Watch and automotive

The beautiful mechanisms of IWC, TAG Heuer, Reservoir, Tissot…

Watchmaking and automobiles are the result of a marriage between love and reason. A couple that shares the same history through partnerships and through the creation of special edition watches. A wide topic adressed by Frank Sans C on his YouTube channel. He revealed, with Romain Monti, a beautiful and very inspired review on mechanisms.

By Nicolas Yvon

RESERVOIR: automotive at the heart of the movement

Les montres Reservoir sont directement inspirée de l'automobile avec leur cadran conçu à limage d'un tableau de bord
As a fine tribute to the automotive world, the Reservoir Kanister watch is directly inspired by the speedometers of the legendary Speedster 356.

In just a few years, the young French company Reservoir has made its mark on the watchmaking landscape with models directly inspired by automobile dashboards. In fact, the union between watches and automobiles goes beyond the simple aesthetic question. It is also mechanical, since Reservoir has developed its own watchmaking module to equip an ETA Swiss Made automatic calibre. 

The patented mechanical module of Reservoir combines three complications.

Indeed, one can observe the jumping hour (aperture at 6 o’clock), the retrograde minute (the central hand recalls the rev counters) and the power reserve indicator (the arc-shaped display recalls the fuel gauge).

Symbiose entre montres et automobile, la Reservoir Kanister reprend les compteurs de la Porsche Speedster 356
The Kanister watch (from €3,990) incorporates the patented Reservoir module combining a jumping hour, a retrograde minutes and a power reserve indicator.

These three elements take a special dimension with the 41.5 mm diameter titanium Kanister model. Its dial has a face that any Porsche collector will easily recognise. It borrows the dashboards’ design of the mythical Porsche Speedster 356 . 
The imitation of the old cars’ speedometers is almost perfect. Everything is there: from the multiplication of the green and red curved lines to the design of the numbers and the shape of the central hand.
The “sport racing” leather strap like the bucket seats of the time also adds a touch of style. 
However, aficionados will have to wait before they can acquire the Reservoir Kanister. It will only be available in October…

Reservoir Kanister watch

TISSOT’s good idea: integrate the watch into the dashboard!

Entre l'univers des montres et l'automobile, l'histoire fusionne littéralement
The story literally combines the two worlds with the removable case of the Tissot Alpine On Board that can be integrated into the car’s dashboard, .

The Alpine On Board Automatic chronograph was Tissot’s brilliant idea for a watch inspired by the automotive. 
This very special edition has a 45 mm diameter case that can be removed. It can thus be integrated directly onto the dashboard of the Alpine A110! If this watch is part of Frank Sans C’s “mysterious” collection (nobody has seen it, he won’t give anything away on the subject…), the story doesn’t tell if he will also have this French sports car one day. The only thing we do know is that it was at the wheel of an Alpine Renault berlinette 1600 bearing the logo of La Centrale des Journalistes that Frank raced in the Tour Auto in 1996 with his friend Yann Milliez.
Water-resistant up to 100 metres, the steel case protects a beautifully crafted automatic Valjoux movement, visible on the back, which offers 60 hours of power reserve. 

A very successful packaging that includes a stand to transform the watch into a desk clock.

The instrument subtly reinvents the counters from the famous berlinette but it also borrows its hands, its “piston” push-buttons and its perforated leather strap from the Tissot PRS 516 model: so many elements that give it a sporty and elegant style.   
There are still some watches left in the retailers, if you want one, do not wait, because this model is coming out of collection and will become a real collector’s watch at a reasonable price: €2,190.


BELL & ROSS watches: change of name and colour with Alpine

Bell & Ross has been Renault’s Formula 1 partner since 2016 and the team has been renamed the Alpine F1® Team, which means Bell & Ross is the new Alpine partner. The brand has remodeled its three special timepieces (BRX1, BR03-94 and BRV03-94) for the special partnership.

Quand les montres rencontrent l'univers automobile de la Formule 1, le mariage est explosif
With its BR03-94 A521 chronograph, Bell & Ross has designed a chronograph that matches the performance of the Alpine single-seaters in Formula 1.

Even classier and sportier than the previous generation, they take the A521 name from the Alpine single-seater and they all have blue elements. In particular the central second hand which also takes up the logo of the car brand on its counterweight. 
Chosen by Frank Sans C for this video, the BR03-94 A521 is a seductive automatic novelty in steel, 42 mm square on a perforated rubber strap. 
This limited edition of 500 pieces is water-resistant up to 100 metres. It has black PVD-treated rocker pushers that recall the paddle shifters on the steering wheel of single-seaters. It is also equipped with a rotating bezel with inverted scale for countdowns.

Quand les montres rencontrent l'univers automobile de la Formule 1, le mariage est explosif
The Bell & Ross BR03-94 A521 chronograph features Alpine blue and the French car brand’s logo on the counterweight of its second hand.

The dial also deserves attention. It comes with openwork counters like car rims and surrounded by a tachymetre. This scale allows the average speed of a vehicle to be measured over a distance of a thousand metres, i.e. between two kilometre markers for example.
Price: €5,900

Our Bell & Ross BR03-94 A521 technical data sheet

IWC and Mercedes-AMG: a long-standing relationship between a watch manufacturer and an automaker.

The links between the Schaffhausen factory in German-speaking Switzerland and the German car automaker are not new. Their partnership dates back to 2004. For the past seventeen years, many special models have been created to pay tribute to this collaboration, which could be described as historic.   
The latest creation is quite surprising. IWC has not chosen to rework an Ingenieur — which is its emblematic watch linked to the automobive universe — but a chronograph from its no less emblematic collection of Aviator Watches…

Encore une belle illustration des liens entre les montres et l'automobile avec le chronographe d'aviateur IWC - AMG en titane et cadran carbone
This chronograph (€9,900) illustrates a partnership that started in 2004 between the IWC manufacture and the Mercedes-AMG automaker.

However, one look at this new 43 mm diameter reference is enough to convince you.

The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG” is not a limited edition which is good to know

It benefits from various materials derived from motor racing. The case is machined in grade 5 titanium, an alloy known to be extremely light and scratch-resistant.  
It is also impossible not to notice the carbon fibres. They make the dial as light as robust, while giving it an ultra-sporty style. Displaying the day and date, the dial also has contrasting colors: large white luminescent hands and hour maker, and the satin-finished silver counters.

The IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG” combines a titanium case with a carbon fibre dial, materials used by the German car automaker for its luxury sports cars

This model has a smoked sapphire crystal on the back decorated with the AMG logo through which one can admire the IWC 69385 calibre with a column wheel. 
It is also worth noting the presence of a black embossed leather strap that undeniably asserts the style of the chronograph. An instrument that the IWC manufacture produces with an 8 years warranty.    
Price: €9,900.

Our Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG” technical data sheet

TAG HEUER: the Carrera watch building closer ties with Porsche

If you read our articles, you already know all about the recent partnership between TAG Heuer and Porsche, to which we have devoted a full report.
This large-scale partnership is expressed in various fields (motor sports but also golf and tennis).

The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph is a beautiful mechanism with a powerful and modern design.

TAG Heuer obviously created a specific watch to celebrate the event with the Stuttgart automaker. And who better than the Carrera watch to embody this union?

Varie réussite esthétique, le Chronographe TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche arbore au verso une masse oscillante en forme de volant Porsche.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph is powered by a Heuer 02 calibre whose oscillating weight is skeletonised in the shape of a Porsche steering wheel.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph is an attractive 44mm steel joint creation. It features the official Porsche name in red on its black ceramic bezel. 
The dial has a very original relief decoration that looks like asphalt!

Quand montres et automobile fusionnent entre TA Geur et Porsche, le cadran revêt un motif effet asphalte
The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph (from €5,550 on leather) is immediately recognisable by its bezel bearing the manufacturer’s name in red and its grey asphalt-effect dial.

The watch is available in all-steel but also with a leather strap – very well done – stitched in the image of Porsche seats.

The latest generation TAG Heuer calibre with a rotor shaped like a Porsche steering wheel

It is logically featured with the automatic Heuer 02 manufacture movement guaranteeing 80 hours of power reserve. This high-performance calibre, with an openworked oscillating weight in the form of a three-spoke steering wheel, is visible on the back of the case, which is water-resistant up to 100 metres.   
Price: €5,500

Our TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph technical data sheet
Our TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph on leather technical data sheet

ATELIER JALAPER: the stroke of genius under the bonnet or rather “from” the bonnet

We won’t blame you for not knowing Atelier Jalaper. This young Franco-Belgian brand came into being thanks to a fundraising campaign in 2019. 
Louis Jalaper and Simon Szleper have also decided to participate in the great history of watches and cars. Their idea seems quite simple… but it was not an obvious one!
The metal dials of their watches are unlike any other, each one is actually unique. And for good reason: they are cut out of an authentic aluminum bonnet of an old Aston Martin DB5.

Nouveau chapitre entre l'univers des montres et l'automobile avec Ateirr Jalaper qui puise des capots de DB5 pour en faire des cadrans
At the heart of the Atelier Jalaper watches (from € 800), a piece of real Aston Martin DB5 bonnet for the dial.

Atelier Jalaper found the first bonnet in London and then the second one in Belgium. The adventure could then begin for the two founders, supported by a young French car designer and a Swiss manufacturer from La Chaux-de-Fonds.   
One must admit that their watches leave nobody indifferent with their refined dial, which recalls the counters of the mythical British car. For information, the two darker parts, with a squared guilloché pattern, are also taken from the bonnet.

Atelier Jalaper fabrique ses cadrans de montres à partir de véritables capots d'anciennes Aston Martin DB5
Another interesting example of the links between watches and cars is Atelier Jalaper, which manages to cut its dials out of Aston Martin DB5 bonnets.

These watches are also powered by Miyota automatic calibres (which are more than enough resistant) whether in three date versions. 
Price: € 800


ROGER DUBUIS: a hyperwatch for a Lamborghini supercar

It was in 2017 that the Swiss watch manufacturer Roger Dubuis and the Italian automaker Lamborghini became partners. 
Since then, the two companies have been working closely together on the design of true UFOs of watchmaking. Like this Excalibur Spider Aventador S, loaned by the Maison Dubail for the Frank sans C show.

Montres et automobile entrent dans l'univers de l'avant-gardisme avec Roger Dubuis et Lamborghini
Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini are combining their skills to design some avant-garde watches like this Excalibur Spider Aventador S in carbon (€ 212,000).

This very atypical 45 mm diameter instrument is machined from the same C-SMC (Carbon Sheet Molding Compound) as a Lamborghini. This is a carbon reinforced by the addition of a polymer composite. The high-tech material is combined here with a titanium container and blue rubber overmoulds.

The symbiosis between watches and cars seen through the prism of hyper-sportiness for Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini

Both ultra-light and resistant, the unit holds a totally unique manual winding skeleton movement like no other. This one has indeed been developed with Lamborghini Squadra Corse (the competition branch). The engines of the Italian brand with the bull directly inspire its construction.

Vision high-tech du manage entre montres et automobile, l'Excalibur Spider Aventador S illustre le partenariat ente Roger Dubuis et Lamborghini
The Excalibur Spider Aventador S is a marvel of micromechanics that perfectly reflects the partnership between Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini.

Five patents protect this little avant-garde jewel of fine watchmaking. It guarantees 40 hours of autonomy (gauge indicator between 1 and 2 hours).

Two spiral balances for better chronometric precision

This movement also, and above all, has a system of two inclined balance-springs. Each of these elements each oscillate at 28,800 vibrations per hour, a frequency of 4 Hz. The device gives the calibre greater resistance to the effects of gravity, which consequently improves its chronometric precision. 
Roger Dubuis watches are often certified with the Hallmark of Geneva and produced in limited series. This “hyperwatch” is no exception to the rule. Only 88 pieces will be produced. The price of the watchmaking bolide: €212,000. Rarity priceless.

Our Excalibur Spider Aventador S Carbon technical data sheet

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