Watch of the Week: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Enamel ‘Dragon’
The inestimable Swiss brand releases a new timepiece to coincide with the Chinese New Year.
Released in 1931 as a men’s polo watch, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is an Art Deco design classic to rival the Chrysler Building. A gleaming symbol of between-the-wars modernity, the Reverso reflected the artistic and technological innovations of its time. It had a pivoting action that allowed for the case to turn over, keeping the watch protected while the wearer played; a flat metal surface could better resist a whack from a wooden ball than the glass face.
The caseback also offered a perfect canvas for personalisation and inspired engraving. The Swiss brand continues this artful tradition with the release of the Reverso Tribute Enamel ‘Dragon’. Created to coincide with the Chinese New Year and made only to order, the new timepiece pays tribute to the Year of the Dragon, and to the talents of the company’s artists and master engravers.
The handsome pink gold dial is made from a glossy black Grand Feu enamel, rendered all the more dramatic by the elegant economy of the faceted appliqué hour-markers, chemin de fer minutes track and Dauphine hands.
The obverse reveals a lavish depiction of a dragon floating in a sea of clouds against the same black enamel. The precisely articulated details on the dragon’s scales—highlighted with black rhodium—took the master engraver more than 80 hours using 10 differently sized chisels to sculpt the metal step by step.
It’s not the first time that the Maison has adopted Asian motifs and Eastern decorative crafts (a Year of the Tiger version was released last year), and there is no shortage of Chinese New Year offerings, but the new Reverso Dragon is arguably the most sublime.
Diameter: 45.5 mm x 27.4 mm
Height: 9.73 mm
Material: 18k pink gold
Water resistance: 30 m
Movement: Cal. 822
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 42 hours
Strap: Alligator leather with folding clasp
Availability: Made to order, at Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques only
Price: On application
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