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 into 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 risking damage. The brand created the patented swiveling Reverso, which sits in a watch case holder, so to speak, pushes out from the holder and then can be turned over (reversed) so that the dial tucks underneath when the watch is pushed back into 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: a not-to-be-missed affair. Not only will visitors be able to walk through the nine decades of the Reverso, but they will also 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 to 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 focusing 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 multimedia 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, which 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 Tuesdays to Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Guests are invited to enjoy the exhibit by walking in or booking a guided tour online.