Created by Jacques-David LeCoultre in 1931, the Reverso was initially conceived to withstand the harsh beating a watch would endure during a game of polo. Today, it has evolved into a dress watch thanks to its now-classical aesthetic and graceful design. Unique in that its case can be opened, slid along a rail, flipped around on its vertical axis, and snapped back into place so that its caseback faces out with its dial against the wrist, the Reverso's eponymous function has given Jaeger LeCoultre a powerful medium through which they could further adapt the Reverso's iconic design: cue in the Duoface.
Designed to capitalize on its flip-action by giving it a second dial, the Duoface was, in fact, a means of increasing the Reverso's utility as a functional timepiece whilst retaining its dressy demeanour. Initially released in 1994 with the new Grande Taille case as its medium, the first Duoface was split between a lighter-coloured 'home' dial and a darker-coloured secondary dial that the user would wear to indicate the time in two different parts of the world – effectively making it a dual-time timepiece. Today, we are ecstatic to offer an extremely rare Reverso Duo Serie Premier Ref. 270.8.54 Blue Japan Edition in stainless steel which features the very same mechanism with a silver time-only dial (with small seconds) on one side and a radiant blue dial with a day/night indicator on the other.
Constructed from stainless steel, the Reverso Duoface sports a case based on the golden ratio, which is a ratio between two dimensions that equals 1.618. Also known mathematically as the divine proportion, it is, in general terms, a ratio that is known to be pleasing to the human eye.
Moving on to the most striking part about this watch, this example we have here emanates a bit of a “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” energy and you will see why in a minute. On one side, it has a beautiful silver dial featuring a guilloché centre with a small-seconds subdial at 6 o'clock, and a striking rich blue Clous de Paris guilloché dial on the other side showing a day/night indicator at 6 o'clock to mirror the small seconds on the other side. Both are bright, eye-catching and brimming with personality and vigour in their own ways. The silver dial has highly sober Arabic numerals and gorgeous blued hands, whilst the blue dial has luminous 3, 9, and 12 numerals and hands.
The Reverso Duoface is a timepiece that offers two watches in a single design, quite literally. It provides the wearer with the flexibility to switch between two different watch faces to complement their outfit or reflect their mood for the day. This particular model, with its radiant blue dial and stainless steel case, is an exceedingly rare edition, limited to just 300 pieces. As a result, it is an ideal choice for discerning collectors who seek something truly rare and distinctive. Furthermore, Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso showcases its horological heritage with a robust and exceptional manual-wound, in-house movement. While it's hidden beneath both dials, the Cal. 854 features the same high-quality architecture and finishing that has earned Jaeger LeCoultre their deserved moniker; "the watchmaker's watchmaker." A very fitting title, if you ask me.
While any limited-edition Reverso can be considered rare, I believe that finding a Japan edition of any watch is even more challenging due to its limited availability outside of the domestic market. Moreover, this specific reference was never promoted outside of Japan and is relatively unknown, making the discovery of one that is available outside of the country a genuine delight.