Swellboy on… Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso remake

Only our man would plan his entire Geneva watch fair wardrobe round a brown dial

Image: Brijesh Patel

I am championing brown. It is a colour I love.

The other day I was in Charvet talking to Anne-Marie Colban, and I was wearing a briskly checked Rubinacci suit that exhibited most shades of this colour, from fawn via chestnut to 90 per cent cacao chocolate (with a dab of green).


Anne-Marie had a bit of a hard time finding the right pochette and tie to fit, but happily I had also come prepared with a checked twill shirt in brown that she had made for me some years ago. Once I had slipped this on, it all became clear: dark-mahogany solid-colour tie and a pochette the colour of Irish porter with little irregular white squares.

In line with my pursuit and promotion of the rich tonal palette of brown, I must congratulate Jaeger-LeCoultre on its new ultra-slim Reverso in rose gold – I say new, but it is a pretty faithful remake of the classic original Reverso from the early 1930s, right down to the sword hands and the brown dial. To my shame, I did not know that the brown dial was an option in the 1930s, but I was assured that this was the historically correct shade and it is a corker. Moreover, it is teamed with a butter-soft leather strap made by an Argentine saddler and bootmaker… a subtle nod to the polo-playing heritage of this celebrated timepiece. It is almost enough to have me taking up the sport and, having seen the watch a few days before the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, I asked if I could wear one during the fair – and, accordingly, I planned an entire four-day wardrobe around a brown watch dial the size of a postage stamp.


And having just reread that sentence, I realise that the depth of my superficiality never ceases to amaze and surprise me.

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