This ultra-light regulator watch worn by Nicolas Prost at the latest 24 Hours of Le Mans is doubly unique: It is made of forged carbon and was along for the ride during that legendary automobile race. This is the first time, too, that Rebellion is participating in the Only Watch event. .
This biennial charity event, which was initiated by Luc Pettavino, President of the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies (AMM), is under the high patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. For its sixth edition, scheduled for November 7, 2015, the event moved to Geneva, Switzerland, for the first time. It will bring together about forty-five prestigious watchmaking companies that have each donated a unique piece.
Rebellion was determined to get on board in the combat against myopathies, and so the brand created a unique timepiece designed to whet the appetite of the auctioneers. This piece had to have the qualities to participate in this enormous drive for solidarity and inflame the impulse to give.
Rebellion is the only Swiss brand to have its own stable of racecars, the Rebellion Racing team. As such, it had created an ultra-light timekeeper for the most legendary endurance race in the history of the automobile, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and had placed it on the wrist of Nicolas Prost, a professional pilot in his own right, eldest son of the famous champion and a brand faithful. In a case of superb serendipity, the unique model, in electric blue like the pilot’s helmet, reflects the new identifying color of the Only Watch logo. It is also charged with the special intensity generated by the wild ambiance of 263,500 spectators vibrating to the rhythm of the pilots’ performances.
The model, which blends the notion of a limited series with an unusual material, has two unique assets: First, there is the modularly designed case machined in-house from a material that is entirely new to the brand. Secondly, it was built around the last remaining mechanical caliber in the REB-7 Regulator series launched by Rebellion in 2010. This particular caliber, with its disruptive architecture, features automatic winding and a power reserve of up to 42 hours. It was developed by the movement-maker Laurent Besse.
An endurance race was obviously the best choice as a venue for a regulator. Its itinerary, partly at night, means having to rely on a time-measuring instrument that is particularly tough and offers excellent readability. A regulator is a term that was used in Swiss watchmaking factories during the onset of the industrial era. It was actually an ultra-precise wall clock with a large second hand that the watchmakers in the workshops could use as a reference to regulate the watches they were producing and also to keep track of their work time. The regulator, in watchmaking, has become something of a legend.
The model being put up for auction by Rebellion carries this history into the 21st century thanks to its masculine dimensions, 46 by 56.7 millimeters, the date at 6 o’clock, and water-resistance to 3 atm. It also features open-worked architecture on the dial side, which avoids any obstacle to the reading of time.
Movement features and functions
REB-7 regulator automatic winding,exclusive form movement, 42-hour power reserve
Balance wheel frequency 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
Dimensions: 23 x 30 x 6 millimeters
Plate in blackened gold, laser-cut date ring in blackened gold, gilded gearing
Dial and hands
Open-worked dial revealing movement below
Skeletonized electric-blue hour hand on subdial at 12 o’clock
Central skeletonized electric-blue minute hand with red Super-LumiNova tip
Central dark second hand with red Super-LumiNova tip
Date at 6 o’clock with skeletonized gold numerals over white background
Skeletonized hour indexes in ARCAP Bridges in skeletonized titanium
Case and bracelet
Case in forged carbon fiber
Dimensions: 46 x 56.7 x 19.6 millimeters
Compound curves and beveled edges
Sapphire crystal top and display back with double-sided antireflective treatment
Water-resistant to 30 meters (3 atm)
Bracelet and buckle: bracelet in sky-blue natural rubber with butterfly folding buckle in titanium