It is hard to separate one’s love for cars and watches together. It is certain that if you love one of them, you will inevitably fall for the other as well.
That is the reason behind the how these two interests are also synonymous with each other. It still holds true today, where many watches have sought inspiration from cars, as well as how motorsports is used as a platform for watch manufacturers to market their products.
The Reservoir GT Tour Blue Edition
Reservoir, a relatively newcomer to the watchmaking scene, is one of the brands that had incorporated the concept of automotive and watchmaking together. This is especially conspicuous in the new GT Tour Blue Edition, where the entire concept and design language of the watch is based on the instrument cluster of a car.
The Case, Dial, and Hands
The 43mm GT Tour Blue Edition is an intriguing watch at the first sight. While many watch manufacturers have tried to incorporate elements of the automotive world subtly into its watches, Reservoir had decided to go all out and create something drastically different from its peers.
The main highlight lies perhaps in its main dial, which features a retrograde minutes display and a striking red hand that is similar to a tachometer that is typically found in a car’s instrument cluster. Interestingly, for the car enthusiasts, the retrograde display seems to draw inspiration of that from a Porsche sports car. The complication is coupled with a jumping hour display, with an aperture at the 6 o’clock position of the dial.
The automotive theme does not end there. There is also an additional power reserve display at the bottom of the dial, which draw semblance with a car’s fuel gauge. The concept is certainly refreshing, and it is an interesting take on the theme of automotive.
While the design is refreshing, it did take us some time to get used to tell the time. There were several occasions when we though that it was quarter past an hour (e.g. 3.15pm), when in fact it was already ten minutes to the next hour (e.g. 3.50pm) due to the placement of the hands on the retrograde display. It is not a huge issue, but it can be potentially troubling for someone who switches between his or her watches regularly within their vast collection of watches.
Another minute comment that we have is the lack of luminous materials on the indices. Due to the large numerals and the white filling within the numeral indices, we had expected the watch to provide some form of luminosity in the dark. We understand that perhaps, due to the design of the hands, it might not be possible for certain elements to glow in the dark and hence Reservoir had scrapped the concept altogether. We feel that it would have been an interesting element to add into the timepiece.
The Movement: Modified ETA 2824-2
Powering the timepiece is a modified ETA2824-2 movement. The self-winding movement features additional modules for the brand to incorporate three additional complications, namely the retrograde minutes, jumping hour, and power reserve indicator. Notably, there are 124 components in the patented proprietary module.
The movement has a power reserve of around 37 hours, and it is visible via an open case-back. The movement finishing is average, which is understandable as the selling point of the watch lies in its design and complications – and not the finishing of the movement.
The Competitive Landscape
The Reservoir GT Tour Blue Edition is priced at US$3,980 (approximately S$5,400) for the leather strap variant, and US$4,150 (approximately S$5,630) for the stainless-steel bracelet variant. At this price point, the GT Tour Blue Edition does offer collectors a modest price point for a timepiece that features some interesting complications.
One of the quirky watches that comes to mind is Mr Roboto, from Azimuth. The tonneau-shaped watch was inspired by tin robots and science fiction, and the overall aesthetics is certainly an interesting one to say the least. The watch has the retrograde minute display, and it is also fitted with two “eyes” where it display both the home time and the second time zone. The watch retails at S$6,250, and it is a conversational piece that will bring a breath of fresh air into any watch collections.
For those who are considering something that is less polarising, the Meistersinger Salthora Meta X is potentially another timepiece that is worth a double take. Known for its single-hand watches, the Salthora Meta X is an interesting take on the usual Meistersinger watches as the single hand now only tells the minutes, instead of being an indicator for both the hour and minute display. The 43mm watch is rather handsome, and being a recipient of the Red Dot Design Award is a testament to its beautiful design. The Salthora Meta X is priced at EUR2,990 (approximately S$4,799).
Finally, for something that is slightly more refined, we have the Chronoswiss Régulateur 30. While this watch does not have the retrograde function, it still does have the jumping hour feature. The other difference between this watch and the others in the article is the regulator display. Notably, the 40mm watch is very dressy – with a magnificently guilloché dial to match. Priced at S$11,700 for the stainless-steel version, the Régulateur 30 is an interesting dress watch that will easily set itself apart from the crowd.
The Reservoir GT Tour Blue Edition is a nice watch. We like its unique looks, as well as the generous offering of complications at this modest price range. This is a great watch for someone who is looking for a fun but conversational timepiece.
It is certainly not a perfect watch, with some very minor issues arising from time to time. We thought that the screw thread for the screw-down crown could have been slightly smoother and easier to operate, and the power reserve indicator could have been a little more well-aligned. However, if the brand is able to rectify these small issues, we do think that Reservoir has the capabilities to put itself out there with some of the competitions that are within this price category.