Even though the Reverso began life far back in 1931, in response to the need to create a watch capable of withstanding the shocks and blows of a polo match, its flip-over case has proved to be an amazingly versatile invention. Initially, the reverse side was the ideal surface for personalization. Later, a second watch face was added, driven by the same movement. The Reverso collection now presents a fascinating range of models for men and women, and in the new 2013 versions for women, it is an elegant reflection of the female personality: multifaceted, unique and ever-different. While the Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin is available in various finishes, with the classic Art Deco-inspired design and a single watch face, the Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin Duetto Duo has two dials, so that the user can choose the look most appropriate for the moment, as well as having the possibility of setting a second time zone. The front dial has a superb guilloché sunray-brushed finish, and by flipping the case, the watch becomes a magnificent étude in mother-of-pearl marquetry.
The Reverso is not just a fundamental design in the Jaeger-LeCoultre range: it was pivotal in establishing the maison's legend. In 1931, the manufacture was owned by Jacques-David LeCoultre, who commissioned production of the reversible case from another company, Jaeger S.A. Following the design's success, the two companies merged in 1937, becoming Jaeger-LeCoultre. The maison is celebrating its 180th anniversary this year, but Jaeger-LeCoultre has never rested on its laurels. The brand has created 1,242 calibres and registered 400 patents since it began operating in 1833, and its new models are proving to be just as original and appealing as the Reverso.
The Rendez-Vous, a totally different collection, was launched in 2012, and it quickly won remarkable success. The idea of being able to mark a special moment during the day, using a special star-shaped 'rendez-vous' hand, is an apt reflection of one of the features of time, the fact that certain moments are more significant than others. The Rendez-Vous Celestial is a new model for 2013. Just as in the original version, the rendez-vous indicator can be set to any time, but in this piece, the hours' and minutes' inexorable march towards the future is accompanied by an ever-changing star chart showing the constellations, the signs of the zodiac and the months of the year. All in a superb case, with about 155 diamonds on the bezel and crowns, creating a glittering contrast with the deep blue lapislazzuli dial. A truly beautiful combination of watchmaking brilliance – the lovely Calibre 809 automatic movement can be viewed through the sapphire caseback – and poetic femininity.
Click on the thumbnail below to watch a video on the Rendez-Vous Tourbillon