Recently, Jaeger-LeCoultre opted to celebrate its expertise in sound, and the 90th anniversary of the legendary Reverso watch, with an all-new Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater. The watch, unveiled in late September when the brand opened it’s The Sound Maker exhibit in New York, was on display there and captured a lot of attention. Unfortunately, just a limited number o the approximately $293,000 Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater will be made.
Chiming watches such as repeaters and sonneries are considered one of the most challenging and most beautiful watchmaking feats. Either on demand with the push of a slide or on cue per the mechanism, these watches melodiously chime the time using multiple hammers and gongs. Some even chime the time using the Westminster tones. There are many types of chiming watches and Jaeger-LeCoultre has mastered them all since it introduced its first “sound-making” watch 150 years ago.
The thing is this highly complicated reversible timepiece is being made in a limited edition of just 10 watches, each retailing for 250,000 Euro (approximately $293,000 depending on the exchange rate). Within days of its announcement, the watch was being snapped up around the world, and most of the pieces had already been spoken for.
The elaborate skeletonized Caliber 944 movement that powers this watch was developed and made entirely in house in the brand’s workshops in Le Sentier, Switzerland. The movement embraces a host of technological advancements created by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s master watchmakers, including patented “trebuchet” hammers, a silent regulator and new gongs. The manually wound movement also offers 35 hours of power reserve when fully wound.
The 18-karat pink gold watch boasts two dial sides thanks to the Reverso case concept that allows the wearer to pull the case from its cradle and turn it over to reveal the other side that can then slide back into the case holder with that side showing. The front dial of the Art-Deco inspired case is magnificently skeletonized so that the wearer can witness the minute repeater hammers in action when the sound is activated. Meanwhile, the reverse dial is more subdued and geometrically inspired. It boasts fine Swiss finishings including a vertical Cotes de Genève stripes across the mainplate.
Between the rarity of this piece, its exclusivity and its complexity, the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater watch is one that we can bet will not only hold its value but escalate over time. In years to come if this makes its way to the auctions, expect its value to more than double.