• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1357

    Important Watches

    17 November 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 216

    Jaeger-LeCoultre. A fine and rare stainless steel Reverso wristwatch with sweep centre seconds


    Price Realised  


    Jaeger-LeCoultre. A fine and rare stainless steel Reverso wristwatch with sweep centre seconds
    Signed Jaeger-LeCoultre, ref. 1101, movement no. 74350, case no. 25027, manufactured in 1937
    Cal. 411 octagonal-shaped nickel-finished lever movement, 15 jewels, later polychrome cloisonné enamel dial depicting a polo player in action, applied square-shaped and baton numerals, sweep centre seconds, rectangular case, ribbed ends, engraved initials AJ to the back, revolving within the rectangular backplate, case and backplate numbered, movement signed and numbered
    22 mm. wide & 38 mm. overall length

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    According to the Archives of Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre, the present watch was made in 1937.

    The "Reverso" wristwatch, the world's longest-running watch model, was launched in 1931 and designed upon special request by polo players who wished to have a timepiece able to endure their sport. The ingenious system allows a 180 degree rotation of the case, hence protecting the crystal and consequently the dial from damages.

    The case back, its second "face", provides a background for elaborate engravings such as initials, coats of arms and others, as well as for miniature enamel paintings. It appears that in the early 1930s, India's Maharajah of Karputala was so impressed with the Reverso that he ordered 50 examples, each decorated with his enamelled portrait.

    Essentially unchanged for more than 70 years, the Reverso continues to flourish both as a modern timepiece and as one of the few original Art Deco objects still in use.