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Jaeger-LeCoultre: A New Watch Exhibition at Christie's

Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre and Christie’s auction house present an exhibition that honours the iconic Reverso watch

The word icon is bandied about in the watchmaking world, but the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso timepiece truly is a revered hallmark of haute horology. The influential wristwatch was first created in 1931 for British Army polo players stationed in India. It is considered the world’s very first sports watch, designed to withstand the rigours of the polo field. Capturing the Art Deco codes of the period, it is recognisable by its distinct and robust, rectangular case, in addition to a unique ‘slide and flip’ mechanism, which allows the wearer to protect the watch face. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre terminated production in 1939 to focus on creating military models and it was not until the 1980s that production picked up again. Today, the Reverso is considered a horological icon, emblematic of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s innovative, deft design and master craftsmanship. 

It is also the charismatic star of a new exhibition, Jaeger-LeCoultre & Christie’s travel through time with Reverso: "wrist-style since 1931”. The exhibition presents a wide selection of iconic Reverso watches spanning more than 85 years, including historic models and exceptional complications. The elegant display highlights Jaeger-LeCoultre’s storied history as a wristwatch pioneer, credited as a first-class inventor of watch movements, paired with passion and elegance. 

On display, is the Reverso famously commissioned for Edward VIII’s coronation, before he gave up his thrown for American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Engraved on the back is a dedication to the King that never was. 

The exhibition will also showcase watches presented during SIHH and the new made-to-measure offer: the Atelier Reverso, which pays homage to the original model. Watch enthusiasts can also live the Reverso experience to its fullest through the ‘augmented reality’ concept.

30 May-9 June 2017; Christie's, 85 Old Brompton Road, Kensington, London SW7 3LD, www.christies.com/exhibitions