This great-looking, classically proportioned Reverso, which caught pretty much everybody on the team's eyes at SIHH in Geneva, and then again at Watches & Wonders in Miami, somehow managed to escape the rush of editorial coverage we produced at SIHH.
Perhaps that's because this isn't a new watch per se, but it is one of my favorite Reversos to date, and I think that fact is easily attributable to the great looking burgundy-colored dial and matching Casa Fagliano strap. A similar model featuring a Casa Fagliano strap and matching dial, though in blue, came out at a year earlier. But for my money, this burgundy guy ($7,900) is the one to get.
If you're reading HODINKEE, you don't need me to tell you that the Reverso is a classic, and that the Tribute executions are some of the most classically styled of these watches. The story of how this swiveling rectangular watch was made for the wrists of polo players in British India has been told countless times, but its worth bearing in mind that this family of watches, born in 1931, is one of the OG sport watches, even if nowadays pretty much everyone regards it as a dress piece.
The Reverso Tribute Small seconds is slim and elegant, measuring 45.6mm long by 27.4mm wide. It's just 8.6mm thick impressive, particularly if one takes into account that the case itself is far from simple and can do the things you see below.
It swivels out to allow either the front or the back to be visible. You don't get a view of the movement when you turn the back to the front, but what you do get is an unblemished expanse of stainless steel. The idea here was that a polo player could protect his watch's glass from hurling balls and errant mallets during a game. Even if we're much more likely to wear the Reverso as a dress watch nowadays, that large metal surface has found a new way to be relevant. Engraving a new Reverso, for example, feels like an excellent way to mark a life milestone such as a graduation or a wedding, and indeed I know quite a few people who came to own their Reversos in such a way.
Inside is the ovoid-shaped JLC cal. 822/2, a fairly straightforward hand-wound movement that has seen longterm use at Jaeger and that is made in-house in Le Sentier.*It beats at 21,600 vph and provides indications for the hours, the minutes, and the sub-seconds via a richly colored dial with hand-applied markers and dauphine hands.
And of course, the strap is first-rate. It's made by the Argentine bootmakers who are responsible for producing some of the finest leather boots in the world for polo and equestrian sports. It feels luxurious, but also sporty, and it's interesting to note that this strap really doesn't look as if it was made by a conventional European watch strap maker, but by a company whose expertise and main focus reside elsewhere. I mean this in the most positive way possible. There's a charm to these straps, and those familiar with Casa Fagliano boots will see a an instant similarity between their stitching and design and the work on the company's world-famous boots.*If I were to buy a Reverso of my own, I think it would have to be one with Casa Fagliano strap.
If you scan the JLC site, you'll see that there are dozens of Reversos in the current collection. And over the past seven or eight years, JLC has put a number of what's arguably its most iconic model on Casa Fagliano straps. But this small iteration on what already existed is quite a good looking watch, I think, and one I think is well worth knowing about.
For more information, visit Jaeger-LeCoultre.


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