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Jaeger-LeCoultre - Return to complications

Jaeger-LeCoultre Return to complications

A Reverso, a tourbillon, two faces and a return to more serious matters.

Over the last two years, Jaeger-LeCoultre has focused on producing simple watches, and developing traditional or classic models. By concentrating on bringing the Reverso up to date and launching the Polaris, the watchmaker put one of its specialities – new complications and innovative movements – on the back burner. And that makes the arrival of the Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface something of an event.

This watch is also one of the most attractive and interesting to be launched in recent months. The Reverso Tribute case is made of platinum, a metal whose naturally cool appearance perfectly complements the sunray-brushed blue dial. With a depth of just 9.15 mm and a height of 45 mm, its proportions are graceful. But it’s the way in which it embodies the Jaeger-LeCoultre heritage that this watch represents a landmark. The Reverso has not had a simple tourbillon for almost 20 years. In 2016, the brand introduced the Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon with skeletonised movement, hemispherical balance spring and bi-axial tourbillon. But this was a very expensive, visually arresting piece that was launched quietly, and didn’t generate the buzz it probably deserved.

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The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface full dial side with engraved carrier © Jaeger-LeCoultre

The Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface features two separate, independent faces. One is blue, and shows the tourbillon. The other is skeletonised, displaying one barrel and the back of the tourbillon cage, with a dial screwed onto the baseplate. In short, it offers the sort of techno-geek appearance that has become a signature of the brand. Everything you would expect from a Duoface is present and correct: two different faces and exceptional engineering.

However, the case is exceptionally slender. For comparison, the classic Duoface is 20% thicker, at 10.9 mm deep. Its slim profile is largely due to the reduced dimensions of the movement, the brand-new calibre 847, in which the tourbillon takes pride of place. Its thinness comes thanks to an innovation taken from the ultra-thin Hybris Mechanica with repeater and flying tourbillon, the 11th in the series. The fact that it’s a flying tourbillon makes it slimmer to begin with, and, as a bonus, there’s no cage. In fact, the cage is behind the balance, which is pushed to the foreground.

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The skeletonised, technical face of the Reverso Tribute Tourbillon Duoface © Jaeger-LeCoultre

The final detail that is specific to this watch is the “brancard” or case carrier, which is the name Jaeger-LeCoultre gives to the fixed part of the case, inside which the mobile part pivots. When the watch is reversed, this flat surface is revealed, and we’d normally expect to see some delicate circular graining. Instead, directly behind the tourbillon, there is a polished circle from which engraved lines radiate outwards. Thus, the imposing complication leaves its imprint on the case carrier as well as on the retinas.

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The brand

Ever since the brand was established in 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been enchanting lovers of beautiful objects. Its craftsmen and craftswomen, the guardians of the inventive spirit of company founder Antoine LeCoultre, pool their expertise to create collections that are as surprising as they are sophisticated: Reverso, Master, Rendez-Vous, Duomètre, Geophysic® and Atmos. This great brand continues to be inspired by its rich heritage and...

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