The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Repetition Minutes a Rideau (Ref. Q2353520) hand-wound watch was presented about three weeks ago at SIHH 2011 international event. Somehow, it makes me think that this is THE ultimate Reverso. At least, I cannot imagine a Reverso more complicated (and refined) than this one. Of course, there is always a room (or, more correctly, brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre always have access to engineering talent that can find this room inside a compact case of a wristwatch) for a tourbillon, a perpetual calendar, and the likes. However, this particular model still seems like a pinnacle of the whole collection mixing just enough technological innovation and traditional artisanship that together make it the most well-balanced member of the whole family.
Besides a skeletonized dial and a minute repeater complication, the new Reverso’s main selling pitch is a beautifully executed miniature “Venetian blind” cover that, by default, covers the dial from occasional damage and prying eyes.
The blind consisting of 270 parts and sports its own barrel. Sliding it sideways, you automatically activate the minute repeater.
It may seem not really logical since the minute repeater complication was invented in order to check time without actually looking at the watch. However, the mechanism is a good excuse for the watch’s owner to show-off the complication every time he opens the blind “just to check time, you know.” Also, it may be a nice (albeit expensive) cure for mild cases of OCD when you just have to look at your watch while having some particularly boring (or maybe disturbing) conversation.
The watch is powered by the new Jaeger-Lecoultre Caliber 944 hand-wound movement. Crafted, assembled and decorated by hand, the movement beats at a somewhat slow speed of 21,600 vibrations per hour.
Although beating at a relatively slow by today’s standards pace (and also being equipped with two spring barrels that store a lot more potential energy than most mechanisms of this size,) the hand-built movement is only good for 35 hours after being fully wound and the number will possibly be even lower if you use the minute repeater function a lot: the complication just takes a great deal of energy for it to work.
The renowned Swiss watch manufacture plans to produce the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Repetition Minutes a Rideau (Ref. Q2353520) as a limited edition model with the total production limited to just 75 pieces.
Produced in a white gold case and featuring such a high level of mastery, the watch will probably be very, very expensive*.
* UPDATE ON PRICE: The ref. Q2353520 will be offered at a price of €270,000. I can’t comment on it, sorry: tears are running from my eyes.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Repetition Minutes a Rideau (Ref. Q2353520) hand-wound watch specification
Price: €270,000 (MSRP)
Movement: JLC Caliber 944, 35 jewels, 340 components (plus 270 components for the Venetian blind complication,) two barrels, 5.89 mm in height, decorated and assembled by hand, in-house, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, minute repeater
Power reserve: 35 hours
Case material: White gold
Bezel material: White gold
Case shape: Rectangular
Bezel shape: Rectangular
Case size: 55.00 mm x 35.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 12.00 mm
Hands: Blued, sword-shaped
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Alligator leather with 18-carat white gold pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire