The Rebellion T-1000: Endurance Racing On The Wrist
by Martin Green
A saying in Formula 1 racing dictates that if your car doesn’t fall apart after crossing the finish line you did not make its parts light enough – meaning you could have shaved off a little more material just to be lighter, faster, and as a result more competitive.
Restrictions on the number of engines a team can use during a Formula 1 race have made that reality a bit different these days, but fact is that Formula 1 is very different to endurance racing. Racing for up to 24 hours requires a different approach and a different frame of mind than a race that’s over in less than an hour or two.
In endurance racing, cars need to be agile like F1, but much more robust; a balance needs to be found between speed and endurance, allowing man and machine to perform at peak for 6, 12, or even 24 hours.
That is the world of Rebellion.
Starting out with Lolas and a Spyker, since 2014 Rebellion has built its own racecar, the Rebellion R-One, which battles in the LMP1-L class. And with great success because in 2014 it claimed victory in its class at the 24 hours of Le Mans. It took first and second places in its class in 2015 and another class first in 2016.
Racing experience captured
Rebellion captures all this racing experience and puts it in its watches.
No wonder that its watches often break the mold. Like the T-1000, a chain-driven behemoth of a wristwatch with six spring barrels providing more than 1,000 hours of power. With three barrels positioned on the left side of the case, and the other three on the right side, the layout is very much like the engine Rebellion uses in its racing cars.
The two banks of mainspring barrels are each connected by a chain transmitting energy to the balance wheel, which is inclined at 39 degrees and features a double hairspring.
To make room for this powerhouse, the T-1000 is housed in a 46.7 x 46.9 mm titanium case with a height of 19.5 mm. It is generously sized, but quite wearable thanks to the use of titanium and clever design by Eric Giroud.
The watch is a technical spectacle. When you are not mesmerized by staring at the balance wheel moving at 2.5 Hz (18,000 vph), it’s the time-display rollers in the center of the watch that grab your attention.
Positioned smack in the middle of the watch, the indication rollers “force” the crystal up, creating a wave. Yet you only understand the true complexity of the crystal when you pull up the top of the case, which acts like a lever to wind the watch. You can then see the complicated shape of the transparent cover.
To wind the T-1000 you simply lift the top part of the case and pull it toward you. This winds both banks of barrels simultaneously in one comfortable and easy motion.
It is, however, also very dramatic because such large and generous motions are usually not associated with a wristwatch – but then again I did mention something about Rebellion breaking molds above. Breaking the chains is something you do not need to worry about, though, since Rebellion has equipped the movement of the T-1000 with a safety feature that prevents it from over winding.
With the T-1000, Rebellion has created an endurance racer for the wrist.
This is a watch that you can forget about winding for more than 40 days and 40 nights. Not that you want to because rarely has winding a watch been such a delight as well as such a sight.
Rebellion offers the T-1000 in titanium or titanium with a DLC coating. Part of the movement is available in different colors, but Rebellion is happy to modify this upon request.
Consider this the personal setup of the watch, just as every racecar driver has a preferred setup of his or her car.
For more information, please visit www.rebellion-timepieces.com/collection-t-1000.
Case: titanium or DLC-coated titanium, 46.7 x 46.9 x 19.5 mm
Movement: manually wound Caliber REB T-1000 with 6 vertical spring barrels for 1,000 hours of power reserve wound simultaneously, double balance spring inclined at 39 degrees
Functions: hours, minutes
Price: approx. 150,000 Swiss francs