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The Reverso, Jaeger-LeCoultre's most distinctive watch, certainly has an impressive pedigree. Essentially one of the first sports watches, the Reverso combined utility with a sleek and elegant Art Deco exterior that has become an icon of horological design. But in the case of the Reverso, looks deceive--and no model of Reverso says that more than the Reverso Tribute to 1931.
Though the Reverso appears at first glance a dress watch, it owes its existence to the gentlemanly sport of polo. While touring India in the early 1930s, Swiss businessman César de Trey met a British polo player who'd just cracked the crystal of his watch on the field. De Trey returned to Switzerland with an idea already taken root in his head, which he then discussed with Jacques-David LeCoultre: what if a watch could be made with a case that could reverse?
The reversible case, masterminded by designer Alfed Chauvot, was Jaeger-LeCoultre's solution to the problems polo players faced on the field. Once reversed, the delicate components of the case were protected from the shocks sustained while on horseback. No more would polo players crack the crystals or damage the dials of their watches.
Chauvot placed a patent for the Reverso in March 1931. The first Reverso measured 38mm in length, 24 in width. Jaeger-LeCoultre also released the Reverso in gold, and decorated the case back with engravings or even miniature portraits.
But with changing tastes in the 1970s--for round watches as well as quartz movements--Jaeger-LeCoultre ceased production of the Reverso. The model lay dormant for twenty years, until its triumphant re-issue in 1982. While those watches contained quartz movements, their success represented a future for the Reverso.
2011 marked the Reverso's 80th Anniversary. The Reverso remains a subtle statement piece available in numerous variations, but none of them stirred the collector community the way the Tribute to 1931--released to commemorate the Reverso's anniversary--has. As lovers of vintage watches and all things curated and hand-crafted, our love of this watch should come as no surprise.
Stainless steel case is approximately 27mm wide (excluding crown) and 46mm lug-to-lug. JLC Reference 2788750
Overall Condition: Case is in excellent condition overall, showing only very minimal signs of light wear. Dial and hands are as-new. Original signed crown.
Includes original 20mm Black Genuine Alligator strap with signed buckle with light signs of wear.
Also includes inner and outer box and papers.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options