It’s not often that the worlds of watches and audio overlap. For the people interested in such things – and particularly the “old school” way of building things – there is indeed an overlap. To put it another way, if you’re into high quality audio, you likely are in to watches as well. If you find yourself in the middle of that particular Venn diagram, then the just-announced Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph should fit in well with your collection.
When I saw the photos of this watch, I was transported back to when I was a kid, and my dad had his stereo components on the shelf. While they didn’t light up like a lot of todays components do (thanks to LEDs) there was always one thing that lit up – the volume unit, or VU meters. These, on a basic level, indicate the signal going through the equipment much less subjectively than “wow, that’s loud”. I didn’t know that as a kid, though. I just liked watching the needles bounce, paired with their warm backlight.
That sense of warmth is what is captured so well here in the Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph. The color on the two retrograde subdials (and we know, retrograde hands are a signature of Reservoir) just matches so well. The only way it could be better would be with an actual backlight, a trick that we won’t likely see for a mechanical watch (hmm, maybe a thin layer of clear lume?). So, what are these VU Meters tracking? The one on the left gives you the running seconds, while the one on the right indicate the date. I’m generally not a fan of hand-indicated dates, but in this implementation, I’ll allow it.
As a chronograph, the Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph has a lot more to pack in. For the chrono hours and seconds, those subdials run down the middle of the watch, keeping things balanced. Keeping the stereo theme going, the crown and pushers look like those slabs of machined metal that graced so many of those pieces of the non-digital era of audio equipment.
Admittedly, I am not an arbiter of high fidelity audio equipment, so I’m just running on the memories of my childhood. Still, the Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph really does feel like it captures it all so well. And hey, if you want to buck the trend of colorful quartz chronographs, what better way than to dive into the recent past and embrace all things mechanical and analog?
While the Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph is officially announced, it won’t be until the end of April that it’s actually available for you to buy. Say, that should be in time for getting a really amazing Father’s Day present lined up for your dad, right? While I’d love to do that, it would be a bit of a stretch for me, as its running $6,100. Still, for all they’ve managed to do with this chronograph movement, it feels like they’re hitting a sweet spot in terms of what you’re getting for the money, particularly with this design. Check it all out over at reservoir-watch.com
Tech Specs from Reservoir
- RSV04.SN/136.BL (Black & Beige)
- RSV04.SN/136.SI (Silver & Black)
- 43mm, 316L stainless steel case with brushed finish
- Black & beige, or silver & black Dials
- Hands with Superluminova
- Tachymeter bezel
- Crown inspired by amplifier control button
- Push buttons inspired by bass and treble buttons
- Water-resistant 50m / 5ATM
- 360° Opened case-back
- Domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal
- Chronograph (central second, 30-minute counter at 12, hour counter at 6), Bi-Retrograde date and seconds at 120°, Hour, Minute
- Calibre RSV-Bi120: manufacture bi-retrograde chronograph movement, automatic mechanical winding and column wheel (base LJP-L1C0)
- 60 hours power reserve
- 28,800 alt./h
- Swiss Made
- Black leather strap with white stitching, width 22 mm
- Stainless steel butterfly folding clasp
- End of April 2022
- Available to order online and through a prestigious network of more than 70+ high-end stores and specialist retailers in 20+ countries.
- PRICE: 5’750 €TTC, 5’750 CHF, 5’300 £ incl Taxes, $6,100 w/o taxes