Text by Alexandre Ghotbi, photos by Alberto Schileo
© April 2006 by Alberto Schileo, Alexandre Ghotbi and ThePuristS.com
This year may quite well be JLC’s with 10 patents and 7 new movements! The preceding years the accent was mainly put on creating new round models and trying to get rid of its Reverso dependency. On the contrary, for its 75th anniversary in 2006, the Reverso is back and with a vengeance!
A new Reverso in a rectangular case, the Reverso Squadra was presented. According to JLC (a new urban legend?) when the patent for this new case was filed they noticed that the original rectangular case patent was in fact accompanied by a second patent for a square case.
No denial, the Squadra is very modern and in line with its epoch. I find it rather massive but the trend is for bigger watches so I’m going to stop swimming against the waves. The bigger case dimension however does allow for better legibility especially in the Squadra World Chronograph limited to 1500 pieces with a really cool worldtime indication on the back of the case. Other Squadra models include the Squadra Chronograph GMT and the Squadra Home Time
I’m a sucker for enamel dials and it would come as no surprise if my favourite pieces were the Reverso Eclipse these limited editions in fact have a double dial, the first is a guilloche metal which unfolds like a curtain to display a superb miniature enamel painting consisting of 4 themes (travel, grand feu, zodiac, famous nudes). The details in these painting are absolutely outstanding and I find the idea truly ingenious, bravo JLC for bringing us such a timeless piece which makes one, in such a hectic world, want to sit back and take time just to appreciate such an artwork.
A certain number of round models were also presented amongst them the Master World Geographique as well as the already cult Amvox 2 with its more than clever chronograph start/stop functions where a push on the crystal above the dial starts or stops the chronograph counters…amazing!
It seems that an anniversary is not complete if not celebrated with a Grande Complication, JLC’s version is however quite poetic: no repeaters or chronographs but only a story of time and space presented in the most unique way: the dial features hours/minutes: 24 hour indicator as well as a tourbillon with a new escapement (more on this later), flip the case over and you have sideral time, equation of time, time of sunrise and sunset of desired location (the layout here is sublime) but that’s not it! In fact the base of the case features the perpetual calendar functions which are connected to the movement via levers once the case is flipped back onto it. Imagine a watch with 3 separate dials!!
In just a few years JLC has been transforming from a respected but rather dull manufacture to a totally hot brand with avant garde designs.