Vintage cars are special not only because they are out of production and rare. They are special because they were made in a time when designers weren’t shackled by safety regulations. They had greater freedom to design. This is why you often hear car enthusiasts say, “They don’t make them like they used to.” It’s totally true. And that explains why you will never see a modern car in the shape of the legendary 356 Speedster. The beauty of the 356 Speedster is not limited to its exterior, it also extends inside. One particular highlight of its interior is its tachometer, which has distinct fonts in a characteristic shade of green. And it is this very tachometer that has inspired Reservoir’s newest Kanister collection watches.
Readers who have seen Reservoir’s earlier watches will find the Kanister familiar — the retrograde minutes hand, jumping hours indicator, and power reserve indicator are all there. Essentially, the basic ingredients are the same but the execution is new, and that gives us a watch that also looks fresh and different.
In the case of the Kanister, what we have is a 41.5mm Grade 5 titanium case that has been satin-finished. It has a screw-down crown and a water-resistance rating of 50 meters. From a practical perspective, this gives us a watch that is light and tough enough to wear daily unless we are going diving.
To my layperson’s eyes, the dial looks like a pretty faithful homage to the tachometer of the 356 Speedster. The choice of type and colors looks spot on. And because the 356 Speedster’s tachometer stops at 6,000 revs, it lends itself well to the purposes of timekeeping. After all, there are 60 minutes in an hour.
So, what we have here is a retrograde minutes display, a jumping hour indicator at 6 o’clock, and below the jumping hour is a power reserve indicator that has been styled to look like a fuel gauge. To complete the look, the Kanister comes with a black leather strap that’s been designed to look like vintage sports seats. Speaking of straps, the Kanister comes with an additional NATO strap. And if you are a lover of leather, you can order the watch with three extra colored leather straps.
Amazingly, all of this is made possible by an ETA 2824 and not some bespoke in-house caliber. The ETA 2824 is modified, of course, but it does mean that this watch isn’t excessively expensive. According to Reservoir, it has a proprietary 124-part module. Having to drive the complications does take a hit on power reserve, but Reservoir says the Kanister can run for up to 37 hours. The movement is also visible through a display caseback. However, apart from a customized rotor, there isn’t much else to see. The movement doesn’t look like it has been finished at all.
Because Reservoir’s watches are mostly powered by the same caliber, admittedly, they look somewhat similar. The retrograde minutes, jumping hours, and power reserve indicators are all in the same place. However, the brand has cleverly styled its watches to look distinct enough. And I think the Kanister is an absolutely true-hearted homage to what is surely one of the most desirable cars ever made. Surely, this is a must-have watch for those lucky enough to have a 356 Speedster in their garage. The Reservoir Kanister has a price that starts at $4,150. For more information, visit Reservoir Watch.