Image courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre

Jaeger-LeCoultre's latest timepiece elevates watchmaking to a fine art

Featuring four fully-functioning display faces, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 is an expression of the Swiss watchmaker's heritage and savoir-faire.

by i-D Staff
07 April 2021, 2:11pm

Image courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre

Though much about the world has changed over the past year, the celestial cycles that shape our understanding of life on earth have not. Once a day, the sun still sets, and once a month, right on cue, the full moon still shines. If these rhythms seem to run like clockwork, that’s for good reason: horology — the study of the measure of time — is ultimately based on these cosmic patterns, the result of the earliest astronomers carefully calculating the movements of the sun, moon and stars. Over time, though, the act of keeping time has evolved from a purely mathematical process into a noble expression of precision, craftsmanship and savoir-faire: fine watchmaking, an art that few epitomise the values of as wholly as Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Over close to two centuries, La Grande Maison — French for ‘the great house’ — has built its reputation as a pioneer in the field of contemporary horology, fuelled by a spirit that combines a future-minded sense of innovation with a respect for its time-honoured heritage. For proof, you needn’t look any further than Jaeger-LeCoultre latest icon, revealed today — the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185, an evolution of the house’s timeless Reverso wristwatch.

Debuted in 1931, the original single-faced timepiece was built to withstand scuffles and mallet strokes on the polo pitch, featuring a case that reversed to conceal the dial. Over the nine decades since, the Reverso’s sleek, Art Déco silhouette has matured to become one of the most recognisable in the world of fine watches.

The Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185, launched in the year of the Reverso’s 90th anniversary, also marks an addition to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Hybris Mechanica family, the house’s line of groundbreaking horological creations. Adapted from the Greek “hubris”, a term which refers to the bold ambition of Classical heroes, ‘Hybris’ is a nod to La Grande Maison’s commitment to expanding the horizons of its craft, a promise it has faithfully kept since the collection’s birth in 2003.

Image of the front dial face of Jaeger-LeCoultre's Reverso Hybris Mechanica 185 wristwatch
​Image courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre

As the world’s first-ever wristwatch with four (yes, four!) fully-functioning display faces, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 is a testament to that. It also boasts a total of 11 complications — which, counter to the term’s everyday meaning, is watchmaking lingo for features beyond rudimentary timekeeping functions that make life that much smoother. Still, it does a damn good job of telling the time. Enhanced by a flying tourbillon — a rotating mechanism that ensures a watch’s sustained accuracy — its front face displays the expected clock face along with a perpetual calendar display that even takes leap years into account. And, with the simple slide of a lever, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 even sings out the time through a seamless series of chimes of varying pitches.

What’s more, the Swiss watchmaker has paid poignant homage to timekeeping’s cosmic roots, placing three different displays of lunar cycle information on the inner face of the cradle. Featuring moving lacquer motifs that correspond to the positions of the moon in the synodic, draconic and anomalistic cycles as seen from the Northern Hemisphere, it’s a first-ever in the history of watchmaking, allowing the wearer insight into when events like supermoons and eclipses will occur. On the cradle’s wrist-facing exterior, this is complemented by an engraved night-sky vista depicting the moon’s phases from a Southern Hemisphere perspective.

Image of the second-keeping and inner moon phase face of Jaeger-LeCoultre's Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 wristwatch
​Image courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre

As you’d expect from such an out-of-this-world piece of craftsmanship, the snazzy wristwatch, which has been produced as a limited edition of 10, comes at a price point to match — in case you’re wondering, it’s strictly POA, and as the old adage goes, if you have to ask… Still, even beheld from afar, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 is a perennial source of inspiration — a work of fine art built to chronicle and withstand the passage of time.

Image of the reverse moon phase face of Jaeger-LeCoultre's Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 wristwatch
​Image courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre

Discover the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 here.

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