This is WATCH THE WATCH, a new series uncovering the most iconic watches seen on screen. From cult classics to new releases, we uncover the cinematic presence behind the cameras. In this week’s edition, we pay tribute to Jaeger Le-Coultre‘s iconic Reverso model in Christian Bale’s iteration of Batman.
It was the week that Batmaniacs went into a frenzy: the dark knight returns, in the form of Robert Pattinson. “Good morning from Gotham City” tweeted The Batman director, Matt Reeves. Posting an image of the upcoming American superhero film, based on the DC Comics, the coveted reboot will see Pattinson star alongside Zoë Kravitz and Colin Ferrell. Following Batman in his second year of fighting crime, the new iteration sees Batman take on a new villain, a serial killer known as the Riddler. The accomplice to Bruce Wayne’s vigilant lifestyle is his trusted butler, set to be played by Andy Serkis. This will be a reunion for Serkis and Reeves, who had previously worked together on the Planet of the Apes films.
While we wait in anticipation for the Batman of tomorrow, we look back at Christian Bale’s performance as the scourge of evil, under the direction of Christopher Nolan, and more importantly, what he’s sporting on his wrist. Spanning the triptych of Nolan’s masterpieces, from Batman Begins to The Dark Knight rises, Bale’s appearance as the protagonist has grossed over $1 billion each over the latter two films, reinstating the superhero on the world stage in the 21st century.
Bruce Wayne is a complex character, entrenched in duality. Which is why it made perfect sense to complete his costume with a signature Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Watch.
Titled ‘Reverso,’ latinate for the expression to ‘turn around,’ the model flips between a watch dial and a metal cover. Typifying the Jekyll and Hyde personality of Wayne, a billionaire by day and a tortured vigilante fighting evil by night, the reversing watch face that both hides and exposes the dial seems uncanny for the secreted superhero. Born out of request and practical need, a group of British officers stationed in India playing Polo, players asked César de Trey – a Swiss watch dealer and businessman – to create a timepiece that would persist through the intensity of their sport and the impact of mallet strikes. At their request, César de Trey sent informed Jacques-David LeCoultre.
Under the direction of René-Alfred Chauvot, the French engineer in charge of the development of this new watchcase, a counter decision was made to produce something that concealed, rather than using protective grills that had been designed for military uses in World War 1.
It’s not the first time the Reverso has been linked to Batman however. Val Kilmer’s version in the 1995 Batman Forever saw the lead figure sporting a similar Reverso model, exposing the magnificence of timekeeping on one side, and a hardened shell on the other.
And if you thought the Reverso revolution stopped there, to celebrate the final of Christopher Nolan’s saga, Jaeger-LeCoultre revealed a limited edition Batman Reverso watch, an ultra thin tribute to the 1931 watch, featuring a lacquered Batman logo on the shell. So what exactly will Robert Pattinson wear? Will he continue the legacy of his ancestors, or pave a new beginning for the cloaked paladin? You’ll have to wait until March 4, 2022 to find out. Time’s ticking.