Truth be told, this Reverso Tribute Nonantième is a magnificent timepiece. And let’s say it, it’s a little bit more affordable than the Reverso Hybris Mechanica – this year’s masterpiece – which I hope to be able to present one day on my YouTube channel (keep reading to find out more).
Reverso Tribute Nonantième: two faces and six small complications
The Nonantième’s spirit is both refined and elegant thanks to its pink gold case and sun-brushed silver dial. Three small complications are perfectly laid out on the timepiece: a large date display at 12 o’clock, a small seconds counter at 6 o’clock and a delicate moon phase display. Gadroons on the upper and lower edges of the case, and on the verso face, act as a signature as well as a reminder of the 1930s’ – when the watch was created.
The back display is less conventional because of its two apertures forming a figure-eight. It is adorned by a semi-jumping hour above the minutes on a disc that is partially concealed by a starry sky made by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Métiers Rares (Rare Handcrafts) workshop. Time information is also accompanied by a night/day indication with a Moon and a Sun at the centre.
A semi-jumping hour on the back display to save energy
Evidently, the Reverso Tribute Nonantième houses an exclusive hand-wound Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre composed of 230 components. It shows the same time on both sides and offers a 42-hour power reserve. It’s not much, but it would have been even less if the watch had featured a jumping hour instead of a semi-jumping one. While this technical decision might require less energy, I believe that it did not justify gaining a few hours. On the contrary, I would count down the hours to have the pleasure of manually wounding this exceptional watch.
Don’t turn your back on the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185
One thing is for sure, Jaeger-LeCoultre bent over backward to celebrate the 90th anniversary of its emblematic Reverso. Indeed, the house developed its most complex version of all time: the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185.
This white gold 10-piece limited edition is an extraordinary feat and also goes by the name of “Quadriptyque”. Which already says a lot about its functional specificity…
It must be noted that Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Hybris Mechanica collection exclusively comprises revolutionary models that features a multitude of grand complications. Therefore, these pieces are extremely difficult and long to manufacture. For this reason, they seldom leave Jaeger-LeCoultre’s workshops, located in Le Sentier, in the Vallée de Joux.
Why the name “Quadriptyque”, then?
It’s actually easy to understand. The master watchmakers placed the different complications on the four faces of the watch: recto and verso faces of the convertible case as well as front and back of the cradle attached to the strap.
Twelve patents protect this time piece, which works thanks to a manually wound calibre with a total of eleven complications. It includes: a flying tourbillon, a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar featuring a large date, a jumping hour and moon phases for both hemispheres.
Things get a little more complicated when you find out that the chiming mechanism of the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque comprises an exclusive system to avoid dead time between the series of notes corresponding to the hours, the quarter-hours and the minutes. Additionally, the sophisticated mechanism of the Moon phases also deserves attention as it only needs to be adjusted once every 1,111 years!
Yes, you read that right, in theory, there is more than a millennium between each adjustment.
Reverso Hybris Mechanica Quadriptyque, a real astronomical watch
Where there is a limit to reason, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Quadriptyque almost knows no bound regarding astronomical complications with the display of the synodic, draconic and anomalistic cycles together. This is a first in the history of watchmaking for a wristwatch. Here’s a quick explanation. While the synodic cycle corresponds to the classic lunations (age of the Moon), the draconic cycle shows when the path of the Moon intersects with the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. As for the anomalistic cycle, it represents the varying distance between the Earth and Moon.
This ultra-complicated and ultra-compact instrument will make its mark on the history of the Reverso as well as on the history of Haute Horlogerie altogether.
REVERSO HYBRIS MECHANICA CALIBRE 185
Case: white gold
Dimensions: 51.2 x 31 mm
Thickness: 15.15 mm
Movement: Manually wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 185
Face 1: Hour – Minute, Tourbillon (indicating the Second), Instantaneous Perpetual Calendar, Grande Date, Day, Month, Leap Year, Night & Day
Face 2: Jumping Digital Hour, Minute, Minute Repeater
Face 3: Northern Hemisphere Moon Phase, Draconic Lunar Cycle (height of the moon), Anomalistic Lunar Cycle (apogee and perigee), Month, Year
Face 4: Southern Hemisphere Moon Phase
Power reserve: 50-hour
Water resistance: 30 metres
Strap: blue alligator leather
Limited edition of 10 pieces