It doesn’t feel right, calling a watch like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique entry-level. It brings to mind images of small white cars with black bumpers, no rims and not even a radio or electric windows. Of course this is not the case with this Reverso, since no corners were cut to create this watch, yet in the universe called Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Reverso Classique is, at 4,850 Euros one of the least expensive ways to wear a watch from this grande maison. And how bad, or rather, how good can that be?
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s history is so impressive that even watchmakers from other top brands talk about them with the utmost respect. And this “entry level” Reverso is exactly the reason why. Apart from the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931, the Classique is as pure as you can get for a Reverso. Its dimensions may sound modest, at 23.1mm wide and 38.5mm long, yet that is also part of its strength. It oozes the style of decades long gone, but obviously not forgotten.
Jaeger-LeCoultre also plays a bit of a trick on you with this watch. The dial may look a tad plain in the pictures, but in real life it engages in a subtle play with light, revealing textures and colors you didn’t think were in the dial. This really gives the watch depth and amplifies that Art Deco feeling that the dial gives you. Of course no Reverso is complete without a pivoting case, also present here in the Classique. The back is a meadow of polished stainless steel, waiting, no begging, for a personal engraving. Yes, this will make your Reverso very difficult to sell, but you probably won’t do that anyway. In all its simplicity, it offers a lot to love.
Part of what is there to love remains hidden within the case. It is the manufacture caliber 846/1, with 93 parts and beats at 21,600 bpm. Jaeger-LeCoultre draws a lot of its reputation for its movements, and caliber 846/1 shows why. It’s not an awfully complicated movement, but it is sturdy, reliable and precise, exactly what you want in a watch that was originally designed to play polo with.
So is there another word for entry-level? I think Jaeger-LeCoultre was dead on when it decided to call this Reverso the Classique. It refers not only to its heritage, but also to its “classique” price.
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics