For the year 2012, the Swiss watchmaking giant that became a legend after the introduction of its pre-war Reverso model, has prepared a defiantly post-modern Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso 1931 Rouge (ref. Q278856J): a new version of its limited edition Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931 timepiece (refs. Q2788570 & Q2782521) that was presented exactly a year ago on December 2010.
Comparing the specs of the two models, one can infer that the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso 1931 Rouge is actually the same Tribute to 1931 model that sports a similar, albeit bolder color for its laconic face. Still featuring the same combination of applied hour markers, sword-shaped hands, and a traditional railway-style minute track (it, too, looks like it was fashioned of a metal plate and then applied to the dial as a single piece,) the dial is easy to read even in twilight. However, the lack of any sort of luminous compound makes this watch difficult to read at night. Yes, I understand that the watch is supposed to be worn during office hours and all, but I can still imagine a number of situations where you may need the lume: imagine just for a moment that it the middle of a night, and you are a Russian oligarch traveling in a trunk of a premium sedan to a forest near Moscow. How are you supposed to know what time it is now, huh?
According to JLC, the watch is powered by the same JLC Caliber 822 engine with manual winding and comes in the same extra-large stainless steel 27.50 millimeters in width, but whole 46 millimeters long.
Thanks to the successful choice of caliber, the body is also thin (in fact, it is just a trifle more than 7 millimeters thick,) which makes it look almost razor-sharp compared to most mechanical watches that are usually powered by self-winding movements and tend to be around half an inch thick.
The decoration of the dial and the bezel is also identical to the model presented last year.
There is possibly no use telling how beautiful the model is (any sponsored article or an advertising copy will tell you just that,) but I must admit that the timekeeper indeed looks great with the new face: I truly dig the wine-red color of the lacquered dial with those silver-toned sword-shaped hour markers and the polished sword-shaped hands.
Heck! If I would ever decide to spend around $8000 on a rectangular-shaped watch (I am more into round timekeepers, you know,) it would definitely be a Reverso with a red-faced dial: not because there is a “history” behind it, but for the sheer beauty of it! However, I would possibly miss a seconds hand: there is nothing that makes me more nervous about a watch as a lack of a seconds hand counting time without stopping.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso 1931 Rouge (ref. Q278856J) specification
Price: $8400 (MSRP)
Movement: JLC caliber 822, in-house, 2.94 mm x 17.20 mm x 22.60 mm, 134 components, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 21
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 45 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 27.50 mm x 46.00 mm
Case height: 7.27 mm
Dial: Red, lacquered
Hour markers: Applied, silver-toned
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black leather strap
Back: Solid, engraved with “1000 Hours Control” inscription