Dressing down a Reverso is easier than you’d thinkBorna Bošnjak
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is certainly among the more recognisable watch designs out there, I’d even venture as far as calling it iconic. I’m sure that most of you are already familiar with its origin story, so I won’t bore you with a history lesson. It should suffice to say that the original 1931 design was created with a robust purpose in mind, with the reversible case designed to survive some posh folk playing polo. Over the years however, its classic Art Deco lines have made it less and less of a sporty proposition, as today, it has cemented itself as one of the classiest designs around. Note that I didn’t call it a dressy design, however. To me, the Reverso has always seemed an excellent half of a two watch collection, with its everyday versatility (minus the 3 bar water resistance) backed up by the rough-and-tumble readiness of something like a G-Shock. While it can certainly work in a dressed up scenario, I firmly believe that a Reverso can not only be dressed down, but that it’s actually quite easy to do.
While there’s a myriad of Reverso designs out there, from the gorgeous trio of Reverso Tributes to the incredibly complex Quadryptique, I wanted to go pretty classic. The manually wound Reverso Classic Duoface combines the lovely silver-toned dial with brushing and guilloché with flashes of deep blue from the steel hands. Its 25.5mm width case has a compact 42.9mm lug-to-lug and a height of right around 10mm, which is as large a Reverso I’d seriously consider. The thickness was always one considerable dimension of any Reverso for me, and one that made it dress down much easier, as it stood much taller on the wrist than I’d normally go for in a dress watch.
On the flip side, pun fully intended, is likely my favourite feature of any Reverso. The black dial is finished just as well as the silver with soft Clous de Paris guilloché, yet adds excellent versatility due to the luminescent markers and sword hands. The hour hand can be adjusted independently from the silver side, using a slider hidden atop the reversible case that jumps it in hourly increments. Coupled with the day/night indicator in place of the small seconds, the Reverso makes a case for itself as an excellent travel watch as well.
T-shirt and jeans are the ultimate test
Finally, onto the topic at hand. I will immediately concede to the fact that this is not a sweatpants and hoodie watch. While I’m certain that your arm won’t fall off if you do choose such an ensemble, a Reverso is perfectly at home with a t-shirt and jeans, especially on the burnished Fagliano leather strap. Here I’ve paired it with a Sunspel-beating heavy-pile cotton tee from Uniqlo and Informale’s selvedge denim and moleskin shirt jacket.
Flipped over to the travel time dial, the Reverso takes on an even more casual appearance, as the fine guilloché is less visible on the black surface. I’d likely spend most of my time wearing the Reverso on this side, as I just love the slight off-centre nature of the hands and the overall simplicity.
Dressing down ≠ hoodie and sweatpants
Speaking of a hoodie and sweatpants, it’s not necessarily the true meaning of dressing down. A sports coat or blazer paired with jeans or some type of chino is the perfect playground for the Reverso, as it simply shines in that environment.
The Reverso’s Art Deco styling was combined with the same white tee, military trousers from Namiman (that already cameoed on YouTube), and a wool check blazer by Pal Zileri (couldn’t find the link for that one, my b).
While there was never any doubt that the Reverso is a phenomenal watch, the question whether it can be dressed down has been answered with a resolute yes. While I keep tooting my own horn, I’d love to hear other suggestions, or rather, challenges, for dressing watches up or down – reach me via [email protected] or on Instagram @bornabosnjak.