All Reservoir watches are designed with racing, marine or airplane counters with a retrograde minute hand and jumping hours. The new Reservoir Hydrosphere Bronze watch is entirely dedicated to diving with a bonus like no other: the watch, a limited edition of 50 pieces, includes an experience on the high seas with multi-award-winning underwater photographer Greg Lecoeur in the park national de Port-Cros, HyÃ¨res, France should take place next September.
Lecoeur, promoter of ocean biodiversity working to preserve the health of corals, protect wildlife and fight against climate change, is known for his ethereal and incisive shots that take us deep into the underwater worlds and explore the fragility and beauty of these mysterious hinterlands.
Originally from Nice on the French Riviera, Lecoeur was an entrepreneur before changing careers in his late twenties. A fearless traveler, the amateur lens of the time traveled the world with a backpack and honed his photography skills for several years, earning a living as a diving instructor. Soon after, his portfolio of images of marine life – from giant Galapagos turtles to blue marlin piercing the Pacific near Baja, Mexico – earned him accolades and significant work in marine reporting.
In 2016, his work received the Grand Prize for Nature Photographer of the Year by National Geographic with a photo taken in South Africa during the Sardine Run. In 2020, he won the Underwater Photographer of the Year award for his impactful image of crabeater seals swimming around an iceberg in Antarctica.
The Reservoir Hydrosphere watch (Â£ 4,600) is well worth the attention – a sufficiently rugged version that will appeal to underwater explorers, not least because its dial is inspired by scuba diving gauges. On a more technical note, the satin bronze case has a unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel with two scales to read the dive-decompression levels before and after the return of the retrograde hand. Like the Rolex Sea-Dweller and Omega’s Seamaster Diver 300, the watch features a helium valve that releases helium bubbles trapped in the case, a crucial addition given that this model is waterproof to 250 meters. The hand is covered with a luminous lacquer which stores the light during the day to then reflect it in the dark, while the time window is covered with a magnifying glass to optimize visibility.
Here Lecoeur talks about some of his most famous images, which just might persuade you to invest in this one-off purchase that comes in its own special presentation box with the invitation to dive, the second rubber strap and the notebook. exploration illustrated by his photographic work.
âThis exploration of the polar waters of the Antarctic Peninsula was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever experienced. Here, in this remote uninhabited territory, diving is a real challenge. The hostile climate above the surface and the freezing temperature of the water are not ideal conditions for a diver. But yet, under the ice, life abounds. Initially, I went to document the leopard seal, one of the encounters that struck me the most was the unexpected one with a group of more crab-eating seals. Despite their name, brain seals do not eat crabs, but only krill. Here, one of them was moving happily along the icebergs, A very strong moment in this absolutely magical setting.
One of my favorite photographic subjects
âSharks are animals absolutely essential to the health of the oceans. At the top of the food chain, they thus regulate the lower links. They are unfortunately victims of their reputation. Yet, they are elegant animals, moving with grace. Their swim – both leisurely and powerful – is hypnotic. At the height of evolution, they seasoned extremely developed senses to become super predators. Here, the oceanic white tip shark, well known as the longimanus, is accompanied by a pilot fish: it is an ideal shelter for them, keeping their predators away. It is a pelagic shark living offshore, and able to detect prey several kilometers away. Very curious, he does not hesitate to approach divers. He is one of my favorite photographic subjects to date.
A moving meeting
âOriginally from Nice, I spent a lot of time, from an early age, exploring Mediterranean waters, especially offshore. They reserve a rich and little known biodiversity. One of the most moving encounters I have had there is with pilot whales. These intelligent animals are also extremely social and develop extraordinarily strong bonds. Being far from the coast, under the surface of the water, in front of this united group which came to investigate me delicately, was a truly timeless moment.
An abundance of life
âMaking these kinds of images is a particularly exciting challenge. Indeed, it takes a lot of time in the open sea and a lot of patience to spot schools of sardines, surrounded by predators. Bird activity thus indicates the direction and signs of predation. Having the chance to attend a “Sardine Run” is therefore a fabulous moment: all marine predators hunt in unison and join forces for a great feast. The most spectacular are the sea birds, in particular the northern gannets. They pierce the surface of the water with incredible speed, only to find themselves in the midst of an abundance of life.