Reservoir releases a second collaboration from the world of iconic cartoons. This time in cahoots with Label Noir to release the three way joint effort between Reservoir x Label Noir x Popeye.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
New: Reservoir x LabelNoir x Popeye
Retail prioce for the new Reservoir x LabelNoir x Popeye Reference RSV4.PO/433 is set at EUR 4,700 / GBP 4’350 / USD 4,450 / CHF 4,700. Prices include taxes except for USD. Limited edition of 200 pieces. And available to order online at https://www.labelnoirdesign.com/ and https://www.reservoir-watch.com/ and retailers in 20+ countries.
Who among us can say that we have not really been influenced by Popeye the Sailor Man when we were kids. This is an iconic character, the Wikipedia Entry is quite long as a testament to the charm of the simplistic, uneducated character who is guided by love and seems to have investigative prowess, scientific ingenuity and convincing diplomatic arguments. Quite a character. And thus we were intrigued by Popeye as the centre piece of this novelty – a collaboration between Reservoir and the custom works cability of Studio LabelNoir.
The watch is rather interesting. With the base as the digital jumping hour with retrograde minutes model in our detailed review of the Reservoir GT Tour Blue. As a base, this is already an interesting offering with the bi complication of the digital jumping hour, the retrograde minutes.
LabelNoir was responsible for the graphic elements – wit the iconic pose of Popeye in the center stage of the dial – his engorged (spinach?) hand being used as a pointer for the minute. This arrangement is not unusual, Gerald Genta himself has used the same system of a cartoon character with the hands on his jumping hour, retrograde hand way back then.
The movement is new – the GT Tour had a modified ETA, while the RSV-240 used in the Popeye is based on a La Joux Perret base with the same proprietary jumping hour, retrograde minute module. We are not sure if the power reserve indicator is deleted in the new movement, or just this LabelNoir-Popeye edition does have this indication. This is the next-generation of the movements from Reservoir, and was first introduced in spring of 2022. To us, the move to a LJP base is a good one, and indicative of whe value system within Reservoir – a sense of commitment to quality.
Overall, a bold watch, with strong graphics elements. Reasonably priced. And perhaps a must have for fans (Only Fans?…:-0) of Popeye!
“I yam whats I yam and dats all whats I am,” and that’s Popeye the Sailor Man! Introducing the latest comic-driven timepiece from the Franco-Swiss watchmaker Reservoir in the new Reservoir x LabelNoir x Popeye watch.
Produced in collaboration between Reservoir and LabelNoir and featuring the famed cartoon character Popeye, this new limited edition brings a nostalgic icon to the wrist in sleek fashion. The timepiece embodies the ready-for-anything attitude of Popeye with the bold spirit of Reservoir and unexpected creativity of LabelNoir, resulting in true comic novelty that’s as strong in design as Popeye’s very own anchor arms. “AAAHuuUUH GUhGuhGuhGuh!”.
He’s Popeye the Sailor Man!
Introduced to the world on January 17, 1929, by E.C. Segar in the “Thimble Theatre” comic series, Popeye from his debut has always been a rough-and-tumble, spinach-loving underdog. True to himself as a mean-muggin’ man with a heart of gold, the sailor became one of the most popular characters of 20th century through comic strips, radio shows, television programs, and eventually both animated and live-action films. Beloved by millions, Popeye and the rest of the “Thimble Theatre” cast, including Olive Oyl, Swee’Pea, and Bluto, continue today in the cultural spirit through countless references and works of art. In this latest collaborative timepiece, the sailor’s salty spirit finds its latest canvas.
Purpose built for the inspired, for the bold, and for those who eat their vegetables !
Reservoir has fostered its renown in bringing boldness to life through its timepieces, helping make every minute and hour count through its radical reading of time that is punctuated by a regular thrill. The brand’s watches echo an era in which these precision instruments, easy to read and accurate to act, were at the service of mankind; a time when the pulse quickened, and adrenaline coursed through the driver’s or pilot’s veins as he embarked upon voyages that demanded courage and high performance.
This ethos pairs with Reservoir’s unique design aesthetic inspired by measuring instruments and mechanical counters, including gauges from universes like auto racing, aeronautics, and sailing. Together, a unique, inspired style of watchmaking results, with timepieces presented that thoughtfully balances functionality and aesthetic appeal. In the Reservoir x LabelNoir x Popeye watch, the brand once more introduces a watch which is bold by design, being purpose built for those who share the brand’s passion for action and creativity.
Popeye was a natural pick for the collaboration, with the underdog character ever ready to act on a moment’s notice to protect what’s right and those closest to him. Spinach in hand, Popeye is never afraid to stick out and take creative action when the time requires, and just like Reservoir, the sailor is who he is and he knows it. By the same token, LabelNoir was another natural partner for the nostalgic piece. The 2011-founded horological customization house has made personalization and the plural arts its creed from its debut, highlighting a chart-your-own-course experience in watchmaking. Best known for its signature dark creations and collaborative efforts with some of the most notable watch brands of the day, the Swiss customizer has taken its sleek skillset for this latest effort, providing an eye-catching noir in perfect complement to Popeye’s swagger and Reservoir’s familiar silhouette.
A collaborative aesthetic in the metal!
On the wrist, the 41.5mm titanium watch recalls classic Reservoir styles, with slightly curved lugs and a signature knurling on its unique crown placing the model in the fantastic canon of the brand. The case itself is clad in an under-the-radar grey DLC— the color scheme courtesy of LabelNoir— with a satin finish used throughout that adds to the model’s bold style.
While Popeye isn’t specifically your traditional hero or an athlete, he’s never one to shy away from a person in need or a moment of action. Just the same, while this bold new Reservoir isn’t explicitly a sports watch, the dark look, satin, finish, and importantly 5 ATM or 50m of water resistance help make the timepiece a capable companion for the everyday, with a grey nubuck leather strap with red & grey stitching and a matching grey DLC pin buckle adding that feeling.
Beneath the anti-reflective sapphire crystal, the highlight of the Reservoir model is on display. Making smart use of a grey dial, a picture of Popeye in full charge is hand painted upon it. Faithful touches of color in the image help make it quickly striking against its dark background, with bright white accenting in the comic-style indices assisting in the high legibility for the novelty.
In classic Reservoir fashion, the dial features a 240° retrograde configuration, with the minutes displayed upon three-fourths of the surface and the running hours indicated in a prominent view via a bordered digital display at the comic icon’s feet. Popeye’s massive arm indicates the running minutes, sweeping from “00” to “60” and then snapping back again at the top of each hour.
It doesn’t run on spinach
Inside the new limited-edition model is the Reservoir Calibre RSV-240, a next-generation automatic movement introduced by the watchmaker in the spring of 2022. Produced in association with the Swiss engine manufacture TELOS, the self-winding mechanism makes use of a LJP-G100 base with a patented, proprietary 113-pieces module, with it optimized for Reservoir watches and the maker’s unique style of timekeeping.
In the Reservoir x LabelNoir x Popeye watch, the RSV-240 allows for the aforementioned retrograde minute and jumping hour on display via the dial, with a 56-hour power reserve ensuring its sustained and reliable function. The movement and its Reservoir-signed rotor are smartly finished with Geneva stripes and radial style brushing, all visible via an exhibition sapphire case back itself adorned with a winking Popeye painted at its center.
Ready for action
Bold in its creation and even more so on the wrist, the new Reservoir x LabelNoir x Popeye watch is ready to hop into action. The timepiece is available in a limited series of 200 pieces. Each numbered model is presented in a white wooden box adorned with an image of “The Popeye Family”, an additional Chrome Painted Figurine “Popeye eating spinach” and a special embroidery in honor of Popeye. A certificate of authenticity accompanies the box.
François Moreau (Founder & CEO Reservoir watch) – FM
Emmanuel Curti (Founder Label Noir & Watchmaker) – EC
> How did this collaboration between Label Noir and Reservoir come about?
FM: The first meeting with Emmanuel Curti was a pure coincidence, resulting from informal discussions within watchmaking networks but also investors. The current immediately passed and very quickly Emmanuel and I were able to feel the very strong complementarities that existed between our two brands, both in creative potential and in terms of watchmaking development.
EC: A meeting between two enthusiasts is often enough to give rise to ideas, desires, and new challenges! This is what happened with Francois Moreau, the idea of a collaboration between our two houses was obvious to create new emotions through this limited edition.
> Why did you choose the Popeye icon for this watch? What was the inspiration behind this choice?
FM: Popeye is a very popular character around the world and embodies boldness and determination, what we call ‘MAKE IT BOLD’ at RESERVOIR. He is also a trans-generational comic strip hero, and I am struck by the enthusiasm he arouses among very young people and seniors alike: by way of illustration, my son, like his grandfather, absolutely wants a Popeye Reservoir x LabelNoir!
EC: A singular and emblematic character, Popeye is very much in demand by our customers during personalization, he follows in the footsteps of the watch in partnership with Black & Mortimer at Reservoir and offers visual recognition for Label Noir customers.
> What are your favorite design features for the Popeye watch?
FM: As we initiated with Blake & Mortimer, the animation generated by the 240° retrograde minute hand works particularly well with the world of comics and makes the characters very… lively! This is particularly the case with Popeye whose virile and assumed energy comes out very well with the evolution of the arm over the minutes and its instantaneous return at the end of the hour!
EC: I don’t think Popeye would be as well represented as with what best characterizes him, namely his iconic pipe, his sailor suit, and his gruff demeanor! The Minute hand is represented by Popeye’s arm, a fun way to depict the fighting gesture for which we know the very daring character!
> How does Label Noir continue to favor uniqueness in a booming personalization sector?
EC: Official Label Noir collaborations offer unlimited creativity with watch brands and make each edition unique. The fruit of this mutual work leaves an imprint, a way of distinguishing oneself in product creation.
> What do you think is the biggest challenge currently facing the watch industry?
FM: There is obviously a trend towards the development of collaborations which corresponds to a strong expectation of the market in search of limited, original, and uninhibited pieces in terms of creative freedom. Proposing refreshing watchmaking offers can sometimes be a real challenge for traditional brands…
EC: Watchmaking customs are changing rapidly, collaborations between watch brands point to a trend on which we must succeed in surfing. A common force that multiplies creativity and offers its customers ever more exceptional.
> In your opinion, what unites the Label Noir customer and the Reservoir customer?
FM: Even if the customers are obviously not the same, those of LabelNoir share with those of Reservoir a strong watchmaking passion, an appetite for products that stand out from more conventional approaches and an interest in comic book watches.
EC: A personalized but affordable watch from a renowned watch brand, our respective customers will find themselves in this unique and limited offer with a preserved brand image.
> Can we expect other collaborations between Label Noir and Reservoir in the future?
FM: The universe of Popeye is very rich, and we have already thought about extending the range with the creation of new series inspired by the world of the famous sailor… Why not an Olive Oil one day?
EC: Nothing is excluded!
Reservoir x Label Noir x Popeye specifications
– 41.5mm, Grey DLC Titanium Case with Satin Finish
– Grey Dial with Hand Painted “Popeye” Pattern
– White Index
– Screw-down Crown, Water-resistant 5ATM
– Open case-back, with exclusive “Popeye” character glass paint application
– Anti-reflective Sapphire Crystal
– Retrograde Minute, Jumping Hour
– Calibre RSV-240: Manufacture Self-winding Mechanical Movement, Patented proprietary 113-pieces module (LJP G100 base)
– 56-Hour Power Reserve
– 28,800 alt./h
– Swiss Made
– Taupe Grey Nubuck Leather Strap with Red Stitching, 22 mm Width
– Grey DLC Pin Buckle
– White Wooden Box with an image of “The Popeye Family” (© 2022 King Features Syndicate ™ Hearst Holdings, Inc.)
– Additional Chrome Painted Figurine “Popeye eating spinach”
– Additional Special Embroidery with “Popeye”
– Certificate of Authenticity
– Available to order online at https://www.labelnoirdesign.com/ and https://www.reservoir-watch.com/ and through a prestigious network of 70+ high-end stores and specialist retailers in 20+ countries.
– Delivery from January 2023