As far as origin stories go, the Reverso has one of the best. Back in the 1930s, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most famous model was conceived to withstand the rigours of polo, thanks to its ingenious flip-over case design. When the mallets started swinging and balls went flying, the watch could safely bury its face until the action was over, using its caseback as protection.
Much later (1994 to be precise) the line evolved to include two-faced models, and the story became less about hiding away when the going got tough, and more about choosing which side was best equipped for the task in hand. It was a split personality. And really, who doesn’t love the idea of that? We’re all familiar with the double lives led by Batman and Bruce Wayne (in fact, both Kilmer and Bale have worn Reversos in their turns as the Caped Crusader), Spider-Man and Peter Parker. And let’s not forget it’s more than just comic book stuff – the alter-ego concept stands up in just as well IRL. Take Beyonce and Sasha Fierce – the ballsy character she used to step into when she needed to transcend her pre-show nerves (maybe she borrows Jay-Z’s from time to time). But if that’s still a touch too far from the daily grind, just think about yourself. Don’t we all have multiple sides to our personality? I certainly play a different role during work meetings than I do once I’ve clocked off.
That’s exactly what you get with the Reverso One Duetto Moon, released earlier this year as part of the collection’s 85th anniversary celebration. Of its two faces, option one is a fresh, daytime look taking art deco cues from the first ladies’ Reversos of the ’30s, with Arabic numbers, sun ray brushed guilloche and blued Dauphine-type hands. Then, when the mood takes you, flip it over to find yourself in a place of mystery, where it’s always night. Gone are the numerals, the focus instead provided by a midnight blue sky, dusted with stars and inset with a mother-of-pearl moon phase. Oh – and let’s not forget the 28 diamonds that adorn the case. But this is more than just two pretty faces. Beating away inside is the petite Caliber 842, manually wound, with 38-hours of power reserve.
At 40.1 mm tall by 20 mm wide, it’s slim and feminine without any risk of becoming a wallflower. And particularly in the stainless steel model I wore, the whole watch sparkles. Meanwhile, the fact it’s a manual with an interesting complication makes it very clear that this is no mere fashion accessory. As a card-carrying fan of rectangular watches, there’s only one way I could love this more – and that’s if I actually owned it.