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Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Complication Swiss Watches Review

Updated on January 5, 2015

Reverso Complication: Aesthetics vs. Technology

In Reverso Complication Jaeger LeCoultre intentionally present complications as elegantly undistinguished components. There is a notable “so what” mood emanating from the watches – a nonchalant easiness of integration no other high-end Swiss watchmaker was able to achieve.

The easiness relies, however, on hand-winding movements (except one model), a mechanical feature that some may consider an inconvenience. A question rises, have Jaeger LeCoultre sacrificed technology for aesthetic effects?


JLC Reverso Complication includes the following complications: GMT, date, sun moon, automatic, and duo. Most of them appear on the back of the watch, which essentially presents another dial that carries the additional information. It's a principled solution: the watchmakers prefers to rely on the reversal mechanism instead of on intricate (and often cramped) front dial compositions that attempt to balance the multiplicity of subsidiary dials, hands, markers and indicators.

Reverso Complication avoids these elaborations and instead utilizes the unique feature it carries built-in – resulting in exceptional aesthetic benefits.

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Specifically, Reverso Grande GMT model offers a black back which displays the second time zone, the GMT difference, and the power reserve indicator (8 days). Grande Date accommodates the large dual date aperture at seven o'clock, the power reserve indicator between ten and eleven, and the small seconds at five.

It's obvious that the design strives to keep the center clear by placing the complications on the sides – Grande Sun Moon and Automatic show the same tendency. But this is just one method Jaeger LeCoultre employ to balance the rectangular dials with the round subdials.


Dials present an interesting ground for observation – they're both a series of visual solutions and a surface bearing unified compositions that balance hands, numerals and other elements. Reverso Complication watches coordinate the main rectangle with inner subdials in several steps.

First, JLC almost always use either black or white colors, with occasional gray and silver in-betweens; this contributes to simplicity and facilitates legibility. Second, an inner rectangle, colored or traced, repeats the outer shape, providing symmetry and a more intimate form of reference, cushioning the “shock” of the angular shape.

Third, graceful patterns ornament the dials to produce a soft carpet-like surface. Finally, Jaeger LeCoultre opt for minimal indication, choosing to emphasize the simple large Arabic numerals, and avoiding complex scales and indices.


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