This one-of-15 piece of haute horology costs a whopping $1.5 million.
In 2006 legendary Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre astonished the world of haute horology with the Reverso Hybris Mechanica à Triptyque. The first watch ever to have three dials run by a single movement, the ultimate evolution of the brand’s iconic Reverso timepiece, created for polo players in the 1930s, was priced at $500,000 and limited to just 75 pieces.
Fifteen years later they have presented an even more impressive feat of watchmaking and another world first, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185, which has four faces, is limited to just 10 pieces, and costs about $1.5 million.
It need hardly be said that Jaeger-LeCoultre, founded in Vallée de Joux in 1833, is one of the most prestigious names in horology, and has long led the world in the manufacture of in-house watch movements. All the other storied names in Swiss watchmaking, from Audemars Piguet to Vacheron Constantin and even Patek Philippe have sourced movements from JLC over the years.
The white gold Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 is the most complicated and expensive Reverso ever created. The result of over six years of development, it incorporates three displays of lunar information on the interior face of the iconic Reverso “cradle,” and incredibly, it can predict forthcoming astronomical events such as eclipses and supermoons.
Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Catherine Renier tells us that the 51mm x 31mm Quadriptyque, with its 800 parts, “shows the strong creativity and talent of our R&D teams, our Lab, our movement constructors and watchmakers, and blends all our expertise in terms of precision, sound, celestial complications and rare handcrafts.”
She continues, “We have tuned up our savoir-faire to offer this level of complexity, having the complications featured on four faces, in a watch of only 15 mm thickness, a first in watchmaking. The front of the watch is all about precision displaying an instantaneous perpetual calendar and a tourbillon.”
“Then, swiveling the case reveals the spectacular minute repeater mechanism with the trebuchet hammers and crystal gongs. The third page takes you to the cosmos to discover the most complex display of the moon cycles—a first in a wristwatch— and finally the fourth side reverses the universe to display the southern moon phase.”
All in all, the watch features a total of 11 complications and required 12 patents to create. But its most impressive feat may actually be its wearability. As JLC notes, “If executed through conventional mechanical means, the 11 complications of the Quadriptyque would result in a timepiece far more suited for a desk than a wrist.”
It is not only the ultimate Reverso, but one of the most wearable high-complication watches ever created—an honorific it is likely to hold for years to come.