wrist. Its height and logical proportions ensure it’s a comfortable watch on a good range of wrist sizes and, although leaning more towards the dress watch category, it’s remarkably suitable for more casual outfits as well.
Condition & set
This example on offer is in great, unpolished condition with only minor signs of wear. The watch is complete with a newly released canvas strap from Jaeger-LeCoultre providing greater customisation and a more casual combination.
The watch comes in its original set. Boxes (outer & inner), papers and manual. 2 original Jaeger-LeCoultre straps are included, as shown on the pictures.
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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|46 mm x 27 mm
|2 JLC straps