One yr after unveiling its first chronograph, retrograde king Reservoir has added one other two fashions with the performance. When the model launched the Sonomaster Chronograph final yr, it definitely stood out from different chronographs for its bi-retrograde show, however not from different Reservoir watches. At the least not for that cause. In the event you had requested anybody who knew Reservoir what a Reservoir chronograph could appear to be, they’d definitely embody at the least one retrograde show of their prediction. Conversely, no different Reservoir watch makes use of two palms to show the time; each different mannequin encompasses a retrograde minutes hand and a leaping hour show. In a way, the model’s chronographs are extra conventional than its time-only items, however that doesn’t make them any much less thrilling, as I discovered when dealing with the brand new Reservoir Airfighter Chronograph.
In making a extra pilot-styled chronograph, the model moved away from the hi-fi stereo inspiration of the Sonomaster and regarded in direction of classic airplane cockpits, particularly, the model says, the enduring P-51 Mustang and the Badin airspeed indicator and its coloured arcs. Identical to the Sonomaster instantly conjured recollections of my mum or dad’s outdated Marantz, the Aifrighter Chronograph is immediately recognizable as a pilot’s watch, with its black and white distinction, unembellished markings, and legibility.
The Airfighter is out there in brushed metal (the one sprucing is on the pusher’s chamfer) or black PVD, which is solely brushed. (Credit score to Reservoir for not upcharging for the black case, which many manufacturers are wont to do.) This case wears tall and large on the wrist, and whereas it’s by no means overwhelming, I recall my expertise with the Sonomaster to be a bit higher. It measures the identical 43mm because the Sonomaster, however as a substitute of the generously sloped tachymeter bezel of that mannequin, the Airfighter Chronograph has a sterile bezel with a brief slope and a coin edge. The impact is a extra pronounced profile with little or no to mitigate it — even the sapphire is flat, which is a contemporary selection however not a useful one on the wrist. Even with the variations I detected on the wrist towards the Sonomaster, and acknowledging that this isn’t a small watch, I discovered it snug and never overwhelming.
You’ll see two crowns on this evaluation and regrettably, the banded two-tone crown on the metal mannequin, which I assumed was higher each functionally and aesthetically, bought the boot. As a substitute, the model opted to take its inspiration from the potentiometer knobs (don’t ask me) from classic airplane cockpits. Their gapped knurling makes them simple to grip however not they aren’t as substantial as the opposite choice. The 22mm strap is created from canvas with leather-based backing and encompasses a black deployant clasp on each fashions.
If you first look at this watch, you need the retrograde dials to be the chronograph indicators, and I’ll admit that the belief that they aren’t does hit with a little bit of disappointment. As a substitute, the 9 o’clock arc shows the operating seconds whereas the three o’clock arc shows the date. After a little bit of pouting on my finish, I spotted that this has a transparent profit for the wearer: you at all times get to see one of many retrograde palms in movement and have to attend 30 seconds at most to see it snap again to 0. If the chronograph subdials — leaping 12-hour show at 6, 30-minute counter at 12 — had been within the retrograde positions, you’d need to burn the ability reserve for that sort of always-on visible deal with. One curious determination was printing the skinny inner telemeter bezel in a gray shade. The impact is that it’s successfully hidden in lots of lighting conditions, although I can’t think about this may ever be an actual problem, as nobody makes use of a telemeter (which tells you the way far-off one thing is utilizing a recorded time).
I strapped this watch on nearly instantly, taking it in totally solely as soon as it was on my wrist. I anticipated litter and a little bit of confusion as I attempted to learn issues out however bought neither. With the large hour and minute palms, the small, recessed chronograph subdials, and the brilliant colours of the retrogrades, it’s simple to inform all the pieces aside. That’s one other profit of getting the chronographs be extra conventional in place and structure: you don’t need to suppose any greater than with different chronographs to learn the elapsed time. I knew precisely the place to look and the best way to learn all the pieces of import. The date is nearly stagnant relative to the opposite palms, and the seconds is one thing I are likely to solely use when setting my watch, so I hardly ever take a look at it.
The Reservoir Airfight Chronograph is supplied with the RSV-Bi120 caliber, although the model is clear about it being a La Joux-Perret L1C0 base. This column wheel chronograph operates at 28,800 vph with a strong 60 hours of energy. Reservoir has pushed for the highest ending degree, which is adjusted in 5 positions to +4/-4 seconds per day and options perlage and striping on the plates in addition to a number of blued elements, most notably, the column wheel itself. This ornament justifies the sapphire caseback window, and it ought to be famous that whereas the rotor on the prototypes I dealt with was generic, the manufacturing fashions are geared up with a customized, partially skeletonized rotor with the Reservoir brand in pink. The L1C0 is reportedly a module-equipped LJP L100, although whether or not that’s accomplished only for Reservoir is unclear: I’ve seen elsewhere this motion being referred to as “manufacture” or asserting it was custom-made for Reservoir, however LJP lists the L1C0 in its catalog. Maybe it’s a catalog motion that almost all manufacturers aren’t daring sufficient to attempt to pull off.
I discover it arduous to argue with a design like this. The show is novel and colourful with out being too busy or overwhelming the senses, and the watch wears properly sufficient on the wrist. Utilizing the LJP motion allowed Reservoir to remain devoted to its retrograde obsession, an obsession I’m totally on board with. With the surprising design inspiration of the Sonomaster and the very anticipated inspiration of the Airfighter, will probably be fascinating to see the place Reservoir takes its chronograph platform subsequent. The Reservoir Airfight Chronograph is priced at $5,750 USD. For extra info, please go to the brand’s website.