Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso ‘Dragon’ Roars into Chinese New Year!

by Mario C

Prestigious Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre becomes the latest to commemorate the Chinese New Year with a new timepiece meticulously crafted from gold and delicate enamel.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Enamel ‘Dragon’ makes a pronounced entrance into the already storied Reverso Tribute collection, paying homage to the upcoming Year of the Dragon as well as the incredible talent required in the arts of enamelling and engraving.

Transcending its original sporting purpose, the Reverso has been adopted by collectors from all walks of life. Post-launch in 1931, it had become apparent that the solid case back could be used for more than just the timepiece’s protection on the polo field but for both sentimental and artistic expression. This offered limitless potential not only to craft treasured heirlooms for their loved ones but also to create unique pieces of beauty.

This potential comes to a head with the talents of the Métiers Rares™ atelier of the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre, as demonstrated on the reverse side of the new Reverso Tribute, where a majestic dragon surrounded by golden clouds seems to leap out from the glossy black Grand Feu enamel. The details are immaculate – from the dragon’s scales highlighted in black rhodium to the contrasting sandblasted texture of the clouds, no feature is too minute if it were to enhance the powerful imagery on the surface.

Of course, this level of volume and depth cannot be achieved so easily. The master engraver utilises a technique called ‘modelled engraving.’ This complex technique requires him to start not on a standard blank sheet of metal but on one that has already been coated with a layer of precious Grand Feu enamel.

Engraving on this pristine surface without causing irreparable damage requires both absolute patience and remarkable dexterity. Even for the master engraver, the level of accuracy required is so demanding that it requires the use of 10 different-sized chisels over the course of 80 hours to craft just one of these masterpieces.

Even the Grand Feu enamelling process is as deceptively complex as it is unpredictable. To create the deep black colour seen on both sides requires five to six layers of enamel, firing and cooing each on top of the other over the course of no less than 24 hours over several days. This is only followed by half a day’s worth of polishing to create the sleek, glossy shine.

Yet, the manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre uses this process on both sides of the piece. The dial of the Reverso is also coated in decadent black, the darkness only broken by the decadence of the pink gold case. The elegance is only furthered by the matching faceted appliqué hour markers, chemin de fer minute track, and dauphine hands. The sizing is also indicative of the signature Reverso standard, that being 27.4mm across, with a 45.5mm lug-to-lug whilst measuring only 9.73mm thick – a size that is as elegant as it is versatile and unisex.

Of course, it would not be a Jaeger-LeCoultre article if we did not also talk about the movement. This new Reverso also shares their manual wind Calibre 822, sporting a 21,600vp/h as well as a 42-hour power reserve. While a relatively high beat rate may not be necessary for an hours-and-minutes-only timepiece, it is a welcome addition to the Reverso, which only furthers Jaeger-LeCoultre’s legacy as the “watchmaker’s watchmaker.”

Created to celebrate the Chinese New Year and only for those who order it, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute ‘Dragon’ is yet another foray into the depths of artistic expertise and finesse the Maison can venture. They have shown time and time again that their vision of culture and creativity can transcend the boundaries of a mere instrument for timekeeping, and this new timepiece is no exception to the rule. Through the detailed Grand Feu enamelling process as well as the painstaking effort required to create the case back engraving, Jaeger-LeCoultre has no plans to slow down their quest to further their artistry.

Reference: Q39324D1

Existing as both a sport and a dress piece has been a privilege for the Reverso, and it has been made abundantly clear that while this timepiece may be more elegant than its original counterparts, Jaeger-LeCoultre has not forgotten its roots and gracefully permits the artistic crafts to live in perfect harmony with the mechanical finesse the Manufacture is known for.

Reference: Q39324D1


  • Case: 45.5 mm x 27.4 mm x 9.73 mm
  • Case: Pink Gold
  • Dial: Black Grand Feu enamel, applied indexes
  • Case back: Black Grand Feu enamel, dragon engraving
  • Crystal: Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
  • Water resistance: 30m (3BAR)
  • Movement: Jaeger-LeCoultre manually wound Calibre 822
  • Power reserve: 42 hours
  • Strap: Black alligator

Australian Recommended Retail Price: Price On Application

Availability: Enquire through the local Jaeger-LeCoultre Boutiques

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