Rebellion Timepieces conceived this watch as a race car. The chassis is of titanium and titanium DLC. The body boasts racy and imaginative shapes, like the striking rounded edges. The engine, the caliber REB T-1K, is made of duralumin – a kind of aluminum – and is equipped with a revolutionary and patented system of energy distribution. The winding mechanism uses an original arming device that also features a serrated time-setting system that earned a patent for its extremely simple handling.
The purring engine
The case of the timepiece was a collaborative effort between Rebellion Timepieces and the renown Eric Giroud. Under the transparent hood, which is made of sheer sapphire crystal with antireflective treatment, is a complex mechanism imagined and conceived by the watchmaker David Candaux. On the left-hand side of the middle case is an opening that reveals one of the chains used to drive three of the barrel springs. The three other barrel springs are driven by a second chain. All together, they make this engine roar at a frequency of 2.5 Hertz, which translated to 18,000 vibrations per hour. This timepiece is made up of 693 components, of which 182 are reserved for the chain alone, and including the eight ceramic stones and the thirty rubies.
The hour and minute rollers are well worth a closer look, as are the arrow indices that point to the passing hours and the minutes. That is when we start imagining those legendary automobile races and speed records. Rebellion is the only Swiss watch brand to have its own racing stable, and it also has a “watchmaking stable” that develops in-house movements. For the T-1000, the winding is done by cranking the mainsprings manually using an integrated arming lever. It provides 1000 hours of power reserve, quite a feat in the world of ultra-complex engineering.
From the watch to the paddock
Watchmaking and the automobile have a long shared history, especially when it comes to racing. As with flying, drivers (or pilots) have always needed watches that were unimpeachably accurate. Watch manufacturers had to respond very quickly to their specific needs while at the same time paying tribute to the world of automobile racing. Rebellion Timepieces appeared on the scene in 2008. In 2015, Philippe Dubois took the helm. Calim Bouhadra, the senior vice president, represents a Swiss industrialist in Vaud Canton who is invested in high-tech but would rather remain out of the public eye.
The independent brand, headquartered in Lonay (VD) has been traveling to the world's watch fairs and earning its letters patents. Armed with its "No compromise" tagline, it has brought a rebellious spirit to the Swiss watchmaking landscape, producing one outstanding timepiece after the other, like its very limited-edition models. It's nice to think that this entrepreneurial adventure began with a little boy dreaming about race cars and mechanical things, and hearing that his dreams were impossible.
On your marks… Sébastien Buemi is the new ambassador
Faster and further are the guidelines for Rebellion Timepieces and Rebellion Racing, which are on a mission to achieve technical excellence and outstanding performance in sports. Both are also intimately connected to races with some very impressive results. The following figures say much about the success of Rebellion Racing.
Three-time winner of the FIA Endurance championship for LMP-1 teams ; twenty-two victories in the FIA WEC World Endurance Championship; nine victories in the Le Mans series; four podiums at the 24 Hours of le Mans … to name but a few.
Since 2014, the Rebellion R-One cars have become competitors of Audi, Porsche, Toyota and Nissan in the battle for the top rung at the World Endurance Championship. One thing is sure: the stable tends to recruit young and talented pilots, like Nicolas Prost, son of the famous Alain Prost, Nick Heidfled, Nelson Piquet Jr., Mathias Beche, Dominik Kraihamer, Alex Imperatori and Mathéo Tuscher. In 2016, it ratcheted up a few notches, when the seasoned Formula One champion Sébastien Buemi joined the team as brand ambassador. There's another rebel known for his edgy character that makes him want to achieve the craziest feats of skill.