2013 marks the 180th anniversary of Jaeger LeCoultre. Fittingly, it has unveiled the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface Blue which celebrates their iconic Reverso watch. It comes with a slimmer case and a great dual timezone display. Add to that the impressive Casa Fagliano strap and you have a recipe for a truly spectacular watch.

Since the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931 was released I’ve been captivated by the Reverso. The rectangular swivelling case and simple dial design definitely makes the Reverso a classic watch. The 1931 homage further adds the vintage feel to the watch. The Reverso watch was commissioned in 1931 based on feedback from polo players. The polo players wanted a watch that would be able to put up with forces and potential damage that could occur to their watches when on the field. JLC came up with the Reverso, allowing players to flip the dial side of their watch around and hence protect the crystal and dial from knocks and breakage.

The Duoface Blue is a welcome addition to the Reverso line for 2013. The watch has 2 faces so you’ll be able to set two timezones. Driving the 2 faces though is one movement though. A Swiss manual wind JLC in-house caliber 854/1 with 21 jewels, 21,600 vph and a power reserve of 50 hours. Front dial has hours and minutes while the back dial has a second timezone with a 24-hour day/night indicator. The case is stainless steel with sapphire crystals on both faces. Water resistance is to 30 meters.

The blue lacquered dial (if only it was enamel) pays homage to the original Reverso in blue. The hands are sword shaped as per the Tribute to 1931 model however without any lume to keep it true to the original. No JLC branding on the front, just the simple label “Reverso”. I actually prefer this as it keeps the watch subtle and classic. My only gripe is that there is no seconds sub dial on this watch which can be annoying when trying to sync the time.

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The original Reverso Blue

The rear dial is a work of art in itself. It has a Clous de Paris guilloche hobnail pattern with sword shaped hands as well. These hands contain Superluminova. The rear dial is a strong contrast to the front dial, a welcome design as you’ll feel like you have two watches instead of one. There is a 24 hour sub dial with a night and day indicator on each side so you’ll always know the exact time of day in your second timezone. Upon pressing the button on the side of the case, the hour hand advances by one hour on this dial.

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Cloud de Paris guilloche dial with second timezone

JLC has continued its partnership with Casa Fagliano to produce the straps for the watch. The strap is made from refined cordovan leather and continues the polo tradition of the Reverso. By way of background, Casa Fagliano is an old leather house run by a skilled team of Argentine men operating in the same workshop since the 19th century. For over 100 years, they have been making beautiful polo boots and shoes (Polo is very popular in Argentina). Their clients include royalty, celebrities and politicians. Casa Fagliano pride themselves on doing everything the old-fashioned way. The boots and superbly hand-crafted using age old techniques. If you ever visit their workshop, you’ll notice a lack of modern machinery. Casa Fagliano do not want to mass produce, they only produce around 100 boots per year. The result, a long waiting list for a pair of boots that exude quality and will last a lifetime, and definitely worth the $2000 to $5000 price tag.

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Priced at USD$10,400 (no official Australian pricing yet), the JLC Grande Reverso Ultra Thin DuoFace Blue is certainly worth the purchase. The watch is a fusion of superb craftsmanship from two master artisans. Underpinning all this is the common polo theme. The DuoFace Blue is well executed and is a stand-out piece. All I need to do now is find one and get the credit card ready.

MG_2282No surprise who this is for