Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso 60ème
The Reverso 60th Anniversary (also called "Reverso 60ème" or "Reverso Soixantième") is a limited-edition luxury watch by Jaeger-LeCoultre produced in 1991 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Reverso model range.
In 1991, Jaeger-LeCoultre was just recovering from the quartz crisis and re-establishing itself as a high-end watchmaker. The company had long relied on the iconic Reverso range as a signature piece but had not yet ventured much into the world of haute horology. This all changed with the Reverso 60th Anniversary model, known by the French name, "60ème".
This was the first Reverso to break from the past with the addition of a complication, and featured a new larger "Grande Taille" case. Both would serve as the foundation for the next decades for the Reverso range.
The main complication was a power reserve indicator, placed in the corner of the rectangular case near the 11:00 mark and overlapping the dial almost to the center. The 60ème also featured an understated date pointer in contrasting color to the hands, with numerals inside the hour markers around an irregular guilloche dial. Large Arabic numerals show the hour, with number 6 missing (for the rectangular small seconds subdial) and the 12 replaced by the anchor-shaped "JL" logo.
The "Grande Taille" ("Large Size") case measures 42 mm tall by 26 mm wide and 9 mm thick, much longer than the classic 38 mm by 23 mm Reverso or the square 24 x 23 mm Reverso II. But the classic design cues remain, including three accent lines above and below the dial and a rounded case profile. The company released a full line of Grande Taille Reverso models shortly after, and this became the main case size for decades.
The Reverso 60ème also diverges from previous Reverso models in that it has a display caseback. Rather than a simple steel back, the 60ème has a full window showing the decorated Cal. 824 beating slowly inside. This hand-winding movement is baguette shaped and contained inside a matched shaped case, emphasizing the plates and bridges.
Although far from the haute horology pieces that would define Jaeger-LeCoultre in coming decades, the Reverso 60ème is nevertheless considered to be the first of the Hybris Mechanica line thanks to its custom complicated movement. It was a limited edition of 500 pieces.
The next complicated Reverso model was launched just two years later, the Reverso Tourbillon. But it is the Reverso 70ème of 2002 that is the true successor to the 60ème, both in spirit and in the impact it had on the Reverso model range.