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Jholmeson

JLC Reverso 1931 Tribute Review

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Jholmeson

Bought one of these from Joshua - my second rep after a Miyota Patek Philippe Nautilus (well third if you count a Patek 5296 sector dial that was broken out of the box and is on a slow boat back to China for repair).

 

Summary: Not a super-rep, but scratches my Reverso itch. An unexpected rep of a very obscure model, but a more common model would have been a better choice to replicate.

 

The gen:

 

Produced in 1931, an iconic rectangular dress watch in the art deco style. Named "Reverso" as it has a unique feature of being able to be slid along a track and inverted, originally to protect the face of the watch while it was worn by polo-playing gentry. New models have gotten more complicated and often use the second face to display a skeleton back or a second functional watch face. The 1931 Tribute model was created to commemorate and modernize the original Reverso from 1931. The gen 1931 Tribute in black steel currently retails for $7,750 on the JLC website.

 

At first glance, the replica appears to be a combination of these two models. It has the hands of the first one, and (close to) the logo font of the second one.

 

1053588.png.crop.full.high_zpsbeiugtmo.pngJLC_Reverso_Tribute_1931_1-1030x686_zpsimho4yx8.jpg

 

However on further research, it's a clone of this limited edition that was released in a small run of 26 watches to celebrate the new JLC boutique opening on Bond Street in London. The London variation sold for $10,600 in 2015 when it was released. That's a really expensive etching of Big Ben:

 

Jaeger-LeCoultre-Grande-Reverso-Ultra-Thin-1931-London-Green-Dial-Edition-front-back-Perpetuelle_zpsqnsnyeki.jpg

 

There is a green one available from Joshua, which appears to have the correct solid hands to match the above, the black one appears to be an attempt to get closer to the more common black 1931 Tribute using the same parts. If you want the closest to a gen model, the green one looks like the way to go. The black is more versatile though.

 

The gen watch comes on a shiny black crocodile strap, or a brown shell cordovan one from Casa Fagliano. I've had a shot of the 1931 on a brown Ostrich strap in my Pinterest for a while though, which dresses down the watch and adds a slightly eccentric look which keeps the watch from looking old fashioned.

 

jlc_image.2914243_zpsf32xrplr.jpg

 

The rep:

 

Lets get the strap out of the way - it's as bad as every other reviewer says about the straps on reps. It's a copy of the Casa Fagliano brown cordovan strap but in black (p)leather. I switched the strap for a brown ostrich strap from eBay. A decent strap makes the world of difference with these reps. Gen JLC straps are crazy expensive ($475) so I went for a nice generic Italian strap (lugs are 20mm):

 

IMG_9783_zpspb1whvtx.jpg

 

Lets take a closer look at the dial:

 

IMG_9784_zps1imvlti3.jpg

 

It's a remarkable achievement for an approximately 99% discount off the price of the gen. Still in the novelty phase of reps where I'm fascinated that these watches can be made so well for such a tiny fraction of the gen price so I can indulge my passion for these designs in a way that wouldn't be possible otherwise. I'd like to buy a gen sometime in the future, but it's nice to try out the designs first (ie. surprised how much I love the Patek Nautilus which I'd previously seen as rather dated and dull).

 

On the wrist it is a long watch so the twig-wristed may want to try one out first, it just about works on my spindly wrists, with the strap going almost straight down at the ends. There is a slightly sharp edge on the bottom right of the body of the watch, that could likely be filed down gently but it's not touching skin so is not noticeable unless you're gently caressing the watch.

 

IMG_9781_zpszjfrse43.jpg

 

The rear markings are accurate:

 

IMG_9789_zps9t5jpxwg.jpg

 

The 'Reverso' mechanism works with a satisfying snap and slide movement. The face slides under the watch for protection so you can ride your replica horse around a replica polo field with impunity. It does wobble a bit, haven't handled a gen so not sure if the real one is more solid (probably) but the rep doesn't feel fragile. I was worried that the face would scratch against the back case but the rep is made precisely and this doesn't seem to be an issue:

 

IMG_9785_zpsfbdndtfr.jpg

 

The polishing on the rear face isn't as precise as the gen, but it does reflect light nicely. It does seem to get lightly scratched with repeated uses, I've noticed a couple of scratches on mine because I keep playing with it.

 

IMG_9786_zpsg0jlc5ev.jpg

 

IMG_9787_zpsg3wijqmd.jpg

 

Over it goes...

 

IMG_9788_zps3yepk1tb.jpg

 

The rear of the watch is the biggest tell for this rep - it's not seamless like the gen (4 screws to remove the back plate) and I deeply disliked the engraving of London when I first got the watch, I asked if I could get a plain caseback but they are not available. You could probably Dremel and polish it out, it's not that deep.

 

However, as a British ex-pat in the US it's actually growing on me a bit and although I did not grow up in London, most Americans think UK = London so it doesn't seem too odd that I have a picture of Big Ben on me at all times.

 

The movement is quartz. Didn't have a small enough screwdriver to remove the back plate and take a look in there. The watch has a solid caseback and no second hand so you aren't losing anything by not having a mechanical movement in here - which would likely be a lot thicker in the rep which is remarkably thin.

 

Someday I will update this review with a picture of the movement, and (when I get some calipers), accurate measurements.

 

I like this rep. It's no super-rep, but until one arrives it's my favorite of the Reverso reps I saw when researching. Would recommend it if you really love this design and want to scratch that Reverso itch.

Edited by Jholmeson

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funnystarsystem

Excellent review, I've been wanting one of these and you answered my question, it cannot be had without the engraving. That's a shame because I'd like a blank to engrave my own.

 

It looks really nice on the Ostrich. I do worry it may be a tad small for my nearly 8" wrist, but it does appear rather longish. I have a Squadra and it's rather large while also not being the "golden ratio" of this model.

 

Thanks again and welcome to the forum!

 

BTW, this same watch can be had on dhgate by searching "reverso". Looks to be $30 cheaper than the trusted dealers, and with free shipping even more of a deal.

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mascot

Very nice! Iv been searching for one for a while.

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Piloten

Thanks, you just re-ignited MY reverso itch.

 

Bugger ;)

 

I think the vintage look looks great on the wristy

 

-John

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willisd

Is there anyway to buy these with a plain back of watch rather than the scenic engravings??

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Jholmeson
Is there anyway to buy these with a plain back of watch rather than the scenic engravings??

 

I asked the TD about sourcing a plain back either as a whole watch or a part and they said it was not available. I've had the watch a few months now and come to not mind the engraving.

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Scribblingchimps@gmail.com

Great review. Iv got that reverso itch. Some TD's now seem to offer it with a plain back casing.

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Foxindebox
Great review. Iv got that reverso itch. Some TD's now seem to offer it with a plain back casing.

 

Using your email address as a username isn't the best idea mate :)

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