Every brand has a piece that defines them, but Jaeger-LeCoultre has many, in particular the Reverso, which has recently been joined by the brand-new Rendez-Vous, created just for women. This year saw the Grande Maison of the Vallée de Joux bring this duo out in force at SIHH. Women now have a choice between the timeless rectangular shape of the Reverso and the slim, round-faced Rendez-Vous.
The Reverso was incredibly popular during its debut decade of the 1930s, but it soon found its popularity contested by the round wristwatches of the 1940s. So much so, in fact, that it fell out of production completely for a brief time before returning with a vengeance. Inspired by watch-wearing polo players, who could flip the face of their Reverso to prevent the glass smashing, Jaeger-LeCoultre's iconic reversible timepiece has found its way onto the wrists of the Prince of Denmark, King Edward VIII and legendary aviator Amelia Earhart.
The pieces unveiled at this year's SIHH continue the letimotifs of the Reverso's original design, with a variety of new dials. From the scarlet bite of the Valextra Grande Reverso Lady Ultra-Thin to the Art Deco lines of the Grande Reverso Lady Ultra-Thin Duetto Duo, each retains a timeless quality and would be just as at home on the wrist of Marlene Dietrich as Diane Kruger, Jaeger-LeCoultre's ambassadress.
Yet the round face of the Rendez-Vous is making its mark, and this year's unveiling of the Celestial model sealed its arrival. The inspiration for the new face stretches back over 180 years and is intended to remind of us that the stars above are the very same celestial bodies that inspired Antoine LeCoultre all those decades ago. Featuring the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 809 and assembled and decorated by hand, the dial features a deep-blue lapis lazuli guilloché dial, decorated with diamonds and applied numbers. The bezel, side and crown are all set with 155 brilliant shaped diamonds totalling 2.09ct.