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 JLC 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 a rare Reverso Duoface Japan Edition Red in 18-carat yellow gold which features the very same mechanism with a silver time-only dial (with small seconds) on one side and a rich red 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 burgundy red 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 sides are bright, eye-catching and brimming with personality and vigour. The silver dial has highly sober Arabic numerals and gorgeous blued hands, whilst the burgundy red dial has luminous 3, 9, 12 numerals and hands.
Two watches in one, literally. The Reverso Duoface is an incredibly versatile timepiece that allows the user two different watch faces to match his / her outfit or mood of the day. With only 39 examples ever made, this particular example in 18-carat yellow gold is an extremely rare one, which makes it the perfect watch for any collector looking for something unique. Furthermore, the 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’s can be considered rare, I do find Japan editions of any watch, in particular, to be even harder to find because they rarely leave the domestic market. This particular watch was never publicised outside of Japan and most people do not even know these exist so to find one outside of the country and available is a true pleasure.