Jaeger-LeCoultre 1996: Reverso Chronograph Retrograde

Posted by

We have now reached 1996 and the release of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Chronograph Retrograde, the forth of the Pink Gold Limited Edition Reverso with complications.

This time Jaeger-LeCoultre opted for a 30 minutes retrograde chronograph. Personally, I am not really into chronograph as a complication…

I find it less useful than the alarm function in my everyday life. I do appreciate the complexity it brings to the movement and the technical challenge, but more than often I find the dial to busy for my taste.

For many years I was a “no chronograph guy” – then I discovered the Girard-Perregaux Olimpico chronograph line…

But there are always exceptions to any rule… In this case the exception is named: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Chronograph Retrograde!

Up front it may not look very different or more impressing than any other Pink Gold Reverso – one tell that this is something different are the T.W.O pushers on the side.

Another more subtle tell is the Marche/Arret – On/Off indicator showing if the chronograph is activated or not.

Jaeger-LeCoultre 1996: Reverso Chronograph Retrograde

The fact that it is a chronograph encased in a Reverso AND even more impressive, is that it is the Grande Taille case, 26 x 42 mm, not the Extra Gande Taille or the Squadra, is a big plus for me.

Then add that the chronograph is not located on the same dial as the time display AND that it is a retrograde minute counter makes this a really cool chronograph!

The way the chronograph dial is made, big parts of the Calibre 829 is on display – only the full circle seconds track and the half circle minute retrograde track obscures the movement.

Jaeger-LeCoultre 1996: Reverso Chronograph Retrograde

Even if at first glance, the Calibre 829 may look like a skeleton movement, it is not. Larger parts of what is shown of the movement are the bridges holding the seconds and minute tracks – see the sketch from the Manufacture’s Book below.

The Calibre 829 is a manual wind, column wheel chronograph movement – 317 parts, 4.5 mm thick, beating at a rate of 28800 vph/4 Hz.

Functions: Hours, Minutes, Date and the 30 minutes retrograde chronograph.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 829

Like all the other Pink Gold Limited Edition Reverso with complications, the number of watches made is 500 – cleverly used in their slogan: “Times up” at 500!

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Chronograph Retrograde LE 500 pieces

In am not sure if a bracelet option existed for the previous Limited Editions, but here Jaeger-LeCoultre offered a Pink Gold bracelet to match the watch:

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Chronograph Retrograde – bracelet option

One detail which may be hard to notice, is the enlarged crown – due to the pushers, the crown of the Reverso Chronograph Retrograde is larger than on the three previous Limited Edition versions.

One thing that suffers on the chronograph dial is the visibility – maybe it is my old eyes, but I find it quite hard to read… But some times beauty have a price!

Jaeger-LeCoultre 1996: Reverso Chronograph Retrograde

Even a “no chronograph” guy like me, must confess that I am impressed both of the technical achievement and the beauty of this watch!

Jaeger-LeCoultre 1996: Reverso Chronograph Retrograde

Another big thank you goes out to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Heritage Gallery for letting me admire this stunning piece!

If you missed previous reports in this series:
Jaeger-LeCoultre 1991: Reverso 60th Anniversary “60ème”
Jaeger-LeCoultre 1993: Reverso Tourbillon
Jaeger-LeCoultre 1994: Reverso Minute Repeater

Stay tuned for T.W.O more Limited Edition versions!