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Why I Bought It (For My Wife): An Engraved Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique - Reprise | Quill & Pad

Why I Bought It (For My Wife): An Engraved Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique – Reprise | Quill & Pad

This is a family issue: an account of my better half Brigitte, her pony Gucci, my dad Neil, and an engraved Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique in impeccable steel

Brigitte (wife)

While my significant other Brigitte has adapted a considerable amount about horology by digestion throughout the long term, I imagine that it is reasonable for depict her overall interest in watches and watchmaking as insignificant. However, she knows a ton of incredible watchmakers and she appreciates quality.

Decades back, following a half year of discreetly trickle taking care of her data about what makes incredible watchmaking really extraordinary with the objective of setting up the route for purchasing another watch for myself, she astonished me with, “I get it. I’d like a decent watch.”

It turned out that signified, “I get it. I’d like a Breguet.”

At the time, in her psyche Breguet was inseparable from haute horlogerie and she chose a Breguet Marine that she has worn virtually consistently since.

It’s important here that we live close to Geneva and have ponies at home — one is our own, the other two have a place with companions. Brigitte rides Gucci, her pony, every day and competes in dressage , which is fundamentally equine gymnastics.

Ian (me)

While online my life may have all the earmarks of being a world brimming with wristwatches and watchmakers, in actuality, ponies assume an extremely critical part notwithstanding the way that I seldom ride. I grew up with ponies in Australia because of my sister Lesley essentially sucking the entire family — aside from me — into her passion.

While I like ponies as a rule, I’ve generally believed that they were a lot of work for too little delight. My sister wound up being the central teacher of our nearby horse club, my sibling Greg rode (and normally had his own pony), my dad became leader of the horse club, while my mom was the treasurer.

I preferred vehicles and motorbikes better on the grounds that I (normally) discovered them simpler to control than ponies for both heading and speed.

Neil (father)

When he was in his mid fifties, my dad was searching for a side interest he could do at home. One day he took a gander at an outlined photograph on a mass of my mom Gwen as a debutant and suspected, “I want to paint that.”

And he did. Also, it ended up good overall. In any case, he likewise discovered that he would be better on the off chance that he had a couple lessons.

So he several classes on acrylic painting — water-based so there was less smell and it was simpler to clean the brushes and himself. In any case, at this point us kids had grown up and ventured out from home (abroad for my situation). My folks moved, and Neil was occupied with another vocation so painting was failed to remember for the following ten years.

But moving toward retirement, Neil took craftsmanship classes run by the University of the Third Age, where he had a coach spend significant time in drawing and perspective.

Neil’s sketching interaction is to work from a photograph of the subject that he intellectually resizes for the material he is dealing with and draws freehand.

Neil has no interest in sitting in the nation painting or drawing; he snaps a picture and makes his specialty in the comfort of his own home. I was completely ignorant of my dad’s advantage in craftsmanship as I had left Australia before it started.

Sketch of Grisou by Neil Skellern

However, in the course of the most recent decade or so my folks have visited us in Switzerland like clockwork. On the main visit Neil sketched Brigitte’s past pony, Grisou. At that point he quit sketching and drawing.

Sketch of Grisou by Neil Skellern

Until five years after the fact when visiting us again in Switzerland I requested that he sketch my much-missed canine Bandit from a most loved photograph. What’s more, he did. Furthermore, it was simply perfect.

The sketches of Grisou, a dark — almost white — horse, were truly similar to negatives; there are not many lines or concealing on the pony itself.

Sketch of Bandit by Neil Skellern

Bandit, however, was the inverse: it was brimming with lines and concealing. What’s more, the sketch of Bandit showed me something that I had never even come near encountering: the force of art.

Bandit passed on around five years prior, yet I still effectively destroy each time I consider him or see his sketch. (Furthermore, I’m comfortable with that.)

While I’ve been amazingly blessed to have seen extraordinary craftsmanship everywhere on the world, and I do value the ability, exertion, resourcefulness, and innovativeness that goes into workmanship, I’ve never had any sort of craftsmanship move me before.

The sketch of Bandit truly showed me that Neil had ability, since I cherished my canine more than Brigitte’s pony (which was likewise fundamentally a pet at home) so I examined that sketch more.


A few additional years passed. My folks visited once more, and this time Neil sketched Brigitte’s present pony, Gucci (he accompanied the name).

Sketch of Gucci by Neil Skellern

After Grisou kicked the bucket, we discovered that a good dressage horse for competing at Brigitte’s level was past our spending plan. She was getting a companion’s pony to compete, yet that was anything but a long haul solution.

One thing we knew, however, was not to get a foal. Despite the fact that we have pens and enclosures on our property, so it would be generally moderate for us to keep a youthful pony, in the years that they are growing up, foals can without much of a stretch hurt themselves severely enough to preclude future any expectations of significant level competition. Furthermore, similarly as with kids, two incredible dressage ponies don’t really make an extraordinary dressage horse.

Then one day I saw a photograph of a six-month-old yearling in Sweden that was available to be purchased, with astounding dressage bloodlines and good grades in a competition for youthful colts.

And obviously he looked much the same as you’d expect a child pony to look: adorable.

Gucci (horse)

Naturally, in spite of realizing that it was insane to purchase a foal, Brigitte and I purchased Gucci when he was a half year old. That was 16 years prior, and in that time Gucci has advanced both of our lives and at times done his most extreme to abbreviate them.

Brigitte and Gucci in 2016

With a ton of work he turned into a magnificent dressage horse. Indeed, actually and physically he is probably going to rank among the world’s best game ponies, yet he is kept down by the way that he is likewise brilliant and simply doesn’t see the point on the whole that work. However, Gucci is exceptionally uncommon to us, shaping a necessary piece of our family.

So when my folks were visiting around five years prior, Brigitte requested that Neil sketch Gucci. Furthermore, he did.

The Reverso

Last year, apparently out of nowhere from my point of view, Brigitte disclosed to me that she might want a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso (wouldn’t we all?).

Now there are numerous reasons individuals may purchase a Reverso, yet for Brigitte it was the equine causes of the watch. With a pivoting case to ensure the watch inside, the Reverso was initially made for polo players stressed over harming their watches. With a Reverso you could pivot the case to put the moderately delicate gem face down, so any thumps and knocks fell innocuously on the rear of the case.

Brigitte had gotten her work done: she knew precisely which model she needed down to the reference number; it was a manual winding Reverso Classique in hardened steel with coordinating steel arm band. This was to be a watch she could wear every day, which typically included office, horseback, and stables.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 846/1

And it accompanied an exceptionally decent Jaeger-LeCoultre manual winding Caliber 846/1 development. I was unobtrusively satisfied to discover that Brigitte had twofold watched that her picked model had a mechanical development, not a quartz one.

So I reached Jaeger-LeCoultre and put in a request. And afterward when I got a message that the watch was prepared, I was found out if I’d prefer to get it from Jaeger-LeCoultre in Le Sentier, the JLC store in Geneva, or have it shipped.

Commissioning engraving

It was really at that time that we thought: it’s a Reverso; it has a back begging to be engraved; it has a simple pivot framework so fine art on the back is effectively obvious; and Jaeger-LeCoultre has a portion of the world’s best etchers. For what reason don’t we have it personalized?

Interestingly, despite the fact that it was unmistakably Brigitte’s watch, it seemed like a common task and still feels like that numerous months later.

I would enthusiastically recommend to anybody considering commissioning an engraved Reverso to do as such at the hour of requesting the watch instead of my all the more aimless methodology of doing so later.

Neil Skellern’s sketch of Gucci, which enlivened the engraving

As we searched for a reasonable horsey picture, it immediately got evident that the subject must be important to us and of some creative legitimacy to merit the cost, yet additionally be easygoing (and, indeed, modest) enough that you would need the craftsmanship around ponies and stables.

It was rapidly clear that one sketch had the ideal subject and shape: Gucci.

So I sent a photograph of the sketch to Jaeger-LeCoultre. A little while later, I got a little picture of how the etcher figured the back would look and a statement for the work, which I accepted.

How the etcher envisioned the picture of Gucci’s representation on the rear of a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique

I additionally inquired as to whether could I come up to the Jaeger-LeCoultre produce in Le Sentier to take a couple photographs while the watch was being engraved.

The etching measure for this portrayal of Gucci required two entire days, from deciphering the sketch I had sent into a plan that can be engraved and still be seen and appreciated at postage-stamp size, freehand laying out (otherwise known as scratching) the fundamental lines onto the watch’s case back, the actual etching, cold veneer darkening, lastly polishing.

Jaeger-LeCoultre etcher Marsura dealing with the picture of Gucci

Jaeger-LeCoultre etcher Marsura dealing with the picture of Gucci

It is fundamental to get that first plan totally amazing in any case nothing streams smoothly.

So our etcher Maroussia worked out which not many hours in the process was probably going to be the most outwardly fascinating. What’s more, she picked well.

A not many of the apparatuses needed for etching at Jaeger-LeCoultre

Maroussia had considered workmanship, plan, and etching. She has filled in as an etcher at Jaeger-LeCoultre for a very long time. She revealed to me that countenances and pictures were the most troublesome as it was basic to get the articulation on the money. The focus on her was not to recreate the first however to decipher it while keeping the fundamental. We feel that she did very well.

It merits recalling that this is tempered steel that is being engraved, a metal known for his solidarity and hardness, so it’s no simple material to sculpt.

The picture of Gucci starts to look complete, however there is as yet another entire day of work ahead (note that this is a work in advancement before last polishing)

Gucci came home.


If you got this far then it’s quite obvious to you that Brigitte is exceptionally content with the etching of Gucci on her Reverso Classique — and on the off chance that she is upbeat, I am glad — so for what reason did I recommend in the title that you shouldn’t do the same?

Well, to be straightforward the primary explanation I added that was that I figured it may urge more individuals to peruse the article. The entire raison d’être for the Reverso case in any case was so those playing polo — a serious unpleasant game with hard items flying through the air at fast (see Polo: The Sport Of Kings, And Thanks To Richard Mille, Yours Truly ) — could turn the moderately delicate gem face down, leaving the intense steel back to ingest any knocks.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique

Now what occurs on the off chance that you have moderately costly and genuinely significant fine art on the back? You hold that face down and let the gem fight for itself, completely refuting the general purpose of having a Reverso in any case. In any case, I surrender that except if you are really a significant level polo player who demands wearing a watch while playing, that is probably not going to be a problem.

Engraving of Gucci on the rear of Brigitte’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique

Engraving of Gucci on the rear of Brigitte’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique

The delight of commissioning a smaller than usual piece of craftsmanship and having it in a real sense “close by” to appreciate whenever can’t be overestimated, and the Reverso is in its very own class for that – similar to the wide scope of creative abilities accessible at Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique showing the etching of Gucci

A close glance at the subtleties in the etching of Gucci on the rear of Brigitte’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique

And here is something different you should seriously mull over: I’m a lovely childish individual and I would very like a Reverso myself. However, I’m certain that I have significantly more joy out of commissioning this Reverso for Brigitte than if I had gotten one for myself.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique on the wrist

For more data, if it’s not too much trouble, visit .

Quick Facts Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique

Case: reversible, 38.7 x 23 x 8.5 mm, hardened steel

Development: manual winding Caliber 846/1, 38-hour power hold

Capacities: hours, minutes

Cost: $6,500, etching roughly $2,000 (cost relies completely upon the subject and subtleties required)

* This article was first distributed on June 1, 2016 at Why I Bought My Wife An Engraved Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique .

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