Jaeger-LeCoultre 1998: Reverso Geographic

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In 1998 Jaeger-LeCoultre released the fifth Reverso in the Pink Gold Limited Edition series – the Reverso Geographic.

Like the previous Reverso in this series, the Reverso Chronograph, the Reverso Geographic is a duo face face Reverso using the second dial for the second time zone.

Time to have another look into Jaeger-LeCoultre Heritage Gallery!

The ingredients are the same as for all the Pink Gold Limited Editions – Grande Taille case in Pink Gold, Silver Guilloché on the front, heated blue hands and a complication never done in a Reverso before!

This time the challenge was a to make a Dual time zone including GMT +/- indication.

On the front you have the home time including sub-seconds and a day and night indicator for the home time.

The home time is set corresponding to GMT by the small pin pusher above the crown.

Jaeger-LeCoultre 1998: Reverso Geographic – front

Very clean, very balanced dial – the Silver Guilloché is to die for in any of the versions in this series!

On the back is the only black dial within this series – also decorated with a Guilloché pattern. The dial is still symmetric but a bit crammed and quite hard to read. A lot of information in a very small space…

Second time zone operated by the large push button below the crown.

The GMT indicator +/- located at seven o’clock which tells you on which side you should read the city – left or right.

Day and night indicator for the second time zone located at five o’clock.

In the lower part of the dial is the city names displayed depending on you are plus or minus GMT…

Jaeger-LeCoultre 1998: Reverso Geographic – back

Day and night indicator are often considered by collectors as a bit of a “not very useful complication” as you most of the time know if it is day or night, also mechanically it is easy to think it is “only” following the normal time, so not very challenging to do once you have made the time function.

Here are T.W.O day and night indicators in one watch?! Is that really necessary?

Well, at first I thought it was a bit of “over do it”… Normally you see day and night indicators for the home time so that you know if it is day or night at home while travelling… But always good to have a indication for each time zone, then you know if day or night in other places even if you are at home.

Around the world in a single movement – Reverso Geographic

Inside is the manual movement Calibre 858, 206 parts. What is very impressing here is that the design-engineer Philippe Vandel managed to create all complications within a space adding less of 1 mm to the height of the movement!

In the Jaeger-LeCoultre catalogue there is a mentioning of “triple time-zone indications“, at first I could not figure out which third… But I think it has to be that both city windows show correct time, only the day and night indicator only match the one indicated in the GMT window.

Reverso Geographic – Limited Edition of 500 pieces

In this 3D sketch of the movement we learn that the day and night indicator is actually divided in three – i.e. the disk make a full circle in 72 hours. As mentioned earlier, it is easy to think that a day and night indicator is just a disk making one circle in 24 hours…

Reverso Geographic – Calibre 858

Here is a sketch of the prototype dial and the final dial and an anecdote of why the +/- indicator is there…

Reverso Geographic – prototype dial and final dial

Now, several collectors while discussing the Reverso Pink Gold Limited Edition series often mention the Geographic as their less favourite one in the series – and I have to agree, I love them all but the Reverso Geographic is not the one I desire the most…

The reason for this I don’t think is due to the complication or the execution of the complication which are both interesting and useful in such a small rectangular movement.

I suspect that it is more based on the design of the second dial…

Black dial makes the dial look smaller on a already modest sized watch, the font face of the numbers are more feminine than we are used to see on a male Reverso and last but not least – the abbreviation of the city names.

NYC or BKK may be easy to remember… But CHI as in Chicago? DEN as in Denver? Or DAC as in Dhaka? KHI as in Karachi? Yes, it would be very hard to read but personally I would have preferred larger windows with full city names… Similar to the Memovox International.

Maybe these are just my hangups, but yes – a beautiful watch which I would happily strap on my wrist. I think that once you have figured this one out, you don’t see it as crammed anymore…

Jaeger-LeCoultre 1998: Reverso Geographic – back

Suspect that I would wear the Reverso Geographic with the front dial out most of the times!

A classic beautiful dial with a twist of the day and night indicator:

Jaeger-LeCoultre 1998: Reverso Geographic – front

Big thank you goes out to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Heritage Gallery for letting me study this beautiful and interesting 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
Jaeger-LeCoultre 1996: Reverso Chronograph Retrograde

Stay tuned as there is still one more left in the Reverso Pink Gold Limited Edition series!