The new collection of watches RESERVOIR BLACK SPARROW takes inspiration from the simple looking yet complex instruments from the first air fighter’s cockpits, and pay tribute to the heroic journey of Eugene Bullard, who was the first African American combat pilot enlisted during WWI in the French aviation army.
Take flight with audacity, a time instrument from the past on the wrist, with a new steel or black PVD case, black or sand dial with Art Nouveau-inspired luminescent numerals, mounted on a black or brown Barenia leather strap, the retrograde minute and jumping hour being powered by the new RESERVOIR RSV-240 caliber.
If You Want to Suspend Time, Explore the Sky
Life is a perpetual take off…. Suddenly smashing you into the pilot seat, making your heart beat faster than the propeller outside the porthole. Bringing up your deepest fears mixed with excitement and thrills as the gear and the rubber fades the airstrip. Allowing the faceless pilot to suddenly give up solid ground for unpredictable winds. Letting your soul exit your body a few times as the plane finds its course. Questioning during these few seconds the very meaning of your existence before finding the answer in the clouds. And you never get enough of it.
Remember a time when every innocent human was afraid of heights and speed and embraced the fact, we’ve mastered it. Like a well-made watch, flying is a unique experience that combines technical expertise and the beauty of flight. It involves a great deal of focus, attention to detail, and technical skill, but it also offers a unique perspective on the world and a sense of accomplishment. Today this amazing ability to travel peacefully comes from a past of war. An innovation built brick by brick by the bravery of the first pilots that explored a hostile sky which yet to be conquered.
Enlist with a line of brave sky fighters
A Knight of the Legion of Honor, an African-American born in Georgia, USA in 1895, Eugène James Bullard was described as a “true French hero” by Général de Gaulle himself and through his bravery, earned the nickname… “The Black Sparrow of Death”.
At the young age of 8, Eugène Bullard observed his father, William Bullard’s, intimation that “Europe was a place where individuals were judged solely on their merit”. After running away from home in 1906 to seek a better life in Great Britiain, Eguène Bullard eventually arrived in France and on October 19, 1914, he enlisted in the French Foreign Legion to participate in the First World War at the young age of 19 where he was immediately sent into the combat zone. Bullard took part in the battles of the Somme and Champagne, serving in the 170th Infantry Regiment before being wounded in the Battle of Verdun in March 1916.
Declared unfit for the infantry after being wounded, yet undeterred Bullard volunteered for the French Air Force in October 1916 where he officiated first as a artilleryman and then as a pilot. He carried out around twenty aerial combat missions during WW1, during which he shot down at least two enemy aircrafts, and thus became, with the Ottoman Ahmet Ali Çelikten, one of the first two African American fighter pilots in history. Bullard frequently flew with his mascot, a pet Rhesus monkey named Jimmy in his Nieuport 24 fighter jet. The motto inscribed on the fuselage of Eugène Bullard’s plane was “all blood runs red”. In 1959, French President Charles de Gaulle made Bullard a knight of the French Legion of Honour, the nation’s highest ranking order and decoration.
The story of aircraft is not just about planes, but the bold and the brave who would fly them straight to heaven, even when the bells of hell rang on the earth: the Great War.
Inspired from the cockpits of the very best
Watches inspired from the beautiful technicalities of the first aircraft are back in RESERVOIR collections. It centres itself on the black colour of the on-board flight instruments and the metal and silvery shine of others. On these new models, one clearly distinguish a famous symbol among firefighters : the propeller and the wings.
The Air Force has a strong identity based on symbols like the Prop and Wings born with the First World War. They now constitute a whole symbolism of military aeronautics and mark the link between the pioneers of the Great War and the airmen of today. The operational need to identify aircraft led to marking unit insignia, soon adopted by the airmen themselves: each squadron was now recognised by a figure it had chosen and which became its emblem. Thus, The Prop and Wings is a popular military insignia used to identify various aviation-related military units especially the French Aeronautique Militaire.
In 1912 aviation officers and non-commissioned officers wore them on an armband, it was often attached, instead, directly on the arm of their tunic or blouse. It was limited, in 1915, to flying personnel only and in America it is a symbol of cadets. It is now proudly standing behind the lines of the minute hand.
Wear a bold tribute to the first airfighters
RESERVOIR’s new watch is based on the simple looking yet complex instruments from the first air fighter’s cockpits. The brand pursues its mission: to let Swiss watchmakers embody the boldness of aeronautics in an elegant device. After exploring the depth of the oceans, the dangers of the roads and even the mysteries of music, we are back in the sky looking for the roots of adventure.
The flow of time only makes sense if we do something about it. What gives more purpose than redefining the very meaning of each second. To redefine such a fundamental aspect of existence one mustn’t just contemplate it, but defy the very laws of nature, by always going faster, deeper, higher… Once the flow of adventure crashes through your body, the time carried on your wrist, is never felt the same way again.