Rebellion Two watches for the Tour Auto
Almost 600 classic car drivers gathered at the Grand Palais in Paris for the start of a five-day rally supported by Rebellion watches.
Almost 600 classic car drivers gathered at the Grand Palais in Paris for the start of a five-day rally supported by Rebellion watches. Only cars that took part in the Tour de France Automobile between 1951 and 1973 are eligible to join the Tour Auto Optic 2000. This year’s event features 298 vehicles, each with a two-person crew, in five grids. On the eve of the 29 April departure, thousands of classic car lovers turned up to feast their eyes on the vehicles displayed at the Grand Palais – Alfa Romeos, Alpines, Aston Martins, Austin Healeys, BMWs, Ferraris, Jaguars, MGs, Porsches, Shelby Cobras and Triumphs, some of them worth well over a million euros. Organiser Patrick Peter describes this rare spectacle as a sort of “travelling pop-up museum event”. The participants from thirty different countries will complete a series of road stages and racing circuits between Paris and Lyon, passing through around a hundred different French districts before finishing in Deauville. The stage on the iconic Bugatti circuit in Le Mans is one of the highlights. There are two starting grids for the endurance classic, a race in the finest motor sport tradition, while the competition category has three grids. Each evening, the drivers are invited to an official dinner with food prepared by renowned chefs. The entry fee is 10,000 euros, and then there’s at least another 50% for roadside assistance. Any watchmaker would appreciate the appeal of such a concentration of relatively wealthy big kids with a passion for design and engineering. But Rebellion is the only one that is doubly qualified, with Rebellion Timepieces and Rebellion Racing – both of whose teams accompany the drivers throughout the race, and are there to greet them at the end of each stage.
© Mathieu Bonnevie
The only watch brand with its own motor racing stable
The symbiosis between Rebellion Racing and the Rebellion watch brand has recently stepped up a gear. Over the last 12 years the motor racing stable based on the shores of Lake Geneva has acquired an enviable reputation in the endurance community, based on a love for the milieu, a spirit of generosity and exceptional performance, as the only privately owned team capable of remaining in contention with the major car brands. The famous French comic book series Michel Vaillant even devoted an entire book to the brand. On the drivers’ wrists, Rebellion watches exert a fascination through their powerful mechanical DNA and the diversity of designs, all with a strong racing aesthetic, covering all price segments. The entry level was enriched this winter with a limited series in the Twenty-One collection dedicated to the Dakar Rally, of which Rebellion was the official timekeeper. Alexandre Pesci, owner of the twin companies Rebellion and Rebellion Motors, whose workshops maintain and test both modern and vintage automobiles, decided to switch up a gear by adding the Tour Auto to his CV. His E-Type Jaguar will be in pole position at the start in Paris, driven by Bruno Senna and Nicolas Prost, who will each be wearing one of the two titanium limited editions dedicated to the Tour Auto. The same weekend, Rebellion will also be supporting the 24H Karting Essec, Europe’s biggest student motor racing event.
© WorldTempus/Brice Lechevalier
Re-Volt and Wraith Tour Auto
Sturdiness, titanium, the tricolour Tour Auto livery and a manually wound movement are the hallmarks of the two limited series stamped with the red arrow logo of the Tour Auto, produced by Rebellion Watches to celebrate this new partnership. The Wraith Tour Auto, a 28-piece limited edition, is already well known in the endurance racing community, given that the collection has already been associated with races such as the Le Mans Series. The small seconds register at 9 o’clock in the shape of a red spoked wheel is a nod to this heritage. Its lightness on the wrist is a surprise given the generous dimensions of the case, making it very comfortable to wear. The price comes in at under 10,000 euros, a familiar benchmark for Tour Auto aficionados! But you’ll need to spend twice as much for the Re-Volt with its skeletonised dial and barrel-shaped case. The styling is more sophisticated, and production is correspondingly limited to 18 pieces.
The Wraith Tour Auto on the wrist © WorldTempus/Brice Lechevalier