There was an undeniable Reverso vibe in Paris this past week. It was a mix of elegance, prestige, with a touch of celebration. It’s something you’ve seen a hundred times before, and still there is something new to discover each and every time.
Like all luxury manufacturers, the watchmaking industry only counts a very limited number of true iconic watches: the Royal Oak by Audermars Piguet, the Rolex Submariner, the Reverso from Jaeger-LeCoultre, and a few others that will make die-hard watch-nerds comment on this article.
Where it happened : Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France – © Jaeger-LeCoultre
So what is an iconic watch? Well first and foremost, its a piece that never ages, regardless of the passing years, a piece that sets trends as opposed to following them. And this is exactly what Jaeger-LeCoultre’s phenomenally successful Reverso collection has been doing ever since it was launched, eighty years ago. And so to celebrate this on-going success the brand threw a birthday party bash in Paris that would put the likes of a fellow geriatric like Hugh Hefner to shame.
The Reverso Case of movements – © The Watch Lounge
Showing the timeless appeal of the Reverso collection party goers ranged in age from 17 to 77, and included a number of celebs such as Clive Owen, Adrian Brody, Diane Krueger and Catherine Deneuve who were all on hand to celebrate the milestone.
Clive Owen & Adrian Brody – © Jaeger-LeCoultre
But no one had any misconceptions about who the real stars were on the day – the watches themselves. The Sentier-based manufacture displayed an unbelievable collection of 80 Reversos, ranging from the 1931 classics to the latest Gyro-Tourbillons. Although each piece had its own distinct personality the one thing these iconic pieces all shared in common was the fact that you could still wear any one of them as if they had just been created the day before (with the possible exception of some of mid-eighties pieces – but that is a personal opinion only).
80 Reversos to celebrate each of the 80 years – © Jaeger-LeCoultre
March 4, 1931, 1:15 PM
Although she is now 80 years old, the Reverso still looked and felt like a young lady celebrating her birthday and at the end of the night 800 people gathered in the beautiful Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris to blow out the candles. A fitting location really as it was here, in Paris, that the very first patent for a “wristwatch which can slide on its base and flip over on itself” was recorded, on March 4th 1931, at 1:15 PM.
This was the second event hosted by Jaeger-LeCoultre to celebrate the Reverso anniversary, after the first ‘dry-run’ event was held a few months ago in the birthplace of Polo; Argentina. Fortunately for us however it was during the Paris event that the brand launched this gorgeous limited edition new enameled Reverso: the Grande Reverso Email (limited to just 25 pieces).
New Reverso Email Bleu – © Jaeger-LeCoultre
The event was, indeed, a great success, although one might suggest that there was a little bit too much “looking back”, and not enough “looking ahead” to what the next 80 years might hold. This came as a bit of a surprise really as Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the few ‘big’ brands in the luxury watch industry that has fully embraced the forward-thinking ideas of social media and moved to engage in more meaningful ways on-line with all its stakeholders.
Fortunately we managed to have an insightful chat over a couple of glasses of Champagne with Cécile Tinchant, the 2.0 lady behind the digital identity of the brand. Things go fast now. CEO Jérôme Lambert is open to new technologies and the path Jaeger-LeCoultre chose to take a few years ago has shown itself to be relevant, thoughtful, and in perfect harmony with the brand’s core values.
The Reverso collection will continue to have significant role to play in this brave new digital world and whilst we would have been delighted to hear more about what the future might hold for this iconic timepiece that night, we are sure this is going to be an exciting new chapter of the Jaeger-LeCoultre story.
And we will be there to witness it.
Here’s how it started… – © The Watch Lounge
…and how it ended… – © The Watch Lounge
Category: Special Features