Clash of colors, power of know-how. Here is the whole spirit of Rebellion and Label Noir‘s collaboration. It’ the matchup of two minds, two personalization virtuosi. For 15 years, the independent Swiss watch brand Rebellion, with its automotive DNA, has been renowned for its racy and challenging designs. As a fan of extreme customization of its iconic timepieces, Rebellion is especially keen on daring collaborative ventures.
The outcome is unexpected, as rich as a sharing of exoticism, as if two cultures were dancing around a fire. Rebellion’s emblematic sporty piece becomes warm, exotic. Label Noir’s signature minimalism moves it into a festive, heady, full-on painting, like a Macau night.
The interpretation starts with the indexes, yellow and red, glowing like flames, which circle the time display, hour, minute and small second. The central hands are tense like swords, red, slightly different from the original hands, in baton shape with a peak, in order to further increase the voltage. Then the case, which seems to be hewn out of a lava shard, yellow, red, black.
Once the first visual jolt is over, colors soften and disclose their true essence. They aren’t so extreme, they’ re all about tones and shades. The vivid colors are not offensive, they are soft and matte. Bright colors are blended with half tones. Red is not absolute, but includes just the right touch of blue and yellow to mellow it. The yellow does not scorch, it is slightly whitened, it has a patina.
Then the colors switch over. They’ re there for a purpose. They seemed to win the game, to occupy the field. In fact, they serve the black, whose subtleties and shadings they underline. For black is never absolute. The truth is that there is almost no pure black, but anthracite. Anthracite and grey tones, which mingle with the colors on the case and focus on the caliber.
The review goes on. What appeared to be a lot of work becomes simple, as if the mix of red, yellow and black were only meant to highlight the very essence of the timepiece: a pure mechanical achievement made of an engine and a casing. The basic design tells this story, the Label Noir touch enhances its ultra-technical nature.
The case is built of carbon, one of the most challenging composite materials available and one in which Rebellion has both expertise and legitimacy, thanks to the brand’s involvement with the automotive universe. As for the engine – the mechanical movement – it’s also an piece full of expertise, a high horological but contemporary Manufacture skeletonized caliber, exclusively from Rebellion.
Label Noir has chosen to blur all the colors of the movement, leaving only black, anthracite and a few metallic greys on certain gears, on the balance wheel raquetterie and on the small second hand. The various coatings underline the movement’s architecture, in all its depths, and highlight the technical organs that run through the watch from one side to the other. The open back reveals the intentions: expressing the quintessence of this mechanical watch, its engine and its coachwork.
This watch is the result of a conversation between Emmanuel Curti, artistic director of Label Noir, and the Rebellion creative team. Every detail is the culmination of this exchange. Everything was debated, all was personalized, nothing has been left up to random. The result is a first for everyone. Label Noir, whose only vocation is in collaborating, had never dealt with a carbon case unit. And Rebellion never worked with such color combinations.
However, this collaborative initiative is no art piece for art’s sake. Personalization is not a dogma, not everything has been modified. The bracelet, for example, has been kept in its original condition. Emmanuel Curti’s choice, who always felt like integrating a technical fabric bracelet into a collaboration. The choice is sound: the matte black of the weave provides continuity of tone with the movement, as if the shocking colors were nothing more than fine flashes of light delicately suspended in the black interlacing of the mechanism.