Nice Shot: Introducing The RESERVOIR Hydrosphere Bronze “Greg Lecoeur Edition”
The French maison has partnered with diver and photographer Greg Lecoeur to create a visually delightful, limited edition timepiece.
With established maisons, we often talk about new releases that pay homage to brand heritage through design codes. But the exciting thing about independent brands like RESERVOIR, is that you can bear witness to the birth of these signatures.
In less than a decade, the Paris-based watchmaker RESERVOIR has garnered attention for its collection of timepieces inspired by car culture and the aesthetics of vintage timing instruments. Since 2016, enthusiasts have eagerly awaited each release from the jump-hour/retrograde minute-focused brand. Then, in 2020, RESERVOIR expanded its horizons with the Hydrosphere, a wholly original dive watch influenced by the gauges on diving instruments.
This year, the brand continues to expand on its design language with the RESERVOIR Hydrosphere “The Greg Lecoeur Edition” – a bronze beauty that not only interprets the work of underwater photographer Greg Lecoeur but also gives you a shot at actually meeting the diving legend. Here are the details.
Taking Home the Bronze
How did RESERVOIR dive into the watch game with such a strong visual signature? The company was founded in 2017, in Paris, by François Moreau, who brought to the designs a long-standing fascination with the instruments and fuel gauges you might find on automotive dashboards and in aviation cockpits. Hence the focus on jump-hour displays and retrograde hands. Moreau chose this combination of complications because they mimicked the look of a fuel gauge in that you can watch the hour fill up and then, at the top of the hour, observe the seconds hand jumping back to the “empty” position.
Moreau was also captivated by pressure gauges found on submarines, so RESERVOIR’s next move was to translate this complication to a dive watch – a true challenge for the team because divers need a timepiece that they can read at a glance.
As with all RESERVOIR timepieces, the Hydrosphere has no second hand, but the team placed a rotating ring on the central axis that makes a full rotation once a second to assure underwater adventurers the timepiece is functioning properly. Moreover, a unidirectional, ceramic rotating bezel with double scale allows for registering the time at different diving depths before and after the retrograde minute hand’s return.
True, these may not look like your traditional diving watch, but the first generation of Hydrospheres is fully tricked out for action. They have a water resistance of up to 250 meters and a helium valve – a real plus if you’re a professional.
If the original Hydrosphere was a stunner, the Hydrosphere “The Greg Lecoeur Edition” is even more visually arresting. Lecoeur’s photography not only informs design elements on the watch like the aquatic blue sunray dial, but his experience as a diver has also influenced the timepiece’s bronze, satin-finished, 45mm, case. Fun Fact: Bronze is resistant to the corrosive effects of saltwater, which is why it’s the preferred metal for naval and marine equipment.
The Greg Lecoeur Edition, which comes with a black rubber strap that screws onto the body and an additional blue NATO mounted on bronze stirrups, also provides a snapshot of the off-kilter way RESERVOIR approaches watchmaking. Specifically, the hours are indicated through a digital aperture in the lower half of the dial.
This display is powered by a modified ETA 2824-2 caliber – developed with the manufacturing firm Télôs exclusively for RESERVOIR – and offers approximately 37 hours of power reserve. It also features a special clutch that protects the movement from damage. Just in case the crown is set in the wrong direction and the minute hand is pushed past the zero marker.
Thrill of a Lifetime
Designed in France but hand-assembled in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, RESERVOIR watches have crossover appeal for watch and design enthusiasts. The Hydrosphere is catnip for both divers and watch fans. But the most compelling argument for buying a Hydrosphere “The Greg Lecoeur Edition” is the chance to dive with Lecoeur himself.
Each buyer of this limited series will be offered a half-day dive experience with Lecoeur in the Port-Cros National Park in Hyères, France. Set to take place in September 2021, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share a moment with this exceptional explorer. And each watch will be engraved on the caseback to commemorate the occasion.
The physical watch is not the only thing The Greg Lecoeur Edition comes with: Included in the purchase is an exploration notebook filled with Lecoeur’s images. Additionally, a portion of the sale price of each limited edition will be donated toward the replanting of coral via Coral Gardeners, an organization near and dear to the photographer’s heart.
(Images © RESERVOIR)