Flipping Out: The JLC Reverso Tribute Calendar

Ever since the Reverso’s introduction all the way back in 1931, this unique timepiece has been revered as a fan favorite. With its unique flipping case, distinctive Art Deco styling, and iconic origin story, the Reverso has captured the attention of generations of watch collectors and has served as the bedrock upon which Jaeger-LeCoultre has built much of its brand. If you are looking for a modern take on the original Reverso, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Calendar Ref. Q3918420 is a great place to start. Let’s take a look!

JLC Reverso Day Night


We’ve covered the history of the Reverso a number of times in the past— if you need a refresher, check out our previous post here – but for a quick summary, here are the top line details. The Reverso was born when Swiss businessman Cesar de Trey attended a polo match in India and subsequently challenged his watchmaker friend Jaques-David LeCoultre to build a watch designed specifically for the sport — one that would protect the watch crystal from mallets during play, but also retain functionality as a wristwatch when not on the field. Never one to turn down a challenge, LeCoultre enlisted the help of Jaeger SA and Rene Alfred Chauvot and together, the patent for the original Reverso was filed. The 1931 patent office received an application to create “a watch capable of sliding in its support and being completely turned over”. The idea was simple: the case could be flipped over during a polo match to protect the watch from the rigors of the sport, and then after could be worn with the dial facing out, functioning as a normal wristwatch. 

After the model’s launch in 1931, Jaeger SA merged with LeCoultre’s movement manufacturer, and Jaeger-LeCoultre was formed. The Reverso was instrumental in the formation of the company that we now know as JLC, and in turn, the thousands of watches that have come from the brand since. Historically, the Reverso is not only a beautiful watch, it’s also extremely significant for JLC and its early development.

JLC Reverso Day Night

Design Details

One of the greatest aspects of any JLC is the intense attention to detail paid to all of their pieces, something you don’t frequently see in their price range. While the Reverso Tribute Calendar is in many aspects a modern interpretation of the classic Reverso, there are some significant differences. This piece has a “Duoface” configuration unlike the original Reverso, which had a solid caseback. Duoface variants are characterized by a second dial on the reverse side, capable of being set to a second time zone. This is not only a practical complication, it also makes for one of the greatest conversation starters in the entire industry. You’re basically getting two watches for the price of one when you buy a Duoface Reverso.

JLC Reverso Day Night

This particular Reverso doesn’t stop there though. In addition to the second dial, this piece also features a complete calendar. This means it displays the day and month (in aperture form in this case) and the date and moonphase at six o’clock. Conversely, the reverse side has a day/ night indicator, which is useful if you choose to use this watch as a dual time or travel piece. 

As discussed earlier, you really are getting “two watches for one” with this piece. JLC is fantastic at giving Duoface Reverso owners two beautiful yet unique dials to choose from and enjoy. In this case, the front side of the dial is a textured white while the reverse is a beautiful blue sunburst. Having two personalities in the same watch is a pretty incredible party trick!

JLC Reverso Day Night

While the Reverso Tribute Calendar is very much a modern evolution of the original Reverso, there are still many aspects of the watch that pay tribute to the original. Like the original Reverso, the case is fashioned from stainless steel — befitting of a watch originally designed as a sports piece. The case and dial are designed to reflect the Art Deco details of the 1930s with grooves on the upper and lower portion of the flipping assembly and a railroad minute track on the dial much like the other watches from the era. The details of this piece truly reflect an understanding of the heritage of the model and the era in which the watch was released in 1931. 

Inner Workings

As you might imagine, the caliber 853 powering the Reverso Tribute Calendar is far from your typical movement. Designed to control the time and complication displays for both sides of the Reverso all from a single caliber, JLC had to rework much of the layout to accommodate a two-sided movement. That’s always been one of the most interesting and impressive aspects of the Duoface. In spite of all the power drain from two time displays and the multiple complications, the caliber 853 affords a solid 42-hour power reserve while showing day, month, date, moonphase, day/ night, and an additional hour hand. 

On Duoface variants of the Reverso, you get the added ability of adjusting the second time zone independent from the first. On the top of the case (the part that is hidden when the watch is fully flipped), there’s a small slide that you can use to adjust the hour hand on the second side of the watch in one hour increments. This makes the Reverso Duoface a great option for travel, and a breeze to set on the fly. JLC considered what would be most convenient and worked it into the movement architecture. It’s always nice to see that a brand is paying attention and thinking of end users when designing their pieces!

JLC Reverso Day Night


The Reverso is pretty universally appreciated among watch collecting circles. However, if you’re a lover of dress watches, the Reverso is really a must have– and this particular variant, with the added complications and Duoface configuration only make its that much more special. If you’re not a dress watch person, the Reverso is still a great conversation starter and is still wearable as an everyday watch (especially given its heritage). Plus, with the Reverso Tribute Calendar in particular, the second, blue sunray dial, has a sportier feel than those found on traditional models. The universal appeal of the Reverso is one of the reasons the model line has become so iconic for JLC and why the collection serves as a conduit to lead collectors to other models that they may not have been paying attention to. 

JLC Reverso Day Night

Versus the Competition

There are a number of alternatives that should be considered alongside the Reverso Tribute Calendar in stainless steel. First is the Cartier Basculante, an obscure Tank model with its own flipping case. Released shortly after the Reverso, the Basculante was designed to achieve a similar effect. That said, the Basculante has only very rarely offered two dials. In almost all cases, the back side of the flipping watch was left blank for engraving purposes. 

Cartier Basculante

Next, I’d recommend the JLC Reverso Tribute to 1931. We know, we know, it seems odd to say “if you’re considering a Reverso, allow us to show you this OTHER Reverso”, but the Tribute to 1931 is a bit more traditional than the Tribute Calendar. Not a duoface, the JLC Tribute to 1931 is based on the original format of the Reverso from 1931 and simply scales up that early reference for modern wrists in a unique homage to early JLC. If you want the modern extension of the original Reverso, this is the one to pick. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Tribute to 1931 Ultra Thin Ref. Q2788570

Last, for a dual time complication also configured in a rectangular case, consider the Cartier Tank Cintrée Dual Time. Dating to the 1990 Cartier Privee Collection Paris, this rare beauty tracks two time zones, but on the same front facing dial. It’s a really funky, collectable piece of Cartier history, and I love it for its quirkiness. Perhaps a bit louder than the Reverso, I think the collector that wants this type of thing will know it’s for them immediately. 

Final Thoughts

With luxury watches, it’s easy to geek out about stats, obsess over details, or get bogged down in lengthy histories. While the Reverso Tribute Calendar certainly offers enough to satisfy any collector in those areas, the best thing about this watch is the way it makes collectors feel. Reversos, and Duofaces in particular, have a lot of personality. There’s a level of romantic appeal that goes beyond stats or facts. It’s these emotions that keep us coming back for more. Be sure to check out the Reverso Tribute Calendar for yourself, and I’m confident you’ll see exactly what I mean!

See more of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Calendar Stainless Steel Ref. Q3918420

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