Amongst today’s quick pace of limited editions and Instagram hype, it’s easy to forget that JLC has been making grail-worthy watches since before hype was a word. This grail-to-me, the Septantieme, has largely faded into the background of watch collecting attention. Or perhaps, having pre-dated Instagram, it was never there in the first place. Either way, the confluence of obscurity and haute horology has never blended quite so stylishly.
Allow to explain why. In 2001, JLC were working on my grail to commemorate the Reverso’s 70th (the meaning of Septantieme). The piece covered a number of firsts. It was the first Reverso to: (1) have an 8 day reserve movement, (2) use white gold for that movement, (3) use platinum for the XL sized case, and (4) first to have a grande date. The piece blended classic design with ultra-modern watchmaking. The arrangement of complications on its dial may seem haphazard, but stare at it long enough and it becomes harmonious (much like the Lange 1 or Patek 3712). The result of all of this was a run of 500 wildly attractive Reversos (Reversi?). The Septantieme is easily in my top 3 Reverso references and that says enough.
I never use this descriptor, but this example is like-new. The platinum case appears not to have been out of a safe in the intervening two decades since manufacture. Its movement, viewable through the opposing side of the Reverso case, is similarly unaged. The only thing I can reasonably hold against this Septantieme is that I’m not in a position to acquire it just yet. If you are, not only are you well-heeled—you have a discerning eye.
Find this Reverso Septantieme here from Xupes for 34000 GBP.