Reservoir Goes Audiophile With Sonomaster Chronograph
by Martin Green
When you talk with watch enthusiasts, the conversation often branches out to other areas of passion. Vintage cars is one area, but fountain pens also often come up. Another one is sound systems. I don’t have firm statistics, but there are a considerable number of audiophiles among watch collectors. And like me, they will be probably be smitten with the Sonomaster Chronograph made by Reservoir.
Turn up the beat
Reservoir has already made a name for itself with creative watches centered around a playful theme. The Sonomaster Chronograph is no different: the brand channeled its inner audiophile and designed the watch around the power measurements, or VU meters, of analog stereo amplifiers. These form a very distinct feature that most people associate with audio equipment, even though such equipment is far from common now.
While the two indicators are faithfully re-created to look like those on analog stereo amplifiers, they have been given a different function. The one on the right side indicates a retrograde date, while the one on the left displays retrograde seconds. As the scale of the latter is 30 seconds, there is quite a bit of motion at all times, which suits the theme.
Reservoir also fit the watch with a chronograph complication, whose minute and hour counters fill the space between the retrograde displays. They add to the complicated nature of this timepiece and increase the fun factor (though I can see Reservoir launching a Sonomaster without this function in the future, which would still be tempting timepiece for watch enthusiasts).
This is mainly because of the way that Reservoir integrated the concept into the watch. The brand has proven to be a master in this type of design, which it also displays in its jump hour watches. The Sonomaster Chronograph captures the vibe of analog audio equipment and fills a void in the market, although it is one of those watches you didn’t know you needed until you saw it.
A balanced proposition
The Sonomaster Chronograph is crafted in stainless steel and has a diameter of 43 mm. This gives Reservoir plenty of space to display the complications on the dial, which the designers increased by opting for a relatively narrow bezel engraved with a tachymeter scale. In all honesty, I am curious how the Sonomaster Chronograph might look with a plain bezel. In my opinion, it might put more emphasis on the dial, which would make the design even stronger than it already is.
The case back is also pleasing, particularly thanks to the sapphire crystal insert through which we see the back of the movement. Reservoir employs a La Joux-Perret Caliber L1C0 as the base movement for this watch, which is fitted with its own module for the retrograde display. A pleasing solution as the La Joux-Perret caliber is a solid performer, running at 4 Hz and offering a 60-hour power reserve. And its looks are satisfying. This movement also allows Reservoir to keep the price at a competitive level.
The brand offers the Sonomaster in two different versions. The first is called “Vintage” and combines a black dial with beige retrograde counters. The “Modern” version features them in black against the background of a silver dial. Both are attractive in their own right, and which one you prefer probably depends on the sort of audiophile you are.
For more information, please visit www.reservoir-watch.com/vintage-watch-collection/partnership/sonomaster.
Quick Facts Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph
Case: 43 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber RSV-Bi120based on La Joux-Perret Caliber L1C0 with manufacture module for retrograde complication, 60-hour power reserve, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hour, minute, retrograde seconds; retrograde date; chronograph
Price: $6,100 / €5,750
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