With 2022 being the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese Zodiac, tiger-themed watches started to proliferate since late last year. One of the most striking tiger-themed watches is also one of the most discreet, revealing its roaring tiger only on the reverse.
The Reverso Tribute Enamel “Tiger” is a sharp but simple on the front, while its reverse depicts a tiger leaping out of the clouds. Unusually, the decoration combines both enamel and engraving, making it more elaborate than the typical enamelled Reverso.
The quintessential enamelled Reverso is a miniature painting in polychrome enamel – a specialty of Jaeger-LeCoultre since the 1990s. The Reverso “Tiger” in contrast, is a stately black and gold.
Even though the “Tiger” dials back on the colours, it is a striking and beautiful watch. The simplicity at a distance gives away to detail when you examine the roaring tiger on the back, which is executed in low relief. It leaps out of a black background that is actually fired enamel.
At the same time, this combination of figurative engraving in addition to enamel is a first for Jaeger-LeCoultre, at least in recent years, making the “Tiger” a rather special watch.
Naturally the elaborate decoration comes at a price – €90,000 before taxes to be exact. That’s about US$100,000 and about the same as past Reverso models with miniature enamel paintings.
The engraved tiger takes form after the back has been enamelled. So the process starts with the blank back being painted by hand with black enamel – the enameller is careful to leave the silhouette of the tiger untouched – and then fired in an oven, melting the enamel powder and fusing it to the back.
The enamel is then polished to give it a perfect glassy finish, before the back is turned over to the engraver. He or she has to work within the tiny confines of the area within the enamelled surround, carefully removing material to create the dynamic portrait of the tiger. Once complete, the tiger is accented with black lacquer for its stripes. This process takes 55 hours.
Notably, the dial is also black fired enamel. It’s matched with pink-gold tone hands and indicates, along with a railway minute track in metallic print.
And like most manual-wind Reversos for men, this is powered by the cal. 822, the venerable workhorse calibre that was designed specifically for the Reverso, explaining its ovoid form.
Key facts and price
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Enamel “Tiger”
Diameter: 45.5 mm by 27.4 mm
Height: 9.73 mm
Material: 18k pink gold
Water resistance: 30 m
Dial: Grand feu enamel
Case back: Grand feu enamel and relief engraving
Movement: Cal. 822A/2
Functions: Hours and minutes
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Hand wind
Power reserve: 42 hours
Strap: Alligator with folding clasp
Limited edition: No but only made to order
Availability: Only at boutiques
Price: €90,000 (excluding VAT)
For more, visit Jaeger-lecoultre.com.
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