This is a family affair: a story of my wife Brigitte, her horse Gucci, my father Neil, and an engraved Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique. And this is a good example of how and why you might want to commission a work of art on the back of a Reverso. Or not.
In 2008, Jaeger-LeCoultre placed its revolutionary Gyrotourbillon in the Reverso case for the first time. In 2016, in celebration of the 85th anniversary of the Reverso, a new edition called the Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon arrives on the scene in a 75-piece limited edition. And it is about 30 percent slimmer than the original thanks to the addition of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrolab balance wheel and a semi-spherical hairspring.
It perhaps seems like overkill to “celebrate” an anniversary like 85 years, but when you’re a wristwatch as old and as evergreen as the Reverso, it somehow becomes appropriate. In honor of the long and successful career of the horological icon, let’s take a brief look back over the last 85 years of this truly authentic timepiece, an original in the world of watches.
When the iconic, 84-year-old Reverso case comes together with current horological technology, something incredible happens. And when that current technology happens to be a so-called gyrotourbillon with a cylindrical hairspring, that something is even more fantastimazing.
Over the twenty-odd years I’ve been buying “serious” watches, I’ve purchased more pieces bearing the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand name than any other, by far. Within the Jaeger-LeCoultre pantheon, one watch sub-group stands out for me: the Reverso. Between my wife and I, we’ve bought a total of seven Reverso models. Given that, why add another? In this instance, the Reverso Tribute to 1931?
During Quill & Pad’s on location visit to Jaeger-LeCoultre in Le Sentier, Ian and I had the unique chance to take a lesson in enameling from the brand’s self-taught master Miklos Merczel. Merczel’s story is an interesting one, and jibes with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s common history with this art form: historically and uniquely on request, Jaeger-LeCoultre has famously placed enameled miniature paintings on the flip side of the Reverso case.
This hobby ostensibly centers on the watches, but in reality it’s all about the people. The first person in this story is friend, fellow collector, and photographer Howard Parr. Inspired by the memory of his late stepmother, Libby Parr, and her courage in the face of ovarian cancer, Howard undertook a photographic journey to capture images of other women who are fighting ovarian cancer. The resulting images are both beautiful and inspiring.