It isn’t every day that a watch brand opens a pop-up exhibition about time, but Swiss watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre has made it a tradition. Additionally, the exhibitions it has held have absolutely nothing “pop up” about them. They are beautiful spaces that look permanent and that showcase some of the brand’s finest timepieces and gives insight to fine watchmaking. Now, Jaeger-LeCoultre opens the Reverso Stories immersive exhibition in the center of New York City. The exhibit was created in 2021 for the 90th anniversary of the iconic watch and has traveled the globe.
While the previous New York exhibition focused on the sound of time and showcased the brand’s expertise in chiming watches, this new three-week-long exhibit focuses on the legendary Reverso and its many stories. The Reverso was first unveiled to the world 92 years ago in 1931 in response to a call for a watch that polo players could wear on the field without damage. The brand created the patented swiveling Reverso, which sits in a watch case holder, so to speak, and pushes out from the holder, and then be turned over (reversed) so that the dial tucks underneath when the watch is pushed back in place.
The exhibit is free to the public and is being held at Iron 23 (29 West 23rd St.) from November 3 to November 22 and is a not-to-be-missed affair. Not only will visitors be able to walk through the nine decades of the Reverso, but also they will be able to learn about the craftsmanship and design of the new versions, including two pieces being shown for the very first time.
Essentially, there are four main themes that include the history of the watch, its style and design, innovation in terms of movements inside the various Reversos and, of course, the fine Swiss craftsmanship. There will be watchmakers on the premises demonstrating their skills. In fact, in its Swiss workshops, Jaeger-LeCoultre houses 180 different crafts, ranging from watchmaking, movement making, gem-setting, enameling, engraving and so much more. Many of these will be showcased at the exhibit.
There is also a by-appointment free workshop that focuses on the Reverso for those who want to enjoy a hands-on experience. For the exhibit, Jaeger-LeCoultre commissioned Korean artist Yiyun Kang to create a special multi-media artwork, which she calls Origin. It doesn’t stop there, though. The brand takes the Golden Ratio concept of the Reverso and puts it to the taste test with its 1931 Café that serves Art Deco inspired pastries designed by award-winning French pastry chef Nina Metayer. The collaboration with chefs and artists falls under Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Made of Makers program.
The exhibition is open on Tuesdays to Thursdays from 11 am to 7 pm, on Fridays from 10 am to 7pm and on Sundays from 11 am to 6pm. Guests are invited to the exhibit by walking in or booking a guided tour online.