What makes the Reverso such an icon is its faultless design. It’s as pure an expression of the geometric progressive classicism of the La Societe des Artistes Decorateurs – whose ideas so dominated after the 1925 Paris Exposition – as you could hope for. If ‘art deco’ was not a universally understood term at the time, the energy and concern for boldness and simplicity very definitely were: it is no leap of the imagination to see the Reverso as definitively of the same decade as the SS Normandie, the Mallard or the Supermarine seaplanes.
The Reverso’s credentials as an art deco icon are underlined by the success of the design in the 1930s. Up until the outbreak of WWII, the company had introduced 11 different movements for the Reverso, and the watch was seen on celebrated wrists ranging from Amelia Earhart to Edward VIII.
After falling out of favour in post-war years, the Reverso was eventually resurrected in the 1980s once customer demand was impossible to ignore. The execution and conception of the latest anniversary collection is faultless.
Despite the name – ‘Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931’ – the watch is anything but unwieldy. It comes in two forms, a rose gold with white dial and steel with black dial [pictured]. Both designs simply say Reverso on the dial, a nice touch and laudable given the pressure to logo everything. The design essentially speaks for itself, though – the Reverso is one of the few watches that should be present in one form or another in any watch collection.
The annual Salon QP watch showcase is on 11-12 November at the Saatchi Gallery. For more info visit qpmagazine.com