Since its inception in 2015, Reservoir has carved a niche with its distinctive retrograde and jumping complications. The brand draws inspiration from the realms of automobiles, aviation, and diving, infusing precision, functionality, and aesthetics into each collection, each with its unique theme and design elements. One standout collection is the Airfight, which was known until now for its altimeter-inspired jumping hour display and a power reserve indicator resembling an aircraft’s fuel gauge. This year, Reservoir unveiled a new addition to the Airfight series, a chronograph paying tribute to the legendary P-51 Mustang fighter. Two versions were introduced, one in steel and another in black-coated steel. We had the pleasure of experiencing the latter.
The all-black Airfight Chronograph is a sleek timepiece crafted with pilots and aviation enthusiasts in mind. It has a robust 43mm stainless steel case, treated with a PVD coating and a brushed finish. While not a small watch, its generous case size provides ample room for the dial, greatly enhancing legibility, a vital feature for pilots.
Inspired by aircraft instrument panels, the knurled crown and chronograph pushers cleverly mimic adjustment knobs, adding functionality and enhancing the watch’s overall aesthetics. These elements and the finely ribbed bezel are coloured in black, maintaining a cohesive and striking look.
Beneath the domed sapphire crystal resides the star of the show; the captivating black dial. This dial pays homage to aviation with various functional details reminiscent of the P-51 Mustang’s instrument panel. Identical to the Sonomaster collection, two recessed 120° arcs flanking the central axis feature a colour scheme of green, yellow, and red, evoking the essence of an aircraft instrument. While these colours traditionally represent normal, dangerous, and prohibited zones, they serve as decorative elements here. The left arc tracks retrograde running seconds, ranging from 0 to 30, and the right segment displays the date in a retrograde fashion, with 1 at the bottom and 31 at the top, mirroring the vertical progression supposedly seen on the P-51 Mustang’s temperature and fuel gauges.
The chronograph layout includes a central seconds hand, a 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock, and an hour counter at 6 o’clock. This vertical alignment and clear markings on each counter optimize user-friendliness and readability. The central hour and minute hands, along with the numeric indices at 6 and 12 and the hour markings on the minute ring, glow brightly in the dark thanks to Super-LumiNova.
Explore its functionality further, you’ll find an inner bezel that hosts a telemeter scale in kilometres. This feature allows you to measure the distance between a visual and an audible event, with lightning being a classic example. As the telemeter scale considers the speed of sound at approximately 1,235 kilometres per hour (or 1 kilometre in 2.91 seconds), you can accurately gauge the distance to a storm. Start the chronograph when you spot a lightning flash; when you hear the thunder, stop it. If five seconds elapse, you’re roughly 15 kilometres from the storm’s centre. While not an everyday tool, this feature adds practicality and character to the Airfight Chronograph.
Powering the watch is Reservoir’s RSV-Bi120 Calibre, an automatic winding bi-retrograde chronograph equipped with a column wheel (an LJP-L1C0 base movement by La Joux-Perret). This movement offers a 60-hour power reserve and can be viewed through the transparent caseback. The watch comes fitted with a black canvas and leather strap, secured by a black PVD folding clasp. Notably, the strap features quick-release spring bars for easy changes, and the purchase includes an additional NATO strap, enhancing its versatility.
Incorporating aviation-inspired design and practical elements, the Reservoir Airfight Chronograph Black is a timepiece but also a tool if you want it to be such. It is a fitting companion for those who appreciate style and substance in a watch, and it is available for EUR 5,750. More details at www.reservoir-watch.com.