Jaeger-LeCoultre’s New Reverso Tribute Chronograph In Stainless Steel Or Pink Gold

Jaeger-LeCoultre made some decent-sized waves this year at Watches & Wonders 2023 due to a number of models they released. Among the new releases, some of my personal favourites were a few of their new gem-set Reverso models as well as their new Reverso chronograph. Looking at the chronograph, Jaeger-LeCoultre reveals not only a brand new watch with this release, but a brand new movement as well. The Reverso Tribute Chronograph, available in either stainless steel or pink gold, is, to my knowledge, the first movement ever to power two different watch dials as well as a chronograph function simultaneously.

The case of this Reverso comes in measuring 49.4mm x 29.9mm and 11.14mm thick, with a water resistance of 30m. This watch differs from most Reversos you typically come across in that it contains a chronograph function, the pushers for which can be seen on the side of the case. I like the fact that the pushers are fairly elongated and flat to blend in with the case and not take away too much from the Reverso’s overall look; this pusher design helps to keep the Reverso looking the way it should: elegant.

Turning towards the front dials of each watch, these dials are definitely the more tame of the two options the watches will give you. The pink gold version comes with a black dial while the steel version comes with a bluish-grey dial. The latter of which is achieved via the use of the atomic layer deposit process where ultra-thin layers of titanium oxide are deposited to create the colour of the dial. Both dials feature dauphine hands, baton hour markers, and peripheral chemin de fer (railway track) minute tracks, all done in colours that match the case material.

On each model, flipping the Reverso’s case over shows you where this watch really shines: the reverse dial. Before we get to the reverse dials though, we need to talk about how great the inner portion of the Reverso looks here and how great the engraving work is. The “sun ray” look that was created on the inner portion of the case, which is visible whenever you go to flip dials, really looks absolutely incredible. Both metal versions of it look good, but the pink gold version is just something else… Getting back to the dials though! The reverse dials are both fully skeletonised with bridges decorated with Côtes de Genève. The hour and minute hands match the colour of the metal of the case, but both chronograph hands (for the seconds and retrograde 30-minute registers) are done mostly in blue, save for what looks like may be lume at the tips. Also done in blue are many of the screws that are visible on this second dial. The faceted baton indices and minute track towards the edge of the dial both appear to float over the movement to give some more depth and intricacy to the appearance of the watch.

Looking at the movement, Jaeger is using their new fully-integrated Cal. 860. The 860 is a manual-wind, rectangular, 4Hz, column-wheel chronograph movement with a horizontal clutch (chosen over a vertical one to reduce overall thickness, which results in the relative thinness, the 11.14mm mentioned above, the watch has despite its complexity) and a power reserve of 52 hours. Jaeger-LeCoultre has pointed out that 52 hours is especially impressive in this case as the movement is having to not only power two sets of oppositely moving hands that display the time, but a retrograde chronograph complication as well.

Each version of this watch comes with two straps. The steel variant comes with dark blue straps while the pink gold version comes with black ones. The straps come with an easily interchangeable buckle to help speed up strap changes. The straps offered with each watch are a canvas and leather strap and an all-leather strap. Where the straps get interesting is in the fact that they are manufactured for Jaeger-LeCoultre by Casa Fagliano, an Argentinian polo bootmaker. For those unfamiliar with the history of the Reverso, the original intent behind the reversing dial design of the watch was so that polo players could have a watch with a flippable dial that could be hidden away during matches as to avoid any contact coming to the crystal side of the watch. The other side, being purely metal at the time, gave the player adequate protection and peace of mind to wear their watch while playing without as much fear of incurring any damage to the watch. Over the years, people began to engrave the metal side of the Reverso on models where the flip side was purely metal, but eventually, in 1994, Jaeger-LeCoultre also began to introduce dual-sided Reversos where the wearer had the choice at any time of two dial displays. In any case, the Reverso’s origins began with the game of polo, and the fact that the straps are made by a polo bootmaker is a neat tie in to the birth of the watch in 1931.

Overall, I really like this watch, and I think for how well it’s done and the general complexity, the prices definitely are better than I expected them to be. These are absolutely beautiful watches, but they also allow the wearer to tone things down a lot too with the primary dial being elegant, yet understated. There’s nothing understated though about the inner case engraving and the reverse dial, as both are outstanding. The great job that Jaeger did in creating the reverse dial can’t be oversold, every part of it looks beautiful. It’s the perfect blend of elegance and complexity with a little bit of something special to make it unique. Of the two, the decision for me is easy, the pink gold version wins ten times out of ten. The steel version is very nice, but when putting it next to the pink gold version, the latter is definitely my pick for the way to go here.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph is available in stainless steel for 21,400 USD and in pink gold for 37,400 USD.

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