“I yam whats I yam and dats all whats I am,” and that’s Popeye the Sailor Man! Introducing the latest comic-driven timepiece from the Franco-Swiss watchmaker Reservoir in the new Reservoir x Label Noir x Popeye watch.
Produced in collaboration between Reservoir and Label Noir and featuring the famed cartoon character Popeye, this new limited edition brings a nostalgic icon to the wrist in sleek fashion. The timepiece embodies the ready-for-anything attitude of Popeye with the bold spirit of Reservoir and unexpected creativity of LabelNoir, resulting in true comic novelty that’s as strong in design as Popeye’s very own anchor arms. “AAAHuuUUH GUhGuhGuhGuh!”.
He’s Popeye the Sailor Man!
Introduced to the world on January 17, 1929, by E.C. Segar in the “Thimble Theatre” comic series, Popeye from his debut has always been a rough-and-tumble, spinach-loving underdog. True to himself as a mean-muggin’ man with a heart of gold, the sailor became one of the most popular characters of 20th century through comic strips, radio shows, television programs, and eventually both animated and live-action films. Beloved by millions, Popeye and the rest of the “Thimble Theatre” cast, including Olive Oyl, Swee’Pea, and Bluto, continue today in the cultural spirit through countless references and works of art. In this latest collaborative timepiece, the sailor’s salty spirit finds its latest canvas.
Purpose-built for the inspired, for the bold, and for those who eat their vegetables!
Reservoir has fostered its renown in bringing boldness to life through its timepieces, helping make every minute and hour count through its radical reading of time that is punctuated by a regular thrill. The brand’s watches echo an era in which these precision instruments, easy to read and accurate to act, were at the service of mankind; a time when the pulse quickened, and adrenaline coursed through the driver’s or pilot’s veins as he embarked upon voyages that demanded courage and high performance.
This ethos pairs with Reservoir’s unique design aesthetic inspired by measuring instruments and mechanical counters, including gauges from universes like auto racing, aeronautics, and sailing. Together, a unique, inspired style of watchmaking results, with timepieces presented that thoughtfully balances functionality and aesthetic appeal. In the Reservoir x Label Noir x Popeye watch, the brand once more introduces a watch which is bold by design, being purpose-built for those who share the brand’s passion for action and creativity.
Popeye was a natural pick for the collaboration, with the underdog character ever ready to act on a moment’s notice to protect what’s right and those closest to him. Spinach in hand, Popeye is never afraid to stick out and take creative action when the time requires, and just like Reservoir, the sailor is who he is and he knows it. By the same token, Label Noir was another natural partner for the nostalgic piece. The 2011-founded horological customization house has made personalization and the plural arts its creed from its debut, highlighting a chart-your-own-course experience in watchmaking. Best known for its signature dark creations and collaborative efforts with some of the most notable watch brands of the day, the Swiss customizer has taken its sleek skillset for this latest effort, providing an eye-catching noir in perfect complement to Popeye’s swagger and Reservoir’s familiar silhouette.
A collaborative aesthetic in the metal!
On the wrist, the 41.5mm titanium watch recalls classic Reservoir styles, with slightly curved lugs and a signature knurling on its unique crown placing the model in the fantastic canon of the brand. The case itself is clad in an under-the-radar grey DLC— the colour scheme courtesy of Label Noir— with a satin finish used throughout that adds to the model’s bold style.
While Popeye isn’t specifically your traditional hero or an athlete, he’s never one to shy away from a person in need or a moment of action. Just the same, while this bold new Reservoir isn’t explicitly a sports watch, the dark look, satin, finish, and importantly 5 ATM or 50m of water resistance help make the timepiece a capable companion for the every day, with a grey nubuck leather strap with red & grey stitching and a matching grey DLC pin buckle adding that feeling.
Beneath the anti-reflective sapphire crystal, the highlight of the Reservoir model is on display. Making smart use of a grey dial, a picture of Popeye in full charge is hand painted upon it. Faithful touches of colour in the image help make it quickly striking against its dark background, with bright white accenting in the comic-style indices assisting in the high legibility for the novelty.
In classic Reservoir fashion, the dial features a 240° retrograde configuration, with the minutes displayed upon three-fourths of the surface and the running hours indicated in a prominent view via a bordered digital display at the comic icon’s feet. Popeye’s massive arm indicates the running minutes, sweeping from “00” to “60” and then snapping back again at the top of each hour.
It doesn’t run on spinach
Inside the new limited-edition model is the Reservoir Calibre RSV-240, a next-generation automatic movement introduced by the watchmaker in the spring of 2022. Produced in association with the Swiss engine manufacture TELOS, the self-winding mechanism makes use of an LJP-G100 base with a patented, proprietary 113-pieces module, with it optimized for Reservoir watches and the maker’s unique style of timekeeping.
In the Reservoir x Label Noir x Popeye watch, the RSV-240 allows for the aforementioned retrograde minute and jumping hour on display via the dial, with a 56-hour power reserve ensuring its sustained and reliable function. The movement and its Reservoir-signed rotor are smartly finished with Geneva stripes and radial style brushing, all visible via an exhibition sapphire case back itself adorned with a winking Popeye painted at its centre.
Ready for action
Bold in its creation and even more so on the wrist, the new Reservoir x LabelNoir x Popeye watch is ready to hop into action. The timepiece is available in a limited series of 200 pieces. Each numbered model is presented in a white wooden box adorned with an image of “The Popeye Family”, an additional Chrome Painted Figurine “Popeye eating spinach” and a special embroidery in honour of Popeye. A certificate of authenticity accompanies the box.
François Moreau (Founder & CEO Reservoir watch) – FM
Emmanuel Curti (Founder Label Noir & Watchmaker) – EC
> How did this collaboration between Label Noir and Reservoir come about?
FM: The first meeting with Emmanuel Curti was a pure coincidence, resulting from informal discussions within watchmaking networks but also investors. The current immediately passed and very quickly Emmanuel and I were able to feel the very strong complementarities that existed between our two brands, both in creative potential and in terms of watchmaking development.
EC: A meeting between two enthusiasts is often enough to give rise to ideas, desires, and new challenges! This is what happened with Francois Moreau, the idea of a collaboration between our two houses was obvious to create new emotions through this limited edition.
> Why did you choose the Popeye icon for this watch? What was the inspiration behind this choice?
FM: Popeye is a very popular character around the world and embodies boldness and determination, what we call ‘MAKE IT BOLD’ at RESERVOIR. He is also a trans-generational comic strip hero, and I am struck by the enthusiasm he arouses among very young people and seniors alike: by way of illustration, my son, like his grandfather, absolutely wants a Popeye Reservoir x LabelNoir!
EC: A singular and emblematic character, Popeye is very much in demand by our customers during personalization, he follows in the footsteps of the watch in partnership with Black & Mortimer at Reservoir and offers visual recognition for Label Noir customers.
> What are your favourite design features for the Popeye watch?
FM: As we initiated with Blake & Mortimer, the animation generated by the 240° retrograde minute hand works particularly well with the world of comics and makes the characters very… lively! This is particularly the case with Popeye whose virile and assumed energy comes out very well with the evolution of the arm over the minutes and its instantaneous return at the end of the hour!
EC: I don’t think Popeye would be as well represented as with what best characterizes him, namely his iconic pipe, his sailor suit, and his gruff demeanour! The Minute hand is represented by Popeye’s arm, a fun way to depict the fighting gesture for which we know the very daring character!
> How does Label Noir continue to favour uniqueness in a booming personalization sector?
EC: Official Label Noir collaborations offer unlimited creativity with watch brands and make each edition unique. The fruit of this mutual work leaves an imprint, a way of distinguishing oneself in product creation.
> What do you think is the biggest challenge currently facing the watch industry?
FM: There is obviously a trend towards the development of collaborations which corresponds to a strong expectation of the market in search of limited, original, and uninhibited pieces in terms of creative freedom. Proposing refreshing watchmaking offers can sometimes be a real challenge for traditional brands…
EC: Watchmaking customs are changing rapidly, collaborations between watch brands point to a trend on which we must succeed in surfing. A common force that multiplies creativity and offers its customers ever more exceptional.
> In your opinion, what unites the Label Noir customer and the Reservoir customer?
FM: Even if the customers are obviously not the same, those of LabelNoir share with those of Reservoir a strong watchmaking passion, an appetite for products that stand out from more conventional approaches and an interest in comic book watches.
EC: A personalized but affordable watch from a renowned watch brand, our respective customers will find themselves in this unique and limited offer with a preserved brand image.
> Can we expect other collaborations between Label Noir and Reservoir in the future?
FM: The universe of Popeye is very rich, and we have already thought about extending the range with the creation of new series inspired by the world of the famous sailor… Why not an Olive Oil one day?
EC: Nothing is excluded!
Reservoir x LabelNoir x Popeye Technical Specification
Limited Edition 200 pieces – Ref: RSV04.PO/433
- 41.5mm, Grey DLC Titanium Case with Satin Finish
- Grey Dial with Hand Painted “Popeye” Pattern
- White Index
- Screw-down Crown, Water-resistant 5ATM
- Open case-back, with exclusive “Popeye” character glass paint application
- Anti-reflective Sapphire Crystal
- Retrograde Minute, Jumping Hour
- Calibre RSV-240: Manufacture Self-winding Mechanical Movement, Patented proprietary 113-pieces module (LJP G100 base)
- 56-Hour Power Reserve
- 28,800 alt./h
- Swiss Made
- Taupe Grey Nubuck Leather Strap with Red Stitching, 22 mm Width
- Grey DLC Pin Buckle
- White Wooden Box with an image of “The Popeye Family” (© 2022 King Features Syndicate ™ Hearst Holdings, Inc.)
- Additional Chrome Painted Figurine “Popeye eating spinach”
- Additional Special Embroidery with “Popeye”
- Certificate of Authenticity
- Available to order online at https://www.labelnoirdesign.com/ and https://www.reservoir-watch.com/ and through a prestigious network of 70+ high-end stores and specialist retailers in 20+ countries.
- Delivery from January 2023
- 4’700 €TTC, 4’350 £ incl taxes, 4’450 $ w/o taxes MSRP, 4’700 CHF incl taxes
About Label Noir Design
LABEL NOIR: “THE ART OF PERSONALIZATION DEDICATED TO CREATIVE LUXURY”
Walking in the footsteps of watchmaking tradition while making its mark by offering a fresh creative angle, which might otherwise be described as reinterpreting the manner in which time is usually read with a savvy injection of art and know-how.
Known as the master of metamorphosis and sophisticated coatings and driven by ethics, passion and commitment, Label Noir, a Geneva-based company founded in 2011 by Emmanuel Curti, offers a captivating response to cutting-edge watchmaking seeking an unparalleled edge that it as stunningly exceptional as it is rare.
Unique design inspired by mechanical measuring instruments, RESERVOIR watches redefine boldness. The Swiss Made movement offers a radical way to read time – retrograde minute, jumping hour, power reserve. It transforms time into a precious resource, a faithful ally of adventure. Every 60 minutes, the single hand retrogrades and activates the next moment with the same intensity. To make every hour count. Fail or prevail but Make It Bold.
RESERVOIR watches reflect the functionality and aesthetic appeal of counters or gauges primarily from cars, aeronautics and marine. An era in which precision instruments were at the service of mankind, when the adrenaline coursed through the driver’s or pilot’s veins as he embarked upon voyages that demanded courage and high performance.
Ten collections build the RESERVOIR assortment through five universes: GT Tour, Supercharged, Longbridge, Battlefield, Kanister (Cars), Airfight (Aeronautic), Tiefenmesser, Hydrosphere (Marine), Blake & Mortimer (Comics) and Sonomaster (Music). All models are equipped with a bespoke and patented horological module associated with a manufacture movement, assembled at La-Chaux-De-Fonds in Switzerland by a renowned watchmaker. The collections are distributed globally among 20+ countries, including the United States, Japan, Europe and Middle East, on-line and through a network of 70+ luxury retailers, the core range being priced at 4’000 euros.
Established in 2017, RESERVOIR is presenting its novelties annually at international watch fairs (e.g. Time To Watches / Baselworld (Switzerland), Couture (USA), SIAR (Mexico)) receiving outstanding reviews from the world media. Collections were nominated four times for the Geneva Grand Prix de d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, selected at the 2021 Only Watch charity auction and received the Red Dot design award in 2022.
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