French watch house Reservoir divides its watches into marine, aeronautics and car categories.
Watches take inspiration from dials and gauges found in cockpits, on dashboards or some sort of diving equipment.
And they all share a common theme of a retrograde minute hand sweeping across the top two thirds of the dial and a jumping hour at 6 o’clock.
Some have a power reserve indicator below the jumping hour.
A modified ETA 2824-2 automatic movement does the work under the hood.
Because the dial architecture is unusual, the fact that it is used over and over again does not particularly matter, especially since it adapts well to a variety of designs.
Two recent additions to the Reservoir range illustrate the point perfectly.
First is the Kanister watch, which borrows its design from the revs gauge of a 1952 356 Speedster.
The gauge kept drivers amused because at the lower end of the scale from 0 to 2,500 rpm, it had normal green markers on a black background, but as revs exceeded 2,500 then 5,500 rpm, scary speed stripes in green then red appear as a warning that the engine is about to blow.
Reservoir’s dial uses exactly the same design, with the scary stuff kicking in as the minute hand hits 25 minutes and 45 minutes past each hour.
It is on sale for $4,140.
Even more recent from Reservoir is a piece based on 1940s World War II comic book heroes Blake and Mortimer, an offshoot of Tintin that never really got the traction of the boyish Belgian detective.
Reservoir borrows from Gerald Genta’s Mickey Mouse playbook by making the retrograde minute hand from the arm of Mortimer as he appears to point at something terrifying overhead; most likely a German bomber.
The jumping hour is larger than usual Reservoir watches, and it does not have a power reserve below it like the brand’s car-inspired designs.
Other than that it is the same 41.5mm steel watch with a different design story.
The Blake and Mortimer watch retails for $2,990.