Discover the world’s first watch with four faces! Combining chiming, precision mechanisms and astronomical complications: new Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185, with white gold case (51.2 x 31 mm), manually wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 185, 11 complications, 12 patents. Limited edition of 10 pieces.
La Grande Maison celebrates an icon, the Reverso, by releasing the most complicated timepiece ever presented in this emblematic collection. The Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 is the result of over six years of development, combining key areas of savoir-faire at Jaeger-LeCoultre with innovative new astronomical indications. It is the world’s first wristwatch with four functioning display faces. By incorporating three displays of lunar information on the interior face of the iconic Reverso cradle (the synodic cycle, the draconic cycle and the anomalistic cycle), the Hybris Mechanica Quadriptyque can predict the next global incidence of astronomical events such as supermoons and eclipses — the world’s first wristwatch to provide such a deep reading of the cosmos.
Chapter one: set the universe
The tourbillon is one of the main protagonists of the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque). Occupying the 7 o’clock position on the recto face of the case, a flying tourbillon (thus called because the absence of an upper bridge allows it to appear as if it is floating) makes one rotation a minute, continuously varying the position of the balance in order to achieve a single corrected average time measurement. The balance is the heart of any watch movement, and it is also the key to our measurement of time. As it beats in regular cadences of 4Hz (28,800vph), every eight beats mark the passing of one second. The seconds accumulate into minutes, into hours, days, weeks, months and years.
The recto face of the Quadriptyque case, illustrating the uppermost abilities of mechanical horology, shows the indications of a perpetual calendar, a centuries-old mechanism that always displays the correct date despite the irregular number of days each month. It also takes leap years into account, displaying a 29th day in the month of February every four years. Highlighting the precision of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 185 construction, the perpetual calendar indications are instantaneous, changing at the stroke of midnight. In addition, the complexities of the Calibre 185 construction required the date to be displayed at the 5 o’clock position on the dial. At Jaeger-LeCoultre, only the perfect legibility of a grande date was considered acceptable for a watch of such prestige, which necessitated the creation of a new system of date display discs in order to accommodate the dimensions of the flying tourbillon at 7 o’clock.
Chapter two: chime the heavens
There exists only one watchmaking manufacture that has over 200 chiming watch calibres in its historical and modern inventory — La Grande Maison du Sentier. The verso face of the Quadriptyque case is a virtuoso tour de force of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s patrimony as a master and innovator of chiming watches. With the slide of a lever located just above the crown, the Quadriptyque unleashes its melody. First, a series of low notes, correlating to the number of hours. Second, an alternating couplet of high and low notes, corresponding to the quarter-hours. And concluding the melody, a succession of high notes, indicating the number of minutes to be added to the elapsed quarters. In concert, the hours-quarters-minutes chime plays the current time in musical code. The striking works of the Reverso Quadriptyque are completely exposed alongside a secondary time display, indicating the same time as the recto dial, but in a jumping-hours and peripheral-minutes format. As the Quadriptyque strikes the time, setting a symphony of springs, cams, hammers and gongs into motion, their acoustic report confirms the visual display of the secondary dial. Debuting in the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 is a completely novel engineering of the chiming components to create a seamless chime with no pauses in between the hours, quarters and minutes.
Chapter three: uncover the orbit
This year, for the first time ever in the history of mechanical horology, Jaeger-LeCoultre unites three displays of lunar information — the synodic cycle, the draconic cycle and the anomalistic cycle — in a single wristwatch. This unique micromechanical combination of indications, located on the interior face of the cradle of the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185, allows the determination of eclipse events (both solar and lunar) and rare lunar phenomena such as supermoons. Occupying the top half of the interior face of the cradle of the Reverso Quadriptyque is a massive representation of the phases of the moon in the Northern Hemisphere. A laser-engraved moon is progressively covered and revealed by a mobile blue lacquer disc with gold glitter décor, corresponding to the age of the moon in the synodic cycle. While conventional displays of the moon phase accumulate one day of error after 32.5 months, the moon phase display of the Quadriptyque requires only one adjustment after 1,111 years.
Just below the moon phase display, on the left, is a counter with a three-dimensional micro-sculpted pink-gold sun orbited by a tiny hemispherical moon. This counter shows the draconic cycle, showing when the path of the Moon intersects with the orbit of the Earth around the Sun (known as the ecliptic). Such an intersection takes place twice in each cycle, indicated by the horizontal alignment on the counter of the moon and the sun. To the right of the draconic cycle counter is a domed representation of the Earth, micro-painted in enamel, with a hemispherical moon in eccentric orbit around it. This counter represents the anomalistic cycle, showing the varying distance between the Earth and Moon. The display of the synodic, draconic and anomalistic cycle together in a wristwatch is unprecedented in horology, with the latter two indications protected by patent, making the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 the only watch ever made to provide such depth of information about astronomical phenomena.
Chapter four: reverse the universe
This year, the world’s first wristwatch with four faces premieres in the form of the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 (Quadriptyque), the ultimate expression of the Reverso concept. On the last face of the Quadriptyque, the exterior face of the cradle, a representation of the phases of the Moon in the Southern Hemisphere is shown. Most indications of the moon phase are of the Northern Hemisphere perspective, and the Quadriptyque’s display of the Southern Hemisphere moon phase on its fourth face is the fulfilment of the Reverso’s fundamental dualism. A star-flecked sky chart, engraved and lacquered in a gradient of blue shades forms the backdrop to the pink-gold moon, all of which are created in the Atelier des Métiers Rares® of Jaeger-LeCoultre. The secret to the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Quadriptyque’s four functioning display faces lies in a solution first used in the 2006 Reverso Hybris Mechanca Grande Complication à Triptyque. Every day at midnight, a pin extends out of the main case movement to activate a mechanical corrector in the cradle, which then advances the cradle displays. The mechanism driving the cradle displays is set directly into the cradle itself, without any additional movement plates that would increase the thickness of the watch. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expertise in ultra-compact watchmaking makes the Quadriptyque, despite its multiple indications and complications, one of the most wearable high-complication watches of our time.