Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon-The Collection Has 75 Years Old

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  • May 9, 2016
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Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon

To pay tribute to the 75 years of Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso, JLC revisited the gyrotourbillon. The case size has grown over the years to accomodate complications, and at one stage became quite large. The JLC Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 is a case in point. Certainly a magnificent watch, a tour de force in technical virtuosity, but for many it was too large. So when the opportunity came to revise it, and pay tribute to the 75 years, JLC revisited the gyrotourbillon.Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon back dial
The Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon is the fourth iteration to the Gyrotourbillon which first came to light in a round case in 2004. Conceived by the joint team of Eric Coudray and Magali Metrailler, the original Gyrotourbillon was interesting as it was possibly the first foray into ultra high end watchmaking, and pushing the price envelope for the maison. It featured the JLC Caliber 177, which had a two-cage multi-axis tourbillon (the gyrotourbillon), an instantaneous double retrograde perpetual calendar, equation of time and power reserve indication. The hairspring used was cylindrical. This was not a limited edition, but production capacities for such a complicated watch meant that no more than 20 were made a year. It has since been discontinued after a run of several years.

It was followed by the Gyrotourbillon 2 in a massive Reverso case in 2008. And later with the Gyrotourbillon 3, which returned to the classical round shape.

The Gyrotourbillon 2 ran on the JLC Caliber 174. The movement is pure gyrotourbillon, and JLC had stripped it off the perpetual calendar, EOT, but made it in a form movement fitting exactly and only the rectangular case of the Reverso. As mentioned, it was massive. The case dimensionsare 55mm long, 36mm wide with a thickness of 15.8mm. And in platinum, it was very heavy. The case was so heavy that it required a locking mechanism to secure it within its carriage so it does not accidentally slip out. It had a front dial which is enamel, and a rhodium plated gold back dial. The Caliber 174 featured an evolution on the JLC hairspring technology, and featured a spherical hairspring. This hairspring followed the form prescribed by a sphere and JLC claims it to allow the hairspring to breath more regularly than any other hairsprings.Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon in a slimmer case
The Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon is iteration no 4, and is housed in a platinum Reverso case, and is 30% in width and thickness than the Gyrotourbillon 2. It now measures 31mm wide, 51.1mm long and 12.4mm thick.

The slide mechanism is slick, smooth and easy to operate. So it is a joy to slide the case and flip it from one dial to the other. The platinum case is hefty, and the weight can be felt as it sits on the wrist. But not uncomfortably so.

The dial on both sides show a large cutout to showcase the gyrotourbillon, now with a semi-spherical balance spring as compared to the spherical balance spring used in the Gyrotourbillon 2. This enables JLC to save space, and allowed the height to be lowered without affecting the performance.

The Caliber 179 uses the two faces of the Reverso to carry times of two timezones. The times on each of the dials can be individually set, and on the back dial (seen on the wrist as crown left), there is a 24 hour indicator, which is useful for use as home time while the front dial is used for local time when travelling.Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon hands on
The finishing is to quite a high level without approaching the dizzying heights achieved by the top haute horlogerie houses. It is more than adequate for the engineering requirements to keep the movement clean and running properly. It is, however slightly disappointing, considering that this is one of the highest level watches that JLC offers, save for the Hybris Mechanica and Hybris Artistica series.

The new watch is less expensive, disregarding the historical differences in currency. Both are in a Reverso case. Both feature a dual cage multi axis tourbillon. The Gyrotourbillon 2’s tourbillon is more traditional, with bridges on both sides. The Tribute Gyrotourbillon’s cages are flying, anchored only on the back dial’s side with a bridge. The Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon is also way more friendly in its size, and more accessible to collectors with more variance in wrist sizes.