I have nothing but admiration and respect for Jaeger-LeCoultre, but when the gloves come off, no punches will be pulled. So, with respect, let’s get started on the walk in the park that will be this showdown. Let’s start with the obvious. I’m talking about the current Cartier fever that has swept over the watch industry this past year.
When the Privé Tank Chinoise was introduced earlier this year, it quickly made my list of favorite releases.
Why Cartier should take the win
Was it not clear enough that the Cartier should take the crown? Well, let me tell you just a couple more reasons why your vote should go to this very special Tank Chinoise. The first is a matter of size. Let me walk you through my thinking. If you’re in the market for either one of these watches, you’re looking for something small, refined, and wearable, with classic looks that reflect the brand’s heritage.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Monoface Small Seconds
You should vote for a Cartier watch because of the elegance it oozes. But this Tank Chinoise, instead looking like a banana, looks more like a Tank on a hamburger diet. Nacho keeps going on about its “perfect” dimensions, but those dimensions are anything but well-proportioned. It’s so fat and bulky-looking. It’s nothing like the 1922 original, which had a perfectly elegant square dial. No, the new Tank Chinoise is all stretched up, and who on Earth came up with those sunburst dials?
Why did Cartier not just use one of those beautiful silver guilloché dials? These sunburst dials are far too shiny and too ton-sur-ton together with those precious-metal cases. I also really don’t like that plain rectangle printed on the inside of the of the dial. What happened to the good old minute-track on the inside of the Roman numerals?
Now you just have to guess where those hands are actually pointing towards. And I haven’t even mentioned that billboard-sized font that the designers used for the Cartier brand name.
Yes, it looks like a banana. So what?
Jaeger-LeCoultre has only slightly curved the lugs down to make the Reverso wear a lot better on the wrist. You think it looks like a banana, but I think it’s the best-wearing rectangular watch out there. Wearing a Reverso is so distinctive and this is only accentuated by those amazing matching Casa Fagliano straps.
Yes, there’s a brand that has finally dared to think past the usual crocodile leather straps for a classic watch. Not only that, the straps also perfectly match the colors on the three Tribute dials. Eat that Cartier, with your utterly boring gray crocodile straps! In addition, the red, green, and blue Reverso Tributes are a very welcome splash of color within the generally quite monotonous silver-and-black watch collections out there.
First of all, those ball-bearings are spring-loaded, which means they’re actually pushed back a bit when flipping the watch. This will certainly reduce the wear over time. Second of all, they’re not an integral part of the case, so whenever they are eventually worn out, it’s easy as 1, 2, 3 to replace them during a regular service. Now, please excuse me while I flip my Reverso another million times a day because it’s such a satisfying and relaxing thing to do.