Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2
I had to pick a Reverso. I mean, really, what would a list like this be without the world’s first revolving wristwatch, a boy toy that continues to fascinate watch wearers 82 years after its introduction in 1931. A wristwatch born of the need to protect its fragile crystal for use in sports competition (in this case polo), it can truly be said that this was one of the most innovative timepieces of its time, a sports watch in its day.
Today, it remains as relevant as ever, but it is available in hundreds – if not thousands – of versions. If you put the first one aside, which one is the most innovative?
About a decade ago, Jaeger-LeCoultre began adding complications to the Reverso in a move to push the entire line into a more haute horlogerie place. The Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 implements evolutions of some of the innovative and patented elements that were introduced in the Master-encased Gyrotourbillon of 2004, which featured an early double-axis tourbillon beating away within its movement. At the time, the manufacture said that the Gyrotourbillon would become a line, a series – but it was never expressly stated that it would continue within the Master line, a logical choice thanks to its easy-to-work-with round case.
Imagine the surprise a few years later, celebrating the 175th anniversary of this masterful company, to learn that the second Gyrotourbillon was to come out in the rectangular Reverso, which was more difficult to design, thanks to its shape and the two-faced nature of the line, and included perhaps the best finishing seen on a Jaeger-LeCoultre to this point.
Only 75 pieces were made of this Reverso containing a rare cylindrical, blued hairspring – one of its main differences from the first Gyrotourbillon – beating away inside its fascinating biaxial tourbillon rotating at 18.75 seconds (inside tourbillon) and one minute (outside tourbillon). Rightfully, the front dial affords the cutaway displaying this little globe as much space and thus importance as the time display: the two quite literally share the space out between them. Which is only right, after all. ED