A watch that truly needs no introduction is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. An icon of the watch world and a piece adorned by both men and women. There isn’t a better watch out there that crosses the unisex line quite like the Reverso.
When people think of dress watches there are many that may spring to mind, a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar, a Cartier Tank perhaps, or even a Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle.
But not a single one of these watches packs the build quality, heritage, and versatility quite like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso.
In particular, we’ve chosen to look at the Reverso Classic Medium Small Seconds, reference 2438520. So, to begin with, let’s take a look at some of the specifications of this watch.
Model: Reverso Classic Medium Small SecondsReference: 2438520
Diameter: 42.9 x 25.5mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Movement: Calibre 822/2 Manual Winding Movement
Size is everything
It’s true. When buying a watch, size is probably one of the most important factors. Often people are put off by watches that are too large or too small. But this one isn’t too big or too small, it is just right (no Goldilocks reference intended).
Although some may argue otherwise, the proportions of this Reverso once on the wrist, are just sublime. As it’s a rectangular watch it doesn’t quite wear the same as other watches. So, in essence, diameter doesn’t play a huge part here.
42.9mm in lug-to-lug across the wrist may come across as small for those with larger wrists, but this measurement is fairly similar to that of a 36mm watch with a round case. On paper, people may consider this small, but it genuinely wears very well on most wrist sizes.
The art of finishing
The level of finishing has got to be one of the main selling points of any Jaeger-LeCoultre, and the Reverso Classic Medium Thin is certainly no exception.
Stainless steel may not instantly make you think of luxury, but the moment you connect stainless steel with JLC, you know you’re getting more than you bargained for, in terms of overall craftsmanship.
I have always been a believer that Jaeger-LeCoultre is a brand that charges way below its worth, which is great for us buyers. It means that you can get build quality and heritage that rivals Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, for far less. As a value proposition, this Jaeger-LeCoultre is remarkable.
Value without sacrifice
Image Credit: Watchuseek
That brings me nicely to my main point here. £5,500 in the watch world can, in some respects, get you a long way.
You’re beginning to reach Oyster Perpetual territory or even the Grand Seiko level, two very highly reputed brands. But having held many watches from each of these brands, there simply is no comparison to this Reverso for £5,500.
It may be considered by some a unisex watch, but men’s watches of similar build quality from other brands will set you back almost double. I will refrain from calling it a bargain, but it certainly is an incredibly impressive value proposition.
Perhaps where it doesn’t hold itself as well, in comparison to Rolex in particular, is value retention. The Reverso will not hold its value, if you engrave the case back, as many do, you’ll almost certainly lose money and struggle to sell it too.
But for most, this is irrelevant. The JLC Reverso, at any level, is a symbol of sophistication, an heirloom, and not a watch to buy and sell. It’s timeless and therefore should be a watch you buy to wear and enjoy rather than sell.
Why is this called the Reverso Classic?
It’s because of its timeless and classic appeal, in 40 years’ time this will be equally as relevant and respected as it is today. Will a grape-dial Oyster Perpetual be as classic, I highly doubt it!
So, in short, this is not a watch to buy to make money or hold its value. It’s not a watch for those with massive wrists and some would say it’s not for those who are sports-watch enthusiasts (even though this is the original sports watch). And you’d be right.
This watch isn’t for everyone. It’s reserved for those who really appreciate the brand and the history of the Reverso. I like that about this watch.
It’s approachable and respected but doesn’t scream expensive or opulent, and certainly isn’t mainstream. I’d go as far as to say this is the most classic timepiece you could buy. Is it the best? No. It is the most versatile? No. But is it the king of sophistication? Most definitely.