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REVIEW: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Grand GMT>>>>>>

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Published on 01-10-2010 10:52 AM

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Review of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Grand GMT
By: John B. Holbrook, II

Jaeger-LeCoultre has long been considered one of the finest watchmaking houses in all of Switzerland. They are one of the world's few remaining watch companies which manufacture all the components of their watches in house — the movements, the cases, the dials, and even the hands. The legendary manufacturer, like so many of the great Swiss houses, emerged from humble beginnings and changed greatly over the subsequent decades. In 1833, Antoine LeCoultre (son of the watchmaker Jacques LeCoultre) opened a workshop in the town of Le Sentier. Amazingly, the current Jaeger-LeCoultre factory is located only a short distance from the site of Antoine LeCoultre's first workshop. By 1925, the decision was made by Antoine's grandson David LeCoultre to merge the company with one owned by Edmond Jaeger, creating the company we know today as Jaeger-LeCoultre. Just six years later the newly merged company would create what became Jaeger-LeCoultre's best selling model, and one of the most famous and prestigious wristwatches in the world — the Reverso.

The reference number 302.24.20 Reverso Grand GMT is one of my personal favorite models in JLC's Reverso line. While The JLC Reverso line has always had a case which pivots, it was not until the first appearance of the Reverso Duo a decade ago that JLC actually combined two separately functioning timepieces within one watch case. Like the Duo before it, the Reverso Grand GMT carries on this tradition.

Watch Analog watch Rectangle Everyday carry Watch accessory

Watch Analog watch Clock Rectangle Everyday carry

The case and single-fold deployant clasp of the Grand GMT are constructed of 18k rose gold (also available in stainless steel). I was particularly impressed by the color and hue that JLC achieved here, as gold can be difficult to execute properly. Yellow gold can sometimes look “brassy” and gaudy, while rose gold can often have an unpleasant copper appearance. However, the gold case on the Reverso Grand GMT strikes a perfect balance and is warm and very elegant without being ostentatious. The Grand GMT is the largest Reverso case from JLC to date, yet not overpoweringly so. It still has the classic dress watch size which gives the Reverso its timeless quality. While the Grand GMT isn’t at all a sport watch, Jaeger LeCoultre's attention to quality and detail is evident in that they've designed the Grand GMT case with a water resistance rating of 30 meters. Mated to the case and deployant clasp is a gorgeous and supple brown crocodile strap. The strap is as comfortable as it is attractive thanks to the ample padding on the underside.

Watch Analog watch Rectangle Clock Watch accessory

Watch Analog watch Rectangle Clock Watch accessory

As the Reverso name implies, this Grand GMT really is two watches in one. On the front side you have baton-shaped blued hands against white dial with silver guilloche wave pattern and black numeral markers. At the 2 o’clock position the watch has a day/night indicator, with a small seconds display in the 5 o’clock position, and a large date indicator at 7 o’clock. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal. Slide the case forward, pivot it back, and the black dial side of the Grand GMT is exposed. On this side, the brilliant black dial has luminescent compound-coated sword hands, with a combination of white markers and numbers. In the 2 o’clock position we have a power reserve indicator for the incredible eight-day power reserve of this hand-wound movement. In the 5 o’clock position there’s a 24 hr. indicator, and in the 7 o’clock position there’s a second timezone indicator. The hour hand on the black dial can be moved forward or backward via the pushers on either side of the crown. GMT synchronization is accomplished via a third button discreetly hidden on the case flank — depressing it will advance the hand of the second timezone indicator by one hour. Clearly the functionality provided by this watch is a dream come true for globetrotters. Fortunately fashion considerations are not lost on the functionality, as both the black and white dial sides work well with the brown strap. Incredibly, the Reverso Grand GMT has six separate complications contained within its case, made possible by the miraculous Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 878.

Body jewelry Font Jewellery Pattern Metal

The JLC Calibre 878 is crafted, assembled, and decorated entirely by hand. The mechanical, hand-wound, high-beat movement oscillates at 28,800 vibrations per hour, and can run for eight days after being fully wound. The incredibly complicated movement has 276 parts, 35 jewels, and yet is only 5.6 mm in thickness. As an horological aficionado, I cannot help but be impressed by Jaeger- LeCoultre's achievement with the 878 — the very epitome of haute horology. Like all JLC models, the Grand GMT and the Calibre 878 are tested for 1000 hrs. prior to being released from the factory.

The idea of “two-in-one” is traditionally looked down upon in the luxury goods segment, but Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso line proves to be the exception to this rule. The back-to-back dials of the Reverso Grand GMT provide a delight for the eyes and soul, and unparalleled horological engineering and functionality. The retail price of the JLC Reverso Grand GMT is $21,800.00.

**Photos & Text Copyright 2010 WATCH TALK FORUMS INC.. No part of this report can be reproduced outside of WATCH TALK FORUMS without the expressed permission of John B. Holbrook, II.

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REVIEW: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Grand GMT>>>>>>
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