Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Reservoir Airfight Chronograph

An aviation-inspired, bi-retrograde chronograph based on the P-51 Mustang’s cockpit

| By Erik Slaven | 2 min read |

Reservoir is a relatively new brand founded in 2017, but it really established itself using unconventional dials with jumping hours and retrograde complications. Following the Sonomaster Chronograph from last year, the brand now has a pilot variant with design elements inspired by a mid-century American warplane, the P-51 Mustang. A bi-compax layout with two retrograde displays makes for an unusual and very interesting chronograph, but it’s every bit as functional as a more mainstream piece. It’s designed for both watch enthusiasts and pilots, and those looking for something a bit different than the norm.

The 43mm stainless steel case comes with either a standard or black PVD finish, but the watches are otherwise identical. The crown stands out as it was inspired by knurled knobs in vintage cockpits to adjust the altimeter or other settings. Classic chronograph pushers sit at 2 and 4 o’clock, matching the silver or black case finish like the crown. A domed AR sapphire crystal protects the dial and there’s an exhibition case back. Water resistance is rated at 50 metres. There are two 22mm straps, starting with a black leather and canvas strap with a butterfly clasp. The second is a NATO strap and quick-release spring bars allow for tool-free changes.

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The black dial showcases an unusual yet remarkable ability of Reservoir to merge form and function. Black hour and minute hands have white Super-LumiNova BGW9 on two-thirds of the surface, along with the central chronograph seconds hand. There are two sub-dials at 12 and 6 o’clock with a 30-minute counter and a 12-hour counter, respectively. The interior bezel has a telemeter and the only Arabic numerals are at 12 and 6 o’clock. Things get interesting with two additional 120-degree retrograde displays – seconds on the left that reset every 30 seconds and a date display at the right that jumps from 31 back to 1. Green, yellow and red colours are used within these displays to mimic those found in the P-51 Mustang, signifying normal (green), danger (orange) and red (prohibited). They also resemble airspeed indicators, tachometers and so on.

Powering the Reservoir Airfight Chronograph is the Calibre RSV-Bi120, based on the LJP-L1C0 by La Joux-Perret. It’s an automatic, column-wheel chronograph with modifications for the retrograde indicators. Functions include central hours, minutes and chronograph seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour counters, and 120-degree retrograde seconds and date (left and right, respectively). It beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) and comes with a 60-hour power reserve.

Both models retail for CHF 5,750 / EUR 5,750 / GBP 5,300 and are available online or in more than 80 physical stores worldwide. For more information, please visit Reservoir’s website.

3 responses

  1. Love it a new innovative chronograph and stylish. More important it is NOT 7750 inside!

  2. This is great for people without perfect eye sight who would like a chronograph !
    Plus is it’s just cool looking.

  3. What’s with the subdial at 6 o’clock? There are 4 marks in between each 2-hour numeral, meaning each mark represents 24 minutes – shouldn’t it be three marks?

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