JLC Reverso duo face 270.8.54JLC Reverso duo face 270.8.54

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ref. 250.8.54 Duoface

In a time when stainless steel sports watches dominate the watch industry, Jaeger developed a new manual movement for their iconic sports watch. The Reverso is seen today as a dress watch, a watch suited for formal occasions when men dress up, however, it was introduced as a sports watch, to be more accurate; Polo. A flip mechanism was built into the watch case so the protective case back could be flipped towards the front side so the face wouldn’t get damaged. The brand Jaeger-Lecoultre is not famous for its sports watches like Rolex or Audemars Piguet, which is why their watches are relatively fairer in price when keeping in mind what a beautiful piece of craftsmanship this is.

The in-house developed 986 movements are cool in many ways. The manual movement powers the two faces of the watch, with on the white face a decentralized seconds hand and an open date wheel, and on the black face a day and night indicator. This ‘duo face’ gives you the possibility to wear this watch in different ways, by simply flipping it from time to time. The protective aspect is gone with this feature, but who still plays Polo with a Reverso, right? This watch is indeed more of a dressy type of watch with the original clasp for the gentlemen who care more about style than the exclusiveness or whether it’s rather more of an investment for the future.


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Brand Jaeger-LeCoultre
Diameter 26 x 42 mm
Model Reverso Duo Face
Bracelet/strap: Leather
Reference 250.8.54
Buckle/clasp Original steel folding clasp
Year of production (circa) 2001
Lug Width 19 mm
Material Steel
Set Content Watch only
Crystal Sapphire
Warranty 2 year (AWCo)
Dial color Silver and black
Movement Hand-wound

To understand the odd design of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, we have to travel to India, 1930. Watch collector and business man Oscar de Trey was watching British army officers play a game of polo. One of them broke his watch’s crystal during the match and challenged Oscar to come up with a design that would survive the rough sport.

De Trey dreamed up a watch that would be reversible and met up with Jacques-David LeCoultre to get it done. He would supply the movements for these watches. Edmond Jaeger (who would later merge with LeCoultre in 1937) was contracted to build the cases. A designer by the name of René-Alfred Chauvot was hired to develop the basic idea into a working design. His unique reversible watch case was patented in 1931. The case could slide out of its cradle and be turned over, exposing a metal backplate, rather than the delicate crystal and dial. The Reverso was born.

If you have a look at this 1931 art deco design, you will instantly recognize the modern Reverso. The case shape has hardly changed and the original was already rather substantial; the same size as the modern Reverso classique. Of course many variations were introduced, among which a 1935 update with a square sub-dial for the seconds.

The backplate of the Reverso was often used for personal engravings or enamel decorations. It took until 1994 before JLC would house two dials and sets of hands within a single Reverso, creating the duo-face. A technical challenge, since both faces are powered by the same movement in between. Most would feature a light and a dark dial, to match different outfits, moods or times of the day (Reverso Day & Night).

Several versions with different complications were produced from 1991 onwards. Multiple sizes, materials and movement types are also available. Most are fitted with manually wound or quartz calibers, although automatic versions do exist.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is arguably the world’s first specially designed sports watch. By today’s standards its looks are classically formal, but its roots are clearly in equestrian sports. Much like the Cartier Tank, its rectangular design has survived the test of time with flying colors. If it is a true design classic you are after, no need to look any further.


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Year of production (circa)






Dial color

Silver and black




26 x 42 mm




Original steel folding clasp

Lug Width

19 mm

Set Content

Watch only