Tested For You: From Le Mans To The Wrist With The RESERVOIR GT Tour Carbon IDEC Sport
A racing-inspired watch with a seriously unique marketing hook that will make you wish you could re-do life as an endurance driver.
The worlds of racing and watches are so intrinsically linked that seeing a watch brand’s logo on a car or racetrack is almost an afterthought. Plus, as we’ve written about countless times, watch brands love to go racing because it’s the ultimate test of timing and resiliency, which is in the wheelhouse of nearly all of the world’s watch brands.
From an awareness standpoint, racing makes a lot of sense. (Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Watchonista’s foray into the racing world with our sponsorship of a NASCAR during the pandemic, but I digress.)
Today’s topic is about more than just a logo on a car; it’s a limited edition watch from our friends at RESERVOIR that rode on-board a racing car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Enter The RESERVOIR GT Tour Carbon IDEC Sport Edition 2021
When I recently met with some of RESERVOIR’s representatives in Paris, they had a special trick up their sleeve. Knowing how much of a race fan I was, they presented their new RESERVOIR GT Tour Carbon IDEC Sport Edition 2021. And as I marveled at the materials and mused about the lightness, they kept one important detail secret until the very end…
For this 24-piece limited edition, RESERVOIR chose to go beyond just a simple car sponsorship. They made an entire series of watches and placed them inside the cockpit of an IDEC Sport LMP2 racing car that competed in the 2021 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
More specifically, using a unique mount, the entire production run of the GT Tour Carbon IDEC Sport Edition 2021 experienced the 24 Hours of Le Mans from inside the cockpit of the #48 IDEC Sport LMP2 racing car driven by Paul-Loup Chatin, Paul Lafargue, and Patrick Pilet. The team finished 11th overall and 6th in their category of LMP2. And considering this was all achieved while carting around a case full of watches, it’s pretty remarkable.
About The Watch
The GT Tour Carbon IDEC Sport Edition 2021 is a 43mm timepiece made from laminated carbon. Like all RESERVOIR watches, the piece features a retrograde display on the upper half of the dial and a jumping hour at the bottom half of the dial. Additionally, the power reserve indicator can be found below the hour display and resembles a fuel gauge.
This all-black ensemble replicates the red and black livery of the IDEC Sport LMP2 car and features the IDEC Sport logo on the left-hand side of the sandblasted matte black dial. Now, here is where, in a typical watch review, we’d tell you where things were on the dial relative to their proximity to hour markers. But, being that RESERVOIR’s creations don’t feature traditional indices, we can only point you to the general area and trust you’ll find the correct feature on this exceptionally clean and uncluttered dial.
The watch runs on an ETA 2824-2 calibre that RESERVOIR has modified so as to add the retrograde minute, jumping hour, and power reserve complications. According to the spec sheet, the watch features a 38-hour power reserve.
In a press release, RESERVOIR’s Founder & CEO François Moreau added, “I am particularly proud to see RESERVOIR become the watchmaking partner of the formidable IDEC Sport team whose teams carry values very close to ours: audacity, authenticity, determination, taste for performance and overtaking. We also share a deep passion for motorsport, and I am therefore very happy to develop this collaboration with the IDEC group.”
In The Met– er, I mean, Carbon
Once I had the GT Tour Carbon IDEC Sport Edition 2021 in my hand, I couldn’t believe how light it was. I had to break out the scale, and as it turns out, with its red-stitched black calfskin Rallye strap and PVD coated stainless steel deployant clasp, the watch weighs just 78 grams. Without its strap, the watch weighs 48 grams. It also comes with an optional NATO strap, which, presumably, would only add a few grams to the weight.
The watch is obviously ultra-light on the wrist but has a commanding yet comfortable wrist presence. And thanks in large part to an anti-reflective sapphire and contrasting grey markers set against a black dial, it’s also ultra-legible.
The watch comes fitted to a black calfskin leather Rallye strap with red stitching and comes with an optional NATO strap. The limited-edition watch comes in a special display case which contains a miniature model of an IDEC Sport LMP2 car and a special certificate attesting to the watch’s participation in the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans. Additionally, buyers of the watch will receive a one-day VIP seat for the 2022 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
I quite liked this piece, both for its provenance on track and its ultra-light design. Even though it’s not a traditional chronograph, I could see myself wearing it to a track. After all, let’s be honest, these days, we let the timing screens do the timing, and a watch is more used to track the start and end times of a race or the cutoff time at the bar.