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‘The Reverso Stories’

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Jaeger-LeCoultre opens ‘The Reverso Stories’ exhibition in the Vallée de Joux – the place where the Reverso was born and the home of La Grande Maison since 1833. The travelling exhibition explores the different facets of the iconic timepiece. 

In 2023 Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrates its icon not only with a new global ambassador but also other events, like the new pop-ups of the 1931 Café (it was in Singapore in June) or ‘The Reverso Stories’ exhibition. 

‘We are delighted to welcome our Reverso exhibition to the heart of the Vallée de Joux, bringing back to life this unforgettable journey of watchmaking and Art Deco design. Over the years, the Reverso has become an iconic object, a symbol of style and elegance. I hope this passage through time will become an unforgettable experience for all who visit it.’ says Catherine Rénier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre.

The beautiful Vallée de Joux is the home of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Manufacture. Close to this home, at the Espace Horloger in Le Sentier, the new exhibition showcases the creative and cultural universe of the Reverso watch through four chapters.

The original idea behind creating the first Reverso was to make a watch that could withstand the harshness and hits of the British Army’s polo grounds in India in the early 30s. Jacques-David LeCoultre and French designer René-Alfred Chauvot patented the invention of a ‘wristwatch which can slide on its base and flip over on itself’ in 1931. The creation was an instant success. Although the other side of the watch was originally intended to be simple with only the mission to protect the watch from physical collisions, soon it became a place for creative and artistic self-expression via engravings or enamel miniatures.

The Story of an Icon chapter retells this exciting story of the Reverso’s origins through rarely seen archive materials and heritage documents from the Jaeger-LeCoultre collection, and a selection of milestone Reverso watches. 

The Story of Style & Design examines the Art Deco roots of the Reverso, with a great lineup of timepieces illustrating the stylistic changes. Throughout the years the timepiece has seen many versions in size, movements, complications and designs but it has continued to keep its ‘Art Deco’ lines. The height-to-width ratio of the pieces have maintained roughly the so-called ‘golden ratio’. The Maison dedicated this year’s booth and novelties at Watches and Wonders to the divine proportion

The Story of Innovation explores how the Reverso embodies Jaeger-LeCoultre’s inventive quest for technical advancement. Beginning with the revolutionary idea of a case that could be flipped over, to the ingenious design by the above mentioned Chauvot, the chapter includes exceptional fine-watchmaking complications, like the Reverso Chronograph Rétrograde. Here the chronograph indication is displayed on a skeletonized dial on the reverse of the case. The circular counter is dedicated to the seconds above the the fan-form retrograde 30-minute register. The front dial has a date indication integrated at 6 o’clock and it shows at 5 o’clock if the chronograph is running or stopped (marchet/arret).

Creations such as this Chronograph, the Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon or the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Caliber 185 Quadriptyque showcase why Jaeger-LeCoultre is often referred to as ‘The Watchmaker of Watchmakers’.

The Story of Craftsmanship celebrates the skills of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s artisans – enamellers, gem-setters, engravers and guillochage masters. Only a few craftsmen have the patience, knowledge, steady hands and skills to create such a miniature wonders. 

The exhibition is open to the public from July 1st to September 3rd, at the Espace Horloger in Le Sentier. The Atelier d’Antoine – the programme of educational workshops, hands-on watchmaking experience and Manufacture visits – completes the Reverso experience. Participation in the Atelier d’Antoine is by reservation only.

Source: press release. Photo credits: Jaeger-LeCoultre
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