Only Online Auction

Hong Kong, Mar 03, 2021

LOT 64

E. Gübelin
“Reverso”, red lacquered dial; stainless steel

HKD 188,000 - 282,000

CHF 21,700 - 32,500 / EUR 20,000 - 30,000 / USD 24,200 - 36,200

Stainless-steel, manual-winding, vertical rectangular-curved-shaped, reversible Art Deco gentleman’s wristwatch, with red colour lacquered dial and subsidiary seconds at 6.

Case-back engraved in taille-douce (fine-cut) with the cypher “M A A”.


Grading System
Grade: AAA

Excellent

Case: 3

Good

Movement: 3 *
Dial: 3-01

Good

HANDS Original

Brand Gubelin, Le Sentier (Vallée de Joux)

Model “Reverso”, made for E. Gübelin, Luzern / Lucerne

Year 1931-1932

Movement No. 225 632

Case No. 6 359

Material stainless steel

Bracelet black leather strap

Buckle stainless steel buckle

Caliber Lisica 064 (by Tavannes Watch Co.)

Height 37 mm.

Width 22.9 mm.

Signature dial, case and movement

Notes

Case based on the French invention patent No. 712 868, delivered on March 4, 1931, to René-Alfred Chauvot, Paris, for a “Montre susceptible de coulisser dans son support et pouvant se retourner complètement sur elle-même”.

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“Reverso”

After a polo game one day in India, Swiss businessman César de Trey (1876-1953) was challenged by the British officers he had been playing with to design a watch that would resist the rough treatment inflicted on it during the practice of their favourite sport.

Upon his return to Europe, de Trey discussed the challenge with Jacques-David LeCoultre (1875-1948), director of the LeCoultre & Cie manufactory in Le Sentier (Vallée de Joux, canton de Vaud); the firm had been founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre (1803-1881).

Together with the Parisian firm Jaeger, which had been founded in 1880 by Edmond Jaeger (1858-1922), they created the “Reverso” watch.

The case, designed by French engineer René-Alfred Chauvot, was first patented in France on March 4, 1931 (No. 712 868). It was reversible, and was made up of a mobile portion containing the movement that pivoted within a frame to which the bracelet was fixed. This allowed the watch’s face to be rotated, or reversed, thus protecting the glass.

In December 1931, César de Trey, who had bought the rights of Chauvot’s patent, and Jacques-David LeCoultre together founded a distribution company called “Spécialités Horlogères” (first in Lausanne and then in Geneva), to sell the “Reverso” as well as the other watches made by LeCoultre & Cie and Jaeger, Paris. The distribution house purchased the patent. In 1937, the company took the name Jaeger-LeCoultre.

By 1931, the Wenger firm of Geneva was entrusted with the production of the cases. While LeCoultre & Cie was developing several calibres destined for ladies’ and men’s “Reverso” watches, “Spécialités Horlogères” used a series of movements produced by the Tavannes Watch Co. (in the canton of Bern). Many of these watches were sold by the E. Gübelin firm in Lucerne.

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“Reverso”, red lacquered dials

For the early “Reverso” collector, the red lacquered dial remains the most elusive and collected model.
 
At the thematic “Reverso” auction held by Antiquorum, Geneva, in May 2011, the red dial example set at the time the record for the most expensive vintage “Reverso” to be sold at auction (lot 225), bringing CHF 35 000.-
 
Another example (Ref. 2201) was sold by Antiquorum, Geneva, on May 13, 2012, lot 15, holds the current record for the most expensive vintage “Reverso” sold at auction for the amount of CHF 50 000.-