The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds – A Classic With A Modern Touch

by Matt Clymo

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is an iconic watch and sets the standard of what a Dress watch should be. Refined, subtle and easy to read. And the new Reverso Tribute Small Seconds is just this.

What We Like

  • Timeless Design
  • Clean and easy to read
  • Good size and wears well

What We Don’t

  • No Luminescence
  • Not an everyday watch
  • Straps take time to break in

Overall Rating: 8.4/10

  • Value for money: 7/10
  • Wearability: 8/10
  • Design: 9/10
  • Build quality: 9.5/10

I’ll be honest here. Even with all the watches I’ve tried on and owned over the years, I’ve never owned a square or rectangular watch, nor had I tried one on for longer than 2 minutes in a boutique or dealer. So when Jaeger-LeCoultre offered two of their new Reverso Tribute Small Seconds to wear around for a week, I jumped at the chance to test out this icon of the watch world.

The pink gold and black dial Reverso Tribute Small Seconds mid flip – a fun watch to play with on the writst!

Jaeger-LeCoultre launched their new Reverso Tribute Small Seconds at Watches and Wonders last month in four dial/colour variants – three in pink gold with black, burgundy and silver dials, and a steel with silver opaline dial. In case you missed it, you can read about it here. All are stunning examples of their heritage and as the name suggests, a Tribute to the originals from 1931. I had the pleasure of going hands on with the steel variant with silver opaline dial, and the pink gold variant with the classic black dial, both with the Fagliano Collection canvas-and-calf straps to match. Let’s jump in.

Introducing Jaeger-LeCoultre’s New Variations Of The Reverso Tribute Small Seconds

The Design

The design is classic Reverso. This year, they’ve focused on The Golden Ratio (the mystical number 1.618 which governs beauty) to bring to life the beauty of symmetry and proportions within the design. This is clear when looking at the overall aesthetics of the case and dial – clean, easy to read, proportional and balanced.

Putting the colour variants aside for a moment, Jaeger-LeCoultre have created the dials, including the black with a subtle sunburst effect, which works well in both artificial and natural light.

The sunburst dial on black dial and pink gold variant

This sunburst effect compliments the stunning sun-ray design within the case. When you flip the watch over, it reveals the rays, and catches the light, and when looking down the arm (such as the images below) you can see it come to life. My preference was the gold from this aspect. The way the gold catches the light it shows off the striations in such a way that the steel case just can’t.

Jaeger-LeCoultre have kept the dial layout clean. With the introduction of the small seconds sub-dial, you need a dial that can both read well, and not lose the balance, or upset the layout too much, which this does. At a glance, I was able to cehck the time quickly and not have to look twice, or for long.

The minute track around the edge of the dial is a nice touch, adding just a enough embellishment to an otherwise minimalist dial. I feel that Jaeger-LeCoultre has struck a good balance here. The grooving on the case which hugs the top and bottom of the dial helps to accentuate the dial and its features, whilst giving the watch that vintage, art deco look.

Whilst Jaeger-LeCoultre call the silver dial, Silver Opaline, to me it’s very much a white dial. But that is ok as it looks great when paired with a dark suit, and the white dial offsets the dark black and charcoal coloured strap nicely. The sun-burst effect on the white doesn’t come through as well, unless out in full sun, but when under normal indoor lights, it does have a great looking enamel feel to it, and I would say, almost glossy which I came to love.

How It Wears

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds wears very well. At 45.6mm x 27.4mm it sits nicely on my wrist which is around 17.5cms in circumference. When you think of a traditional circular watch, let’s say a 40mm or a 41mm, having a lug to lug diameter of 45cm would make it a smaller wearing watch, which a dress watch should be. Interestingly, Jaeger-LeCoultre have managed to make the pink gold version a little slimmer, measuring just 7.56mm thick, where as the steel comes in at 8.5mm thick. Either way, these are nice and slim, and will fit under a shirt cuff easily.

Both watches had the Fagliano Collection canvas-and-calf straps on them. These give the watches a less formal look with the combination of leather and canvas, however lets face it, these are Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso’s – formal is in their DNA! Being canvas, the straps are stiff when first putting the watches on, and as they are rectangular watches, takes some time to break in and mould to the wrist. Whilst it does, you will have to play around with it a bit to get the watch to sit flush or comfortable against the wrist.

Once broken in, it does wear well, and sits nicely. Being a compact case with a flat back, the comfort levels are pretty good and easy to wear across the whole day should you choose to.

A classic look that pairs well with formal attire

Behind The Dial

Jaeger-LeCoultre have equipped the new Reverso Tribute Small Seconds with their manual wind Calibre 822. With 108 components, and designed specifically to fit the rectangular case of the Reverso, this mechanically elegant and well-proven movement offers a power reserve of 42 hours. Whilst the calibre and its components are finely finished and decorated, it is hidden via the solid case back, but images provided showcase the level of detail and finishing Jaeger-LeCoultre go to, even when their movements are not on display.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 822

Beating at 3hz and pivoting on 19 jewels, the movement showcases the Cotes de Geneve across the bridges, and underneath you can catch glimpses of the circular graining. Its a striking movement and just knowing that it’s under the case, ticking away is enough for me.

Final Thoughts

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds is a fitting tribute to the Reverso of 1931, and pays homage to it nicely. These are elegant watches, designed for a more formal time. For me, if I were to wear a suit to work each day, or had a reason to dress up often, then I think the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso would find its way into my collection and onto my wrist. However, if your attire is generally more casual, then like me, I think you would find it out of place.

The pricing however is in my opinion slightly out – at over $35,000 for the pink gold, which is $20,000 more than the steel variant, it’s on the steep side. A Reverso Classic in pink gold (REF. Q2542540) will set you back $25,300, and whilst the small seconds is absent, you’re still getting a great looking dress watch from the brand, with the same movement. Alternatively, the Duoface variant (REF. Q3842520) gives you 2 options of dials, which is better bang for buck at the same price point.

Setting this sentiment aside, these are a great option for those that want a beautifully crafted dress watch with the added benefit of having something to interact with on their wrist. The flipping function is great, and I did find myself playing with it when sitting at a café, perfect for those that need keep themselves occupied in those boring boardroom meetings!

Boardroom boredom is a thing of the past with the Reverso Tribute Small Seconds

As Jaeger-LeCoultre have kept the back of the case clean, it’s perfect for engraving or putting your own design on it. This is one aspect that sets Jaeger-LeCoultre apart – they encourage that personalisation to make it your own, and potentially a family heirloom that can be passed down. And this is to me is what watch collecting and owning is about – enjoyment, which the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds will give you a lot of.

Reference: Pink gold/black dial: Q713257J; Steel/Opaline Q713842J


  • Case: 18 Carat Pink Gold / Steel
  • Dimensions: 45.6 x 27.4 mm; Thickness: 7.56mm (Pink Gold) / 8.5mm (Steel)
  • Calibre: Manually wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 822
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
  • Power reserve: 42 hours
  • Water resistance: 30 m
  • Dial: Black sunray / Silver Opaline
  • Caseback: Closed
  • Strap: Fagliano Collection interchangeable calf-leather-and-canvas and all-calf-leather (Pink gold/black), Fagliano Collection interchangeable calf-leather-and-canvas strap (Steel/Silver)

Availability: Available now through all Authorised Dealers, Jaeger-LeCoultre Boutiques and online at

Australian Recommended Retail Pricing: $35,600 (Pink Gold) / $15,700 (Steel)

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