Hands-On – Reservoir Watches, with Cool Retrograde/Jumping Display

There are some new kids on the block and they go by the name of Reservoir, and they happened to be one of the coolest finds at Baselword 2017. Further to their pre-launch presentation earlier this year, the brand’s first collections are now on the market. Their timepieces provide their own cool, off-beat take on watchmaking, inspired by their fascination for all things mechanical, and a nostalgia for the heyday of car culture and old measurement instruments: speedometers, tachometers, fuel, oil, temp, volt gauges, you name it!

If you think that most of the cars nowadays are divested of personality? That the cool, powerful, sensual designs of the past have given up far too much of their character in the pursuit of practicality and safety? Well, if you do feel nostalgic about the golden age of car culture -iconic sports cars, racing gloves, oil gauges, the adrenaline of car racing- Reservoir might be worth a closer look.

Reservoir Watches - review

Automobile heritage: the Reservoir Supercharged Sport.

Fired with an enthusiasm for mechanical watches and measurement tools, François Moreau and the Reservoir team have embarked on designing collections of watches inspired from different universes: automotive, aeronautics and marine. Their GT Tour and Supercharged are clearly inspired by dashboard instruments, capturing the essence of classic and high-performance car racing. The Airfight is born in the world of military aviation and its icons, while the Tiefenmesser from that of submarines.

Reservoir Watches - review

The Reservoir Tiefenmesser inspired by submarines – the power reserve is displayed through 5 round apertures at 6 o’clock.

The Reservoir concept is based on its original yet functional way to tell time. Hours are displayed by a window at 6 o’clock. They are printed on a disk that jumps every hour, the minutes are read with a central retrograde hand recalling rev counters, and the power reserve display echoes the fuel and oil gauges.

The Reservoir watches’ engine is based on an ETA2824 movement; a ubiquitous, tried and tested workhorse combined with a sophisticated proprietary module developed and manufactured by Télôs, a movement design/production company owned by Frank Orny and Johnny Girardin, the men behind the Harry Winston Opus 14 and the Metamorphosis for Montblanc – among other projects.

Reservoir Watches - review

Not everyone realizes that the jumping hour is a rare, complex and exacting mechanism (the Reservoir watch module alone is made of nearly 100 parts). Hours and minutes need to jump and fly-back precisely on the hour. The mechanism needs to accumulate power before releasing it all at once with one swift movement, but with no extra bounce. Another sophistication of the Reservoir mechanism is that it features a security device. Unlike many jumping hour / retrograde minute watches, there is no risk of damaging the movement when turning the crown anti-clockwise.

Reservoir Watches - review

All collections share the same dynamic round case – a classic, well-though-out design with a sloped bezel and a well-proportioned fluted screw-down crown. The satin-finished/polished case is 43mm in diameter and wears super well on the wrist. The case back is opened on 240° and secured with 5 screws. It is water resistant down to 50m. Reservoir watches are fashioned out of different materials: steel, PVD-steel, bronze…

Reservoir watches are available with a wide choice of cool fabric or leather straps to fit each collection. These are secured with a comfortable safety folding clasp. For more information on www.reservoir-watch.com.

Reservoir Watches - review


Technical specifications Reservoir Supercharged Classic

  • Case: 43 mm x 13 mm – steel case – sapphire crystal with antireflective coating – sapphire case back – water resistant to 50m.
  • Movement: mechanical with automatic winding (base ETA2824 with exclusive module developed with TELOS) – 34h power reserve – 28’800 vibrations/h – 35 jewels – jumping hours, retrograde minutes and power reserve indication.
  • Strap: alligator leather strap with security folding clasp.
  • Price: EUR 3,750 with tax

12 responses

  1. At first I thought that this is a nice watch, even if the is funny. Then I saw the price…3750 euros? Are you serious?

  2. design: very bad. Power reserve looks like a bathroom scale
    case: too large
    complications: Nice! retrograde minutes or seconds are one of the most mesmerizing complications but its too bad the design of the retrograde minutes is horrible. design very bad once more. jumping hour is nice but design wise also bad
    price: should be much lower

  3. What an original concept ! Very interesting universe… GOOD JOB “RESERVOIR” !
    Preference for the Tieffemesser’s model…

  4. Very nicely done
    Especially like the automotive and aeronautical models.

  5. Great to see something REALLY new !
    Very inspired design with an original concept and nice complications (love the jump of the minute hand !)

  6. Wow amazing design ! Finally some real innovation combined with stunning design ! Check out the other models on http://www.reservoir-watch.com : love the yellow one and the Porsche-like one
    Price looks fine actually given the complications and the design… Can’t wait to see it in real and will probably get one… Or two !

  7. Waouh ..;finally something classy and new. Can’t wait to get one … where are they visible in Paris?

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