The Geneva edition of Watches and Wonders has wrapped, and the digital fair travels to Shanghai for an in-person event; undoubtedly the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 will continue to be the talking piece. The timepiece, after more than six years of development, has been released to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the company’s most iconic model.
The Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque (Calibre 185 for brevity) is the world’s first wristwatch with four functioning display cases, bringing together 11 complications including perpetual calendar, minute repeater, and celestial complications in a rectangular surface measuring just 51mm by 31 mm by 15.15mm. “A home of fine watchmaking is more than just a place,” said Catherine Rénier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre via livestream from Atelier d’Antoine, the company’s headquarters in Vallée de Joux, Switzerland. “It is a never-ending source of inspiration and innovation.”
The first face of the Calibre 185 displays the time and the indications of the perpetual calendar, which jump at midnight (the indications are synced and accurate despite irregularities in days every month and even take into account leap years). Positioned at 7 o’clock is the flying tourbillon that doubles as the running seconds indicator. The dial is a Clou de Paris guilloché pattern and has been partially skeletonized to reveal the day, month, and date wheels.
The second face pays homage to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s innovation in chiming watches. Here, there is another dial showing the time, with a digital jumping hour, and also visible are the components of the minute repeater. (Minute repeater watches chime the time.) For the Quadriptyque, pressing a slide in the case sets in motion a large number of springs, hammers, and gongs that chime a melody of low notes correlating with hours, alternating high and low notes for quarter hours, and a series of high notes indicating the minutes.
The third face, the inside of the case, incorporates three displays of lunar information—the synodic, draconic, and anomalistic cycles, a first in horological watchmaking. The wristwatch is able to determine astronomical events such as super moons and eclipses.
The caseback, the fourth face of the watch, displays the moon phase as seen from the southern hemisphere.
For Jaeger-LeCoultre, complicated watchmaking is a deep part of its history. The Calibre 185 belongs in the rarified world of uber watches that transcend grand complications. And for a select 10, it’s the chance to own (at the price of 1.35 million euros) horological mastery.
If the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque celebrates 90 years, what should we be expecting for the Reverso’s centennial anniversary? Time will tell.