February 7, 2023

A saying in Formula 1 racing dictates that if your car doesn’t fall apart after crossing the finish line you did not make its parts light enough – meaning you could have shaved off a little more material just to be lighter, faster, and as a result more competitive.

Restrictions on the number of engines a team can use during a Formula 1 race have made that reality a bit different these days, but fact is that Formula 1 is very different to endurance racing. Racing for up to 24 hours requires a different approach and a different frame of mind than a race that’s over in less than an hour or two.

In endurance racing, cars need to be agile like F1, but much more robust; a balance needs to be found between speed and endurance, allowing man and machine to perform at peak for 6, 12, or even 24 hours.

That is the world of Rebellion.

A lot of luxury brands associate with the world of racing cars, but Rebellion lives it. The Rebellion Racing team has been very successful in endurance races around the world.

Starting out with Lolas and a Spyker, since 2014 Rebellion has built its own racecar, the Rebellion R-One, which battles in the LMP1-L class. And with great success because in 2014 it claimed victory in its class at the 24 hours of Le Mans. It took first and second places in its class in 2015 and another class first in 2016.

Rebellion Racing #13 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016 (photo courtesy José Mário Dias)

Racing experience captured

Rebellion captures all this racing experience and puts it in its watches.

No wonder that its watches often break the mold. Like the T-1000, a chain-driven behemoth of a wristwatch with six spring barrels providing more than 1,000 hours of power. With three barrels positioned on the left side of the case, and the other three on the right side, the layout is very much like the engine Rebellion uses in its racing cars.

Rebellion T-1000 with red movement

Rebellion T-1000 with red movement

The two banks of mainspring barrels are each connected by a chain transmitting energy to the balance wheel, which is inclined at 39 degrees and features a double hairspring.

Blue movement for the Rebellion T-1000

Blue movement for the Rebellion T-1000

To make room for this powerhouse, the T-1000 is housed in a 46.7 x 46.9 mm titanium case with a height of 19.5 mm. It is generously sized, but quite wearable thanks to the use of titanium and clever design by Eric Giroud.

Rebellion T-1000 on the wrist of case designer Eric Giroud, who was handing it here for the first time

Rebellion T-1000 on the wrist of case designer Eric Giroud, who was handling it for the first time in this photo

The watch is a technical spectacle. When you are not mesmerized by staring at the balance wheel moving at 2.5 Hz (18,000 vph), it’s the time-display rollers in the center of the watch that grab your attention.

Positioned smack in the middle of the watch, the indication rollers “force” the crystal up, creating a wave. Yet you only understand the true complexity of the crystal when you pull up the top of the case, which acts like a lever to wind the watch. You can then see the complicated shape of the transparent cover.

Winding the Rebellion T-1000 is very much like driving a Bentley, Bugatti, or other exotic car into a gas station. You are bound to draw attention – and lots of it.

Lifting the integrated winding leaver of the Rebellion T-1000 away from the case

Lifting the integrated winding leaver of the Rebellion T-1000 away from the case

To wind the T-1000 you simply lift the top part of the case and pull it toward you. This winds both banks of barrels simultaneously in one comfortable and easy motion.

Integrated winding lever of the Rebellion T-1000 lifted away from the case

Integrated winding lever of the Rebellion T-1000 lifted away from the case

It is, however, also very dramatic because such large and generous motions are usually not associated with a wristwatch – but then again I did mention something about Rebellion breaking molds above. Breaking the chains is something you do not need to worry about, though, since Rebellion has equipped the movement of the T-1000 with a safety feature that prevents it from over winding.

With the T-1000, Rebellion has created an endurance racer for the wrist.

A colorful platoon of Rebellion T-1000 movements

A colorful platoon of Rebellion T-1000 movements

This is a watch that you can forget about winding for more than 40 days and 40 nights. Not that you want to because rarely has winding a watch been such a delight as well as such a sight.

Rebellion offers the T-1000 in titanium or titanium with a DLC coating. Part of the movement is available in different colors, but Rebellion is happy to modify this upon request.

Consider this the personal setup of the watch, just as every racecar driver has a preferred setup of his or her car.

Rebellion T-1000 Gotham edition

Rebellion T-1000 Gotham limited edition