JAEGER LECOULTRE REVERSO PLATINUM NUMBER ONE
Ref. 270.6.49. Made circa 2001. Fine skeletonised limited edition (500) Reverso wristwatch in platinum. Cal. 849R-Sq mechanical movement. 19 jewels. Engraved blued steel leaves hands.
Price (2004): $15,000
Price (2014): $40,000
The Picollecta Rare Watch Index tracks the value of popular collectible watches that are regularly traded around the world, using analysis of auctions and private sales, in addition to expert opinion.
Values shown are reflective of a very good/excellent condition example – unless otherwise stated.
The history of the company starts with Antoine LeCoultre (1803-1881), who founded a small workshop in Le Sentier following the invention of a machine to cut watch pinions from steel.
In 1844, LeCoultre invented the world's most precise measuring instrument of the era, and in 1847 invented a keyless system to rewind and set watches. In 1851, he was awarded a gold medal for his achievements at the first Universal Exhibition in London.
Jaeger-LeCoultre was formed when LeCoultre teamed up with Edmond Jaeger, who challenged Swiss watchmakers to produce the ultra-thin movements he had invented. This gave rise to a collection of thin pocket watches, which included the thinnest in the world.
1907 saw the company sign a contract with Cartier which stated that all of LeCoultre's movements would be exclusive to the jeweller for 15 years.
The company was officialy renamed Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1937.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is best known for its technological innovations, producing over 1,200 calibres and registering 400 patents.
The Reverso was created in 1931, after a Swiss businessman and watch collector visited a polo match of British army officers in India. Seeing that one of the officers had broken the glass during the rough game, he was challenged to created a watch that could withstand the knocks and scrapes of polo.
Bringing the idea to LeCoultre, the company commissioned Jaeger to create a reversible case, which could be flipped to protect the case. Created at the height of the Art Deco movement, the watch is the epitome of the era's style.
Production of the Reverso halted in the late 1960s when the style was considered outdated. However, an Italian watch dealer bought up unused stock cases from the factory and had movements installed, later selling them in Italy.
Seeing this new popularity, the Reverso was revived by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1982, this time featuring mostly quartz movements. The second generation was made water resistant, with the technology required making it one of the most complicated cases in watch making.
Hundreds of variations have kept the classic watch current, and it remains one of the most distinct and popular watches on the market. Jaeger-LeCoultre has release several 500-piece limited editions, including a tourbillon, minute repeater, retrograde chronograph and perpetual calendar.
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