I’ll admit, I did not understand the appeal of the Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC) Reverso when I first saw people posting in the WRUW (What Are You Wearing) Today section of the WatchUSeek discussion forum.
(By the way, who else first fell into the watch subculture with a Google search that led you into the wild world of the international watch hobbyist online forum?)
Photo by @watchmadmac
The Art Deco esthetics and rectangular case of the Reverso, which debuted in 1931, seemed like a watch that only a retired banker would wear. At that time in my watch collecting journey, I was all about chunky dive watches (which I still love). I still love that genre, but as everyone predicts watch collecting tastes change. Many of the most fashionable elegant men in the world, like Pierce Brosnan and Leonardo DiCaprio, embraced the Reverso and I started to understand its quiet elegance.
Of course many of you know the Reverso’s main schtick. The Reverso has an inner case that can be flipped around (thus the name) to reveal a backside of a plain protective shield. This was originally designed for polo players so they could still wear the watch while playing their sport. So the Reverso has roots as a sport watch. The other version, the Duoface, features an alternate dial color on the reverse side, which can track another time zone.
Photo by @oneatatimee
In modern times, it would seem absurd to wear a Reverso as a sport watch, as it seems most at home under a shirt cuff with a suit jacket on. That said, there’s something very cool about wearing a watch meant for more formal occasions with casual wear. A JLC Reverso with a plain white T-shirt, khaki chinos and Chuck Taylors is a look I would definitely feel great wearing.
What got me into the Reverso, as opposed to other classics in the category such as the Cartier Tank, is the case and dial details. Three fluted lines in the case on above and below the dial is the common trait tying together the lineup. The case color and size variants allow for a Reverso for a range of preferences. The Reverso family ranges from $4,400 to over $20,000 based on features and case metal type, with many of the most iconic models available for under $10K, making it an icon that is relatively accessible.
Photo by @bwatched
My favorite is the sunburst blue. Quick-release buckles and straps also allow for an easy change up of the overall look. The 20mm lug width allows this watch to be fitted with a wide range of strap types.
In addition, I am a major fan of manual wind movements (especially in-house calibers from manufacturers as highly regarded as JLC) for dress watches. Note: automatic Reverso models are available, but my personal preference is the manual wind versions. Not only do I enjoy manually winding watches, the fact that it can be put away in a drawer and wound-up for action without wear on a screw-down crown makes sense for my lifestyle.
The Everest Watch Portfolio is an excellent watch to store your watch collection. Check it out here.
Banner photo courtesy of Monochrome Watches.