First 4 Faced watch, JLC Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185

Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque: The Ultimate Reverso Complication

Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185

The Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque represents the pinnacle of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s watchmaking prowess. Unveiled in 2021 to commemorate the iconic Reverso model’s 90th anniversary, it stands as the most complicated Reverso ever created by the venerable Swiss manufacture.

Overview of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Legendary Reverso Legacy

The story of the Reverso begins in 1931, when Jaeger-LeCoultre was commissioned to create a watch durable enough for polo players. The result was a rectangular watch with an ingenious flip-over mechanism to protect the fragile crystal and dial during matches.

Some key milestones in the Reverso’s illustrious history include:

  • 1933 – Production outsourced to brands like Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin
  • 1970s – Quartz crisis nearly spells the end of the Reverso
  • 1982 – Reverso revived with a quartz movement
  • 1991 – 60th anniversary marked by Reverso 60ème with complications
  • 2000s – More innovations like the Duoface dual time zone model
06 WW JLC 2021 1 First 4 Faced watch, JLC Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185

Over the past nine decades, the Reverso has housed an incredible array of complications and movements, cementing its reputation as the perfect canvas for Jaeger-LeCoultre to demonstrate its technical skills.

An Unprecedented Feat – The Quadriptyque’s 4 Faces & 11 Complications

The Calibre 185 Quadriptyque represents a crowning achievement even within a history brimming with landmarks. For the first time in watchmaking, Jaeger-LeCoultre has managed to incorporate 11 complications into a Reverso, displayed ingeniously across four fully-functioning dials.

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The sheer density of indications, mechanics and features stuffed into the Calibre 185’s precious metal case is mind-boggling:

Face One

  • Perpetual calendar
  • Day/night indicator
  • One-minute flying tourbillon
Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Face 1

Face Two

  • Minute repeater with crystal gongs
  • Jumping hours & wandering minutes
Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Fae 2

Face Three

  • Lunar indication of Moon phases visible in Northern Hemisphere
  • Draconic cycle showing Moon orbit intersecting Earth’s
  • Anomalistic cycle depicting varying Moon-Earth distance
Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Face 3

Face Four

  • Engraved and lacquered Moon phases for Southern Hemisphere
Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Face 4

The Quadriptyque is breathtaking both in its visual beauty and technical virtuosity.

Sparing No Effort or Expense for the Ultimate Reverso

Bringing the Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque to fruition was a true labor of love for Jaeger-LeCoultre’s team of technical geniuses.

Some astounding statistics that showcase the meticulous efforts undertaken:

  • Over 1,100 parts comprising the Calibre 185 movement
  • 12 patented innovations just within this single watch
  • 6 years in research, design and development
  • Movement architecture specifically for the Reverso case

Additionally, Jaeger-LeCoultre pushed boundaries to eliminate the gaps traditionally heard between chimed notes in minute repeaters. In doing so, the Quadriptyque debuts an all-new chiming sequence to enable continuous, seamless striking.

The astronomical indications tracking lunar cycles pushed high watchmaking into uncharted territory never before attempted by any other manufacture.

Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185

A Rare Collector’s Piece with Reverso Lineage

Limited to just 10 pieces worldwide, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque sits firmly in the stratospheric realm of high horology.

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Extensive hand finishing and decoration elevates each example to the level of a museum piece. Jaeger-LeCoultre has even prepared a custom box allowing collectors to accurately set the myriad indications.

The watch proudly takes its rightful place in the lineage of ultra-complicated Reverso models over the last 30 years like:

1991Reverso 60èmePower reserve, date
2006Reverso Grande Complication à TriptyqueSidereal time, perpetual calendar
2021Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 18511 complications across 4 dials

For the most ardent fans of Jaeger-LeCoultre and the iconic Reverso flip case, the Quadriptyque is the ultimate expression of the tenacious, boundary-pushing innovation that has sustained the Reverso’s relevance over 90 years. It represents what is possible at the zenith of Swiss watchmaking.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Over the Years

As one of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most recognizable models, the Reverso has seen constant evolution over its nine decade history while retaining key identifiers like the rectangular case and swiveling construction meant to protect the delicate crystal and dial.

1931 – Birth of a Legend

The roots of the Reverso stretch back to 1931 in India, when British polo players needed watches that could withstand the rigors of matches. In response, Jaeger-LeCoultre rose to the challenge, releasing later that year a watch with an ingenious flip-over mechanism so the rear case back took shocks rather than the fragile glass and dial.

With its sleek Art Deco lines, the Reverso was an immediate sensation and luxury icon, intricately crafted from materials like gold and often complemented with custom details such as lacquer dials and personalized engravings. Furthermore, over 1,100 calibers were supplied within the Reverso case in just eight years, clearly signifying its immense popularity at the time.

JLC reverso 1931 First 4 Faced watch, JLC Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185
The original Reverso

1970s & 80s – Saving the Reverso

With the quartz crisis sweeping Switzerland, Reverso production ground to a halt in the 1970s as Jaeger-LeCoultre struggled for survival like its compatriots. The iconic model languished throughout the decade.

It took until 1982 for Jaeger-LeCoultre to resuscitate the Reverso with a quartz movement and newly manufactured cases. However, the Reverso’s revival laid the foundation for a brilliant modern legacy.

1990s – Complications & Renaissance

The 1990s heralded a new golden age for the Reverso, as Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced a barrage of high complications to celebrate the model’s 60th and 70th anniversaries.

  • 1991 – Reverso 60ème with power reserve
  • 1993 – First Reverso tourbillon
  • 1994 – First Reverso minute repeater

This mechanical renaissance re-established the Reverso’s credentials as a canvas for technical sophistication from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s watchmakers.

Reverso 60ème
The Reverso 60ème

2000s – Modern Classics

The 2000s saw the Reverso aesthetic infused with more contemporary cues through collections like the Reverso Squadra. Technical feats also continued, with additions like:

  • Reverso Grande Complication à Triptyque ultra-complication
  • Gyrotourbillon models with a spherical tourbillon

The Reverso established itself as both a bonafide style classic and platform for pushing boundaries.

reverso grande complication First 4 Faced watch, JLC Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185
The Reverso Grande Complication à Triptyque

2020s – The Ultimate Tribute

Ninety years since the Reverso’s debut, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque represents the zenith of the model’s history thus far. It encapsulates everything compelling and ambitious about Jaeger-LeCoultre’s approach that still keeps the Reverso feeling cutting-edge rather than archaic after nine decades.

Conclusion – Confidently Striding Into the Future

Very few watches introduced in 1931 could still feel so novel and compelling nearly a century later in 2023. However, the Reverso continues going from strength to strength, with the Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque demonstrating that Jaeger-LeCoultre still has plenty up its sleeves.

Furthermore, the Quadriptyque is utterly befitting as a tribute to the “well-oiled machine that is the Reverso” in the words of the manufacturer’s CEO Catherine Rénier. As both Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Reverso look ahead to their next milestones, this incredible 90th anniversary watch additionally provides a glimpse of the innovations still possible in high watchmaking through the next decades of the Reverso’s storied journey.

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