Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso 70ème
The Reverso 70th Anniversary (also called "Reverso 70ème" or "Reverso Septantième") is a limited-edition luxury watch by Jaeger-LeCoultre produced in 2002 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Reverso model range.
In 1991, Jaeger-LeCoultre re-establishing itself as a high-end watchmaker with the launch of an all-new complicated Reverso model, the Reverso 60ème. From the all-new "Grande Taille" case to the complicated specialty movement, the Reverso was back on the map. This was followed by a tourbillon model, minute repeater, perpetual calendar, and more. This iconic model, with its reversible rectangular case, was the signature of the brand.
With the 70th anniversary on the horizon, Jaeger-LeCoultre set about creating another revolution in the Reverso range: Once again, an entirely new, larger case was created. Variously called "Grande", "Gran'Sport", and "XGT", the 70ème case was 4.5 mm taller than the 42 mm "Grande Taille" case of the 60ème. Overall, the case measured 46.5 mm tall, 29.0 mm wide, and 12.0 mm thick. This added heft left room for complications like an 8-day power reserve with two barrels. Additionally, Jaeger-LeCoultre would create a platinum case, a first for the Reverso.
Like the 60ème, the 70ème was designed to prove Jaeger-LeCoultre's manufacturing and design prowess and move the model range forward. But it took an extra year to perfect the new Cal. 879, so the 70ème was launched in 2002, a year after the anniversary. By this time, the Platinum Number One, with its tourbillon, was already on the market. Still, the 70ème is celebrated as paving the way for ever-larger Reverso models, including the Squadra and massive grande complication à triptyque in the decade that followed.
The 70ème is also celebrated for its harmonious design, despite displaying a complication at each corner: A semi-circular day/night indicator is placed between 1 and 2, small seconds at 5, big date at 7, and 8-day power reserve indicator between 10 and 11. The movement is also quite lovely, made of solid 18k gold and finely finished. The display case back also shows the fact that this movement was designed just for this particular watch, a Jaeger-LeCoultre claim to fame.
The Reverso range continued to expand in the years that followed. The XGT case would see use in a range of Grande Reverso models for 15 years, and larger cases would follow. The next major complicated Reverso model would be the grande complication à triptyque of 2006, though it is perhaps the Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon of 2016 that is the spiritual successor of the 70ème: It marked a new line of Reverso models with an all-new case.