In many ways, the core of a functional dive watch design can be boiled down to three factors: high legibility in a variety of conditions, a way to measure elapsed time underwater, and, of course, water resistance. While these three tenets tend to breed traditional three-hand designs with wide, heavily lumed hands, a unidirectional external bezel, and a hefty case, there is a myriad of ways to make an effective diver. Reservoir’s Hydrosphere line is a perfect example of a truly unorthodox diver solution, and its latest release may be the most strikingly offbeat design yet. The limited-edition Reservoir Hydrosphere – Greg Lecoeur Edition commemorates Greg Lecoeur, one of the world’s greatest underwater photographers, with a unique and handsome jumping-hour twist on the standard bronze diver.
The Reservoir Hydrosphere – Greg Lecoeur Edition’s unorthodox approach starts with its 45mm brushed bronze case. This is a truly lugless design, perfectly cylindrical when viewed from above, which may mitigate the hefty diameter on the wrist. Rather than a spring bar, the Hydrosphere – Greg Lecoeur Edition’s rubber strap is fitted to the case with specialized screws. For the included NATO strap or third-party straps, however, these same screws can be used to attach a set of stirrup-style removable lugs to the underside of the case. This modular approach is an intriguing workaround to the drawbacks of a lugless case, but especially with the lugs attached this may prove to be on the large side for some wrists. The rotating bezel is bold and masculine, with a significant overhang past the case sides, a wide gear-toothed edge, and a distinctive ceramic insert. Due to the unique challenges posed by using a retrograde minutes display in concert with a rotating bezel, the insert here uses an unusual double scale for timing dives before and after the minute hand resets. Despite this left-field approach, the Hydrosphere – Greg Lecoeur Edition is a more than capable underwater tool, with a helium escape valve, rubberized screw-down crown, and a solid stainless steel caseback that work to deliver a robust water resistance rating of 250 meters.
As unique as the case is, the dial of the Reservoir Hydrosphere – Greg Lecoeur Edition is where it truly stands out in a crowd. The midnight blue sunburst dial surface is dominated by the retrograde minutes display sweeping from 8 o’clock to 4 o’clock, with a tricolor outer chapter ring, applied bronze tone Arabic numerals with a hefty lume fill, and a raised gauge-style “redline” section for the first 10 minutes that adds an extra layer of verticality to the design. In keeping with the gauge-style aesthetic, the retrograde minutes hand itself is a simple needle-style affair, with a generous lume fill across its full length to maximize low-light visibility. The hours display is relegated to a contrasting white jumping hour window at 6 o’clock, with a sapphire cyclops magnifier to aid legibility. Beneath it, extending from 5 o’clock to 7 o’clock, is a unique graphic power reserve indicator. The overall effect of the layout drives home a purposeful marine instrument feel, like the pressure gauge atop a scuba tank. To reinforce the connection to Greg Lecoeur, the dial bears his signature in white at 3 o’clock.
Reservoir powers the Hydrosphere – Greg Lecoeur Edition with an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, topped with a proprietary 124 piece module. The brand gives few details as to the performance of this movement, but it likely provides similar performance to the standard 2824-2, which provides a 42-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Reservoir packages with the watch with the previously mentioned black rubber strap and blue NATO strap, but also includes an exclusive diving excursion with Greg Lecoeur himself at the Port-Cros National Park in France in September 2021 with each purchase. The exact date for this diving event is yet to be determined, and travel, insurance, and accommodation costs are not included.
With its unique layout and marine-inflected nods to famed underwater photographer Greg Lecoeur, the limited-edition Reservoir Hydrosphere – Greg Lecoeur Edition delivers a truly striking and novel twist on the traditional dive watch formula. Only 50 examples of the Reservoir Hydrosphere – Greg Lecoeur Edition will be made. The watch is available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $4,980. For more information, visit the brand’s website.