Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface Bleu Two faced?
In life we often use the term “two faced” to describe a deceitful, duplicitous soul. However, there is nothing less than virtuous about this latest offering, from practitioners of haute horology, Jaeger-LeCoultre.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface Bleu has two faces, as the name suggests, but beneath the handsome lines, there is honesty. I make no secret I have long been a fan of the brand from Le Sentier. They are a manufacture with a profound ability to invent sublime movements embracing innovation and craftsmanship in equal measure.
In 2012, Jaeger-LeCoultre presented an array of novelties at SIHH including the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon. The round-cased timepiece, housed a breakthrough tourbillon which revolved around two axes, offering three-dimensional rotation of movement. Moreover, courtesy of a flyback function, the subsidiary seconds could be set, a breakthrough for a tourbillon at the time of launch.
Despite the well-deserved attention and praise bestowed upon this high-end marvel of ingenious thinking, the Duomètre Sphérotourbillon was not my favorite watch at SIHH 2012. My favorite novelty was the Grande Reverso Blue Enamel.
The Grande Reverso Blue Enamel, presented in 18-carat white gold, has a guilloché dial, visible through a grand feu enamel. The canvas for the guillocher’s rose-engine applied decoration is the reverse of the white gold mainplate. The numerals and chapter ring are relief engraved from the mainplate, reinforcing the luxurious feel of the timepiece. This model remains my favourite Reverso model of all time. Sadly, it is beyond my financial grasp and is rendered to the wish list which shares the same drawer as my lottery ticket.
This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre did not shortchange the assembled media and trade buyers at SIHH. Novelties were numerous and spanned several ranges of models. The headline grabbing antics were practised once more with the staggering Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee. Yet again, another name has been added to my aforementioned wish list. However, there was another horological delicacy, fellow followers of the brand will admire.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface Bleu features an upper dial sharing the same tincture as my financially elusive Grande Reverso Blue Enamel. However, the stainless steel housing and absence of grand feu enamelling provide an opportunity for potential acquisition by those seeking more fiscally accessible ownership.
A deep blue hue engages the eyes with its profound character, resembling the deepest lake, pure and fresh. The color perfectly suits the Art Deco piece, which can trace its origins back to 1931. ￼The hour and minute hands are faceted and silver colored. Framing the dial is a minute rail presented in a matching silver shade. Hours are marked with elegant batons.
Peerless legibility is assured with the eloquent expression of all information presented. Nothing conflicts or appears superfluous. The reverse of the dial, reveals a second face. No less beautiful, merely different. As a parent, it reminds me of having two children, you love them both equally despite their different appearance and characters.
Black provides a contrasting mood, acting like a metaphor for the changing ambience experienced as night falls. This dial features a second time zone, framed in a circlet, with a 24-hour night and day indicator located at the southerly aspect. The baton shaped hands are repeated but this time in white superluminova.
The watch been associated with the game of polo since its conception and would prove useful for any professional player who conducts their working lives in more than one time zone.
This Boutique only model is presented in stainless steel. It is lithe in profile and seems at ease with nothing extraneous to detract from the ensemble presented. The Reverso is a style icon and one of a handful of watches that will always remain unsullied by the passage of time.
An aspect I always adore with the Reverso is the overlapping circular pattern on the inside of the case. It is reminiscent of large scale perlage often found on the mainplate of high quality movements. Moreover, it reminds me of the engine-turned dashboard typical of classic prestigious cars. It stands testament to distilled creation synonymous with Jaeger-LeCoultre. Adjacent the crown is a rectangular push piece for adjusting the second time-zone.
When writing about the majority of timepieces, the strap seldom merits mention. However, Jaeger-LeCoultre have indulged fortunate wearers with a very handsome leather strap created by Fagliano. The Argentinian company based in Hurlingham, Buenos Aires is famed for its polo boots. Their prowess at working with leather is legendary and is testament to the skill practised since the inception of the company in 1892. The strap is presented with a stainless steel pin buckle. Personally, I would have preferred a deployant, similar to the item fitted to a Reverso Grand Date I formerly owned.
The mechanical, hand-wound movement is a manufacture movement in common with all calibres powering Jaeger-LeCoultre models. The Calibre 854/1 consists of 180 parts, including 21 jewels, and has a frequency of 21,600 (3Hz). It is only 3.80 mm in depth which is impressive considering the number of parts used and the additional functions presented on the second dial.
It is remarkable that the one movement powers both dial displays and yet has a power reserve of 45 hours, especially considering there is only one barrel fitted. Admiring the movement, I adore the screwed balance and the peerless perlage on the mainplate. This is a wonderfully finished movement, but no more than I have come to expect from the artisans who work at the Grande Maison in the Vallée de Joux.
In the majority of cases, one face, one grounded personality, makes for straightforward dealings. Life is more pleasurable when we meet individuals who express themselves in a consistent manner. This watch is the exception to the rule. Jaeger-LeCoultre, with the Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface Bleu, shows you can convey information using two faces but retaining sincerity.
There is virtue in their approach. Nothing is deceptive. No tricks or slight of hand are employed. This watch employs matchless mechanical adroitness to deliver information in a candid and attractive form. The blue dial beguiles with its statuesque beauty, whilst the black dial imparts information in nocturnal light with its superluminova detailed hands. Irrespective of the dial used, time is conveyed with clarity and comeliness.
• Model: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface Bleu
• Reference: 378858J
• Case: Stainless Steel; dimensions 46.8 x 27.4 mm and 9.14 mm thickness; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystals feature on both dials.
• Functions: Hours; minutes; second time zone; 24-hours night and day indicator
• Movement: Calibre 854/1, manual-wind; frequency 21,600vph (3Hz); 21 jewels; power reserve 45 hours; 180 parts.
• Strap: Black alligator leather presented with stainless steel pin buckle
Written by Angus Davies of Escapement.uk.com