Aaah, the Reverso Septantième, all an era! This Reverso is the first member of the Reverso XGT line ( XGT for Très Grande Taille=Very big size ), and it is true that the Septantième inaugurated a case whose proportions were very generous.
While the GT Case ( Reverso from the 90's and till year 2000 ) was 42, 25 x 26 x 9, 35 mm big and high, the XGT case, unveiled with the Septantiéme in 2001, was much bigger and thicker: 46, 5 x 29, 23 x 12 mm big and high.
A big case for a big revolution. Till then, the Reverso was discrete, elegant, almost introverted. The Septantième is more exuberant, as to highlight the fact that the Manufacture wanted to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of their icon in a more " noisy " way, but not only.
Indeed, the Septantième is a watch " of firsts " and a pure product of Horology.
First XGT case, first 8 Days movement, first Big Date, first 18 Kt White Gold movement ( plate and bridges ). I will not say that it is the first Reverso to use a platinum case, as I think that the Sun Moon and the Reserve de Marche both came just before the Septantième, but as good as my memory is, it is the only one which had a platinum case, and the only one to use a swan neck regulator!
The Septantième was made in a limited edition of 500 pieces in platinum, and 500 pieces in rose gold, with a different color for the dial and a movement in 18 Kt Rose Gold. THAT was pretty ambitious to offer 1000 Septantième, and it seems that Jaeger Lecoultre saw too big, here, as I am far from being sure that they made the 1000 pieces.
This Reverso suffered with two issues... The price, which was, in platinum, very high, and the birth of the Reverso Grande Date, in steel, not limited and much more affordable.
These are the reasons why I fell in love as soon as I saw the Septantième, in 2002, and why it took me 5 years to own it, as I had to vanquish my doubts...
The points which seduced me are:
- The platinum case,
- The Ruthenium dial,
- The silver powder numerals ( hour markers )
- The heated blue hands,
- The 18 Kt white gold movement,
- The level of decoration,
- The Swan Neck.
My doubts were:
- The proportions of the case,
- The important weight of the whole watch,
- The luminous minute and hour hands,
- A higher level of finishings would have been welcome,
- The price of the platinum version.
While the positive points remain absolutely valid, I could eliminate some of my reserves, such as the proportions of the case and the weight, as I got used to them quite quickly.
The two negative points which remain issues for me are the luminous hands and an expected higher level of finishings in relation to the high price of this watch.
I don't really get the point of these luminous hands, they cheapen the watch, in my opinion, and it would have been much better to have them without luminous, and maybe, with a different shape.
As for the level of finishings, I would have loved to see generous beveled angles, at least.
But all in all, I was convinced enough to take the decision to buy it... In August 2007, and for my biggest pleasure.
I had the time to appreciate all the details of that special Reverso, its character and charm.
Despite its size and weight, it is quite comfortable. It is not the most comfortable one, but its folding clasp contributes to make it comfortable and to make it sit well on the wrist.
I also discovered its polyvalent character, casual and formal, through all these years, but is it that surprising from a " Janus " watch, I mean a watch with two faces?
Here are some fresh pictures I took for this new birthday.
It took me some years to build my top collection of Jaeger Lecoultre. This Septantième is one of my three most important modern Jaeger Lecoultre watches, along with the Duometre à Chronographe and the Master Minute Repeater. Of course, I could opt for a finer Reverso, such as the Reverso Tourbillon Skeleton from 2005,and I am still dreaming of a Gyrotourbillon One or Five, but I am very happy and proud with what I have.