Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds: The Hottest Green Dial Of 2021
by Bhanu Chopra
Jaeger-LeCoultre is known for setting the gold standard in expert craftsmanship, refinement, and the rare gift of timeless appeal. The Reverso is certainly the brand’s most notable model, a wristwatch that solved a common problem for polo-playing gentlemen of the 1930s, who found that their timepieces were not quite up to the strenuous game.
Jaeger-LeCoultre rose to the challenge, in 1931 utilizing the mechanism patented by engineer Alfred Chauvot that allowed a watch case to be flipped over to protect it from damage.
In the decades that followed, the Reverso evolved from innovative sports watch created for British Army officers to a beautiful art deco timepiece worn from the boardroom to the most exclusive dinner party and everywhere in between. The back of the watch case – an enticing blank metal canvas – inspired the creation of custom art from personal engravings to jewel-encrusted lacquer work and enamel that today fuels a vigorous collector’s market.
Experiencing a revival in the mid-1980s after a few decades where it was not in production, the Reverso came back stronger and more beautiful – and more complicated – than ever. Now there are dozens of Reverso models and styles spanning nearly a century since the iconic watch’s introduction.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds
It’s a stunning timepiece. And it’s a fitting homage to the early sports watch, with a vintage-inspired dial featuring a lacquered green sunray pattern, faceted hour markers, dauphine-style hands, and a large subsidiary seconds counter at 6 o’clock.
Each time Jaeger-LeCoultre released a new dial color, I thought, “That’s the perfect Reverso for me!” Even though burgundy is stunning, it is perhaps too strong a color for my personality – I prefer subtler colors. I tried the blue dial, and almost went home with it, but after looking at the pictures with it on my wrist, with its combination of deep blue dial and highly polished case made it look more like a special occasion dress watch than an everyday wearer.
Like many (if not most) these days, I am more likely to be wearing sweatpants or jeans rather than a suit, which means the blue-dialed Reverso would likely spend more time in a box than on my wrist. When I finally tried the new green dial model, I found it had a more everyday appeal, its soothing forest-green color almost appearing grey or anthracite in lowlight conditions.
The case dimensions of 45.6 x 27.4 mm fit my 16.5 cm wrist circumference very comfortably. It is a slightly larger case than my discontinued Reverso Grande Taille, which comes in at 42.4 x 26 mm. The profile remains slim at just 8.5 mm in height.
The Tribute Small Seconds with green dial is fitted with manually wound JLC Caliber 822/2 with 45 hours of power reserve. This classic rectangular-shaped, 108-part movement with small seconds was designed specifically for the Reverso.
The complementary green calfskin strap is a story in itself. Each strap is handmade, reputedly a six-hour process per strap, by renowned Argentinian bespoke polo bootmaker Casa Fagliano. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s partnership with Casa Fagliano began in 2011, and since then special Reverso editions have been upgraded with the bootmaker’s high-quality products.
When one purchases a Reverso, the question always comes up: what to engrave on the solid metal back of the reversible case? Initials? The family crest? A special date? A picture of a pet? Or, as in my case, the enterprising Mr. Krabs from “Spongebob Squarepants”?
Let me know your suggestions for an engraving in the comments below while I continue to consider acquiring this beautiful timepiece.
For more information, please visit www.jaeger-lecoultre.com/mo/en/watches/reverso.
Quick Facts Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds Green
Case: 44.6 x 27.4 x 8.5 mm, stainless steel
Movement: hand-wound Caliber 822/2, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, 42-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds