Although it’s in retrospect one of the most logical uses for the Reverso, the first dual time-zone version came rather late in the day –though the Reverso has been around since 1931 (when, famously, it was produced at the request of a British officer’s polo club in India, in order to create a watch whose vulnerable crystal could be protected during a match) the first Reverso that showed a second time zone didn’t show up in Jaeger LeCoultre’s lineup until the Reverso Duo debuted in 1994. The idea proved to be one with legs, and the Reverso Duo was followed, three years later, by the Reverso Duetto (for ladies) and today, the Duo, Grande Reverso Duo, and Grande Reverso GMT offer a number of options for time-zone jumping travelers.
The Grande Reverso Ultra Thin case is the latest to benefit from the addition of a second time zone complication, and it’s a winner. While the Reverso Duo and its variants remain in Jaeger LeCoultre’s stable, the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface makes an option available for those who prefer to do their traveling in the company of a watch that has the old-school, thin-is-elegant flavor of the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin family, which includes big hits and critic’s darlings like the Vintage 1931 model. The classic proportions of the original Reverso of 1931 are still there, along with the baton hands and vintage-style stick markers that give the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin models their retro-deco appeal. On the front, it’s all classic, all the way, with a silvered opaline dial and small seconds register, but slide the case sideways, flip it over, and lock it into place, and you’ll see the second time zone indication –this time in black, with hobnail (“clous de Paris”) decoration, and a day/night indicator.
The only hint, when looking at either face, that it’s a multi-time zone watch is the presence of a discreetly integrated pusher in the flank of the case that allows the hour hand on the second time zone display to be set in one hour increments.
Inside is the Jaeger LeCoultre hand-wound calibre 854/1 (3.80mm thick) and the entire watch, including the carrier for the reversible case, is a pleasingly svelte 9.14mm. Our only quibble with the design is that we’d have preferred the day/night indicator to have been associated with the home time, rather than local time, indication, since it would be more useful to have that information with respect to the folks back home. That minor caveat aside, this is a flawlessly elegant traveler’s dress watch with style to burn, and all the pleasurable sense of tangible connection to Jaeger LeCoultre’s history we’ve come to expect from the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin family. It’s a winner.
Available in steel or 18k pink gold; manually wound dual time zone complication; and offered on a matte black alligator strap with matching pin buckle. Price available upon request from Jaeger LeCoultre (www.jaeger-lecoultre.com.)