Jaeger-LeCoultreReverso (1931), René-Alfred Chauvot
Founded by Antoine LeCoultre in 1833, LeCoultre was a manufacturer of watches and clocks in Le Sentier, Switzerland. In the beginning of the century, they produced most of the movement blanks for Patek Philippe of Geneva. Together with Paris-based watchmaker Jaeger S.A., LeCoultre exclusively produced the movements for French jeweler Cartier for a period of fifteen years. The collaboration between Jaeger and LeCoultre intensified with the creation of the iconic Reverso watch, which led to the company being officially renamed Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1937.
While traveling in India, Swiss businessman and watch collector César de Trey attended a polo match. One of the players, who had just broken the glass of his watch, challenged de Trey to create a watch strong enough to resist to a polo match. In 1931 De Trey discussed the idea with LeCoultre, who could provide the movements for the new watch, and LeCoultre commissioned Jaeger to design the case. French designer René-Alfred Chauvot came up with the idea of a reversible case to protect the dial, also offering a case back that could be used for personalization. An icon was born.
The original Reverso case was 38 mm long, 24 mm large and 6 mm high and is still manufactured today. Since 2000 Jaeger-LeCoultre is a fully owned subsidiary of the Swiss luxury group Richemont.
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