The hand-wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin (refs. Q3202421 & Q3208121) has been updated for the year 2011 with three more cases and nine different combinations of materials!
You don’t need to be a die-hard enthusiast or a faithful follower of the brand to know that JLC’s Reverso line is sort of iconic. During its lifetime, it was sold in so overwhelming (well, overwhelming considering its fairly steep price) numbers and inspired so many competitors that it truly deserves its own room in any museum of industrial design.
Understanding the collector’s value (not only in terms of hard cash, of course) of their timekeepers, the Swiss-based company approaches creating new editions as conservatively as possible. It is always a good idea to try not to break something that works efficiently.
This new Reverso Lady Ultra Thin is a perfect example of this attitude. As you can see in the photos above and below, they carefully preserved the model’s original shape, proportions, and, well, feel and changed as few elements as possible in order to make the new timekeeper look fresh, but still recognizable. As a result, we have a gorgeous timepiece, which is as dressy as it is sporty and as elegant as it is fashionable.
According to the company, the face-lifted collection will be produced in a somewhat large rectangular case 55 millimeters long, 35 mm wide and 12 mm thick.
The choice of materials is limited to rose (ref. Q3202421) and white gold as well as stainless steel (ref. Q3208121).
The rose gold will be available either with 31 diamonds totaling 0.45 carats or with 111 diamonds weighing 0.85 carats (a High Jewellery version.) There will only be one version of the steel case with 30 diamonds (0.40 carats.)
As usual, the watch is a study in understated luxury.
Its silvered guilloche dial features 12 finely crafted Arabic numerals and a pair of sword-shaped hour and minute hands.
Regrettably, the stainless steel version is not as legible as the one done in rose gold, since the steel hands do not look very contrast on the silver background. I wonder why they didn’t equip the steel version with blued hands: they would look absolutely marvelous!
The watches in question will feature a hand-wound JLC Caliber 846 ultra-thin movement (last year, we have seen a modified version of this mechanism powering the gorgeous Van Cleef & Arpels Poetic Complication Five Weeks in a Balloon timekeeper), but there will also be a more affordable variant animated by a simple quartz movement.
Being on the market for ages (the Swiss brand has introduced Caliber 846 back in the 1970s), the movement is as polished as a mechanical movement can be. Designed to power tiny two-handers designed for women, the mechanism is simple, but that’s probably a good thing: there are not so many parts that can be broken. In fact, the cal. 846 is perhaps one of the most reliable movements that JLC has in its range.
The quartz caliber is, of course, more accurate than the hand-wound one, but I feel that saving money on a quartz-powered version, at the end of the day you will lose a piece of the timekeeper’s soul.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin (refs. Q3202421 & Q3208121) specification
Price: $10,000 (stainless steel, hand-wound movement) / 20,000 (gold, hand-wound movement)
Movement: Quartz / Hand-wound, JLC Caliber 846, 18 jewels, 93 components, 2.90 mm in height, hand-built, in-house, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: Stainless steel / Rose gold / White gold
Dimensions: 55.00 mm x 35.00 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Dial: Silvered guilloche
Hands: Rose gold or Steel
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Alligator or Ostrich leather strap with folding buckle in 18-karat pink gold, 18-karat white gold, or stainless steel
Back: Solid, engraved