Among the most highly-regarded of the classic Swiss watchmakers is Jaeger-LeCoultre Watches. This firm traces its history back to Antoine LeCoultre, the renowned watchmaker who first defined the micrometre as one-millionth of a meter and invented a device to measure it. He started making fine timepieces in 1833 in a small shop in Le Sentier, Switzerland, and won a gold medal for his work at the first Universal Exhibition in London in 1851.
Antoine and his descendants continued to expand their business. In 1903, Edmond Jaeger of Paris challenged the firm to make the thinnest timepieces in the world, a pursuit that led to a series of ultra-thin watches. The collaboration between LeCoultre Watches and Edmond Jaeger eventually led to the formation of Jaeger-LeCoultre Watches.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has created some of the great names of modern watchmaking, most notably the Reverso line. This series began in the 1930s with reversible watches made for polo players who wanted to protect their fine watches from the rigors of their profession. These early Reverso watches had a case that would turn completely over, concealing the watch face and substituting an enameled design.
Since then, Reverso has expanded to include models using the back panel in various ways. Some models have had cutaway backs revealing the colorful movement, while others have featured personalized designs or texts ordered by the purchaser. Today this line has grown into Reverso Duo, a line with separate dials on front and back, displaying separate time zones using the same movement.