Jaeger-LeCoultre Unveils Revamped Reverso For 90th Anniversary

At the recent Watches and Wonders Geneva trade show, Jaeger-LeCoultre announced the most complicated addition to their Reverso collection in honour of its 90th anniversary. Known as the Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque, the limited edition timepiece features four functional display faces integrated into the iconic rectangular shape.

The Reverso has an extensive history dating back to 1931 when the brand fulfilled a request from India for a watch that could be safely worn during polo matches without getting damaged. As such, Jaeger-LeCoultre created a cradle that could hold the watch, which could be slid out of its cradle, reversed and slid back in, thus displaying a metal reverse side and protecting the watch face. The aptly named “Reverso” became an instant hit, not just with polo players and men, but also with women. The watch quickly became an icon and has been reinvented decade after decade, with even a three-sided version, the Triptyque, being introduced in 2006.

The latest Reverso Quadriptyque is the world’s first wristwatch with four different display faces thanks to a double-faced case and a double-faced cradle. With 11 complications, one would expect the watch to have bloated and oversized proportions, however, the Quadriptyque is relatively compact and wearable. Measuring in at 51.2mm by 31mm and with a 15.15mm overall thickness, the watch is on the larger side for a Reverso, but it is far from an unwieldy showpiece on the wrist. The overall case design is classic Reverso, with the Art Deco streamlined grooves at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock highlighting the rotating mid-case against the outer frame.

Requiring 12 patents, the highly complicated Caliber 185 incorporates a tourbillon escapement to compensate for errors in timekeeping due to the effects of gravity on the watch. Furthermore, the timepiece features a perpetual calendar, a minute repeater and a complex celestial and astronomical system that offers three lunar displays.

“Watchmaking is all about respecting and using the past, focusing on the present and thinking about the future,” said Catherine Renier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre during a presentation of the watch. “For this watch, the first challenge was to make all the complications we wanted in terms of sound, celestial,  precision and craftsmanship, so we could demonstrate all of the expertise of the manufacture. Then we opted to make it as thin as possible by using the cradles as well as the dials.” 

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Caliber 185 Quadriptyque is being built in an extremely limited edition of just 10 pieces. The watch is priced at 1.35 million Euro and is only converted to the local currency on the day in order to stay in keeping with all exchange rates.