HANDS-ON: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Nonantième is a fitting birthday celebration of a truly classic watch HANDS-ON: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Nonantième is a fitting birthday celebration of a truly classic watch

HANDS-ON: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Nonantième is a fitting birthday celebration of a truly classic watch

Fergus Nash

It’s not often that a 90th anniversary is celebrated with as much grandeur as say a 50th for example, but Jaeger-LeCoultre like to celebrate a little bit differently. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Nonantième marks 90 years since the introduction of their incredible rectangular flipping watch that has remained relevant throughout every trend and fashion of wristwatches since its inception in 1930. Not only does it fit nicely alongside the hundreds or thousands of other Reverso references throughout the decades, but it also innovates with a fresh complication.

The case

Crafted from 18k pink gold, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Nonantíeme uses a traditional Reverso design with the triple-banded ends and short, refined lugs. It has a width of 29.9mm and a 49.4mm lug-to-lug, which is slightly larger than you might expect for a truly unisex fit, but it helps all of those stunning dial details to be seen without the need for a loupe. Even with two dials and the extra layer of metal behind the flipping head, the overall thickness is only 11.7mm, ensuring that the watch isn’t compromised by bulkiness.

The finish is entirely high-polished, which is exactly what you would want to show off the beautiful warm lustre of that pink gold alloy throughout the watch. As with most watches of this complexity the main sacrifice is the water resistance being only 30 metres, however I don’t imagine many people wanting to take this into the hot tub.

The dial

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Nonantième

The front side of the watch is textbook Jaeger-LeCoultre, and doesn’t give away too many hints about how special it really is. The sunburst brushing across the silver dial is very fine, to give a much smoother effect as it moves in the light. Pink gold features on the hands, applied indices, and the date frame which carries over the elegance of the case to the dial too, punctuated by the sharp edges of the fencepost hour markers and dauphine hand stylings. The moon phase at the top of the running seconds subdial is pure eye candy, with a stippled texture on the moon to help it stand out from a distance. Although not quite a “grand date” complication, the large and legible date window below 12 o’clock is inspired by the Art Deco digital clocks of the 1920s from before the Reverso was created, and creates some symmetry with the second side of the watch.

When we think of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s top range of Reverso watches, a dual-face version isn’t particularly shocking. In fact, recently we saw the incredible Reverso Quadriptyque with no less than four dials and 11 complications, so the watchmaker of watchmakers has to work quite hard to surprise their fans nowadays. While the Tribute Nonantième doesn’t aim to bedazzle potential customers with complexity, its uniqueness lies in the simple execution of a rather quaint idea — a jump-hour dial with rolling minutes and a day/night indicator.

I’ve described some watches before as “something a magician would wear”, and I will stand by this statement as a strong compliment in the case of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Nonantième. The circular windows through the high-polished case gives it a distinctly magical personality, emphasised by the gorgeous lacquered starry sky display in midnight blue. The small details such as the crimped edge of the largest window, the concentric circles emanating from the hour display, and the small peak that points at the current minutes reading all exemplify why Jaeger-LeCoultre are so universally adored, and give the watch a huge amount of three-dimensional depth. Whether you’re checking the time, or staring at the radiant beams coming from the sun and moon display beneath the “JL” logo, you’re sure to be whisked away to a more mystical place.

The movement

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Nonantième uses their in-house calibre 826, which doesn’t stray too far from some of the more standard Reverso movements but cleverly integrates the extra features as needed. It’s wound manually, which I would say gives more charm to the watch even if they could have made it automatic without adding thickness. It has a power reserve of 42 hours, beating at the low beat of 21,600 vibrations per hour. It seems as though the amount of power Jaeger-LeCoultre could fit inside this movement was fairly limited, as the jump hour complication is actually not entirely a true jump hour in the traditional sense. Instead of an instantaneous click every hour, it actually takes a small amount of time to transition between numerals in order to conserve the mainspring’s energy.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Nonantième pricing and availability:

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Nonantième is available from Jaeger-LeCoultre dealers worldwide as a limited edition of 190 pieces. Price: $60,000 AUD / $40,500 USD

Made in partnership with Jaeger-LeCoultre. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.