This Duo Of Reversos Explains Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Most Wearable Design

This Duo Of Reversos Explains Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Most Wearable Design

Randy Lai
Randy Lai


It’s a fact that those of us who love watches have known for some time, but we’re glad the masses are cottoning on: despite all the handwringing of armchair pundits, the dress watch didn’t go the way of the dodo.

In fact, you could say they’re experiencing something of a revival: seen increasingly as a riposte to all the adolescent clamouring for hyped-up sports watches that – let’s face it – few enthusiasts remove from safes and even fewer still wear for their exciting, intended purpose.

By contrast, consider the allegedly ‘ailing’ dress watch: elegant, thoughtful and infinitely more enjoyable to wear (assuming your wardrobe consists of anything other than the Zuck-approved uniform of sweats and a tee).

Within this category, manufacturers like Jaeger-LeCoultre have been finding favour with collectors who are staunchly individual: after all, what critical arguments are there against pairing leather-strapped timepieces with modern apparel? As it turns out, mostly imagined ones.

To better illustrate that point, we’ve selected two watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s catalogue, both offering their own distinctive expression of the iconic Reverso DNA. The common factor? Each is a lot easier to wear than you might initially think.

For Aesthetes: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Monoface Small Seconds

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

Before going any further, let’s get one thing straight: virtually any Reverso sans complication will perform well in the guise of a ‘daily wearer’. However (as with any collection of shape watches that’s had this much of an impact over the past 50 years) certain models just fare that much better, when wed to a particular kind of collector and their specific lifestyle.

For those who are keen to take a leaf out of the classic style playbook, this Reverso Monoface Small Seconds re-envisions – with contemporary precision – all of the attributes that made the original Reverso’s such a compelling proposition when they debuted in 1931.

The proprietary double-sided case swivels inside the Monoface’s carriage, with the obverse side left intentionally unadorned. Once upon a time made to cop a cheeky wallop (or three) from a polo mallet, the caseback is now more likely to showcase the renowned work of the Jaeger-LeCoultre engraving department.

In the metal, the ceremonial quality that space set aside for engraving lends to this Monoface is accented further by the main dial. Here, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s designers have taken a degree of care to bring the best of the historic Reverso design language into 2022: the ‘flat 4’ serif, tone-on-tone finish and presence of two overlapping guilloché dials are all details that have their roots in classic Jaeger-LeCoultre designs of the 20th century.

Rather than undercutting overall wearability, these simply imbue the Monoface with a subtle throwback sensibility – a design call we’ve seen go down well with collectors of clothing, sneakers, and of course watches.

In turn, this is tempered by the 45.6mm x 27.4mm case profile, sitting wide and flat across the wrist for a look that is equivalent (in the context of shape watches) to a 40mm daily.

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The decision to favour texture over colour adds to the watch’s wearability. Individual elements in the Monoface do indeed exhibit a vintage nature, but these are placed inside a tonal setting that alternates the character of metal by using multiple different finishes.

That leaves collectors to pick a calfskin leather strap (made by Argentine supplier, Casa Fagliano) that will turn the watch into their own personal statement. With the aid of a quick-release mechanism – standard across the full range of Reverso straps – the Monoface excels at outfit changes: taking you from pad thai in your living room to black tie galas with nothing more than a change of pants (we’re talking about the watch, just to be clear).

For The Street: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface Calendar

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

Whereas the earlier Monoface is a watch most collectors will be able to bend to their own stylistic whims, I’m going to go ahead and make the (admittedly subjective) claim that the Tribute Duoface Calendar is at its best when worn casually.

Unveiled earlier this year in conjunction with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s announcement of Nicholas Hoult as its latest brand ambassador, you don’t need to have the dishy good looks of a British thespian in order to wear the Duoface Calendar in the course of your day-to-day.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

Without wishing to spell out the obvious, this sportif expression of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso DNA is a good deal more casual than the Monoface for a few aesthetic reasons that will become apparent if you compare the two.

For starters, the Duoface is the larger watch: at 45.6mm x 2.7mm, it makes a bigger impact on all but the widest of wrists; and that presence is felt even more keenly when the secondary dial, decorated using a brilliant blue sunburst finish, is worn facing outward.

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The faceted baton indexes (which call to mind little individuated swords) also give both of the Duoface Calendar’s dials a clean, contemporary look – because who really needs a written reminder that there are 12 hours in every AM/PM cycle?

With a couple of noteworthy exceptions, there’s been a push toward wearing complicated watches in a casual manner globally. The Duoface Calendar falls smackdab in the middle of this growing trend: aided by its use of a stainless steel carriage (horology’s universal symbol for ‘sports watches’) and the option to switch things out to one of Casa Fagliano’s signature ‘bimaterial’ straps.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

It’s in this configuration when the Reverso’s hidden versatility seems the most like an epiphany: no matter whether you’ve opted to display the simple calendar (i.e. day; month; date; moonphase) or the time-only dial in blue, it’s genuinely a little bewildering how the simple addition of a cotton canvas strap can transform such a technical watchmaking exercise into something so wearable.

This article is sponsored by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Boss Hunting.

Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].



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