A dive watch like no other, the new Hydrosphere Bronze ‘Maldives Edition’ is reminiscent of the warm sun on an island paradise.
Inspired by his love affair with instrumentation, François Moreau set out to create his watch company. He explains: “Of course, I was immediately confronted by the fact that most watches tell time with hands that revolve around the dial, while gauges provide information with a linear or ascending semicircular reading. So, I quickly arrived at the idea of combining a retrograde minute hand and a jump-hour indicator.”
For those of you who have not experienced the engaging visual pyrotechnics of a jump-hour and retrograde-minute watch, this is what happens. The minute hand continues moving forward in a semi-circular arc until at the end of the 59th minute — bam — it jumps back to the beginning of its arc, i.e., the very first second of the first minute, without losing a fraction of a second of accuracy.
This is thanks to a very cool snail-cam mechanism that loads the spring-powered hand until the penultimate moment. At the exact same time, the hour indicator, usually in an aperture somewhere near the centre of the dial, instantaneously jumps. This is, of course, not an original idea; there have been many jumphour watches over the years.
Since the creation of the Reservoir brand, Moreau has offered a charming array of clean, legible, jump-hour watches characterised by a large arching minute hand, an aperture at six o’clock for the hours and a linear power-reserve indicator just under that. The designs of the watches have been inspired by the worlds of automobiles, aviation and even submarines, with evocative names like the GT Tour, the Airfight and the Tiefenmesser, all executed around the same movement.
Moreau’s dive watch named the Hydrosphere is one of the most functional, visible, and reliable dive watches around. But with the Hydrosphere, you get something totally different. It has to be the single most out-of-the-box, “take the path less travelled”, march-to-the-beat-of-its-owndrummer dive watch in existence, and the one and only jump-hour, retrograde minute dive watch in Christendom.
When the opportunity arose to create a special edition watch with Reservoir, it was without hesitation that François Moreau asked for it to be on the Hydrosphere platform. And as it turns out, he had the perfect theme. His brand, Reservoir, opened its retail shop in the beginning of 2021. While many might have speculated that this would be in a major city like London, New York or Singapore, the first boutique is located in the Maldives.
Specifically, 50 minutes from Malé by speedboat, on a reef owned by their partners Pontiac Land where they have reclaimed three islands for three different hotels comprising a total of almost 300 villas on the water. To celebrate the launch in this diving and water sports mecca, he decided with Reservoir to create a very special version of the Hydrosphere — one that evokes the sun as it dips into the water. The setting sun is a promise that it will rise once again tomorrow, bringing with it a brand-new day.
On this special edition, the indexes are rose gold in colour, filled with luminous material, then applied to the dial for an extra touch of vibrancy and richness from the regular production watch. The entire design was an interesting exercise in playing with much warmer colour codes, such as the cream coloured Luminova used on the bezel. The end-result is a watch with a totally different character — much warmer and somehow sensual — and we love it. With the watch, they include both a rubber strap and a NATO strap with bronze hardware and keepers. This is an all-new strap design and is exclusive to the Revolution model.
The Reservoir × Revolution Bronze Hydrosphere will be made in a limited edition of 100 pieces and is priced at USD4,400. It also comes with a print of an original artwork by Alain Bouldouyre, commissioned by Reservoir to tell the story of the collaboration in the lush and wonderous Maldives. Moreau says: “It’s funny, when I look at the watch and dream of wearing [it] in the Maldives, I am filled with optimism. In some ways, the watch fills me with hopefulness for the future.” We are most inclined to agree with him.