Reservoir Inside the 24 Hours Le Mans with Reservoir
The French watch brand takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour of this historic endurance car race
Arriving on the circuit of the 24 Hours Le Mans, the energy is electrifying with the sound of cars on the track, the vibrations of the engines that go right through you, and the adrenalin from the teams that is contagious.
IDEC Sport’s #48 LMP2 © Reservoir
The 24 Hours of Le Mans and watchmaking have been close friends since the ‘70s when Steve McQueen wore a TAG Heuer in the film Le Mans. Rolex is also intricately connected to the race as its longstanding official timekeeper, a partnership that celebrates 20 years this year. And then there are all the brands that sponsor cars, drivers, teams, and more and keep this historic race alive and racing.
One such brand is the French watchmaker Reservoir that has a strong design connection to the automobile world with many of its watches taking inspiration from the counters and gauges of old racing cars. The timepieces feature three complications that recall the car world with a retrograde minute display that is drawn from a R.P.M counter, a jumping hour that looks like a mileage meter, and a power reserve display that echoes fuel gauges of the past.
Reservoir GT Tour Carbon “IDEC Sport Edition 2021” © Reservoir
Pushing the car theme even further, Reservoir recently announced its new role as official watchmaker of IDEC Sport and its European Le Mans Series 2021. But rather than create a watch to celebrate the partnership, the brand has decided to go one step further.
IDEC Sport’s #48 LMP2 © Reservoir
During a trip to the pits to see the mechanics prepare the cars, I discovered that 24 new GT Tour Carbon “IDEC Sport Edition 2021” timepieces were going to be racing too! Secured safely in the cockpit of the team’s #48 LMP2, they were going to drive around the track of this legendary race – along with the three pilots: Paul Lafargue, Paul-Loup Chatain and Patrick Pilet – and be sold later with this really cool story and an invitation to attend the 2022 race.
Inside the cockpit where the watches will be secured © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
GT Tour Carbon “IDEC Sport Edition 2021”
The 24 timepieces come in a 43mm laminated carbon case with a dark grey sandblasted dial and a perforated racing black calf leather strap. Each piece is fitted with a self-winding movement that powers the retrograde minutes, jumping hours, and power reserve indicator. Other highlights include an open case back, water resistance of 50 metres, an additional NATO strap, and packaging that includes an exclusive miniature model of the IDEC Sport car.
Watching the race from Indianapolis Bend © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
Exploring the 24 Hours Le Mans Circuit
To get a real feel for the race and its incredible atmosphere, the IDEC Sport and Reservoir teams took us down to Indianapolis Bend to witness one of the best vantage points to see one of the day’s practice sessions. The noise was exhilarating as the cars screamed past. I keep my eyes open for the IDEC Sport car #48 that is practicing for the evening’s race. As the car flies past, the idea that the 24 watches are in there gives me goosebumps.
Tire change in action © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
On the way back to the IDEC Sport VIP lounge, we passed by a doorway to the pit lanes where a kindly security guard let us watch a tire change that happened so fast that you felt like the whole experience has been sped up.
I smiled as I realized how these future watch owners are going to have the time of their life coming here, and to think that they will be able to say that their watches raced at Le Mans – it doesn’t get much cooler than that!
The packaging with a model car © Reservoir