Unveiled during the Monaco Grand Prix this year, Rebellion launched two limited edition RE-Volt pieces in partnership with the Alfa Romeo F1 team, and we’ve be able to go hands on with the Valtteri Bottas model!
What We Love
- The layered coloured carbon case
- Skeletonised dial
- The actual pieces of the F1 car in the watch!
What We Don’t
- Lack of water resistance
- Velcro strap not as premium or comfortable
- Minimal power reserve
Overall Rating: 8.375/10
- Value for money: 8/10
- Wearability: 8/10
- Design: 9/10
- Build quality: 8.5/10
As a fan of F1, it’s not everyday you get to go hands on and review a watch that the drivers wear. Let’s face it, many of the F1 teams have some very high end timing partners, like Richard Mille with Ferrari and Maclaren, whilst others like TAG Heuer and IWC are more mass luxury, some of the pieces the drivers sport are not, like the Lake Tahoe Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Lewis Hamilton has been seen with this year!
So when Hardy Brothers, who are the official retailer for Rebellion in Australia, called and said they’ve one of the limited edition Valtteri Bottas C43 RE-Volt pieces available, let’s just say I was keen to get it on my wrist!
Seeing this piece in person, you can’t help get some very strong Richard Mille and Hublot vibes from it. Partly due to the case designed in the Tonneau shape that is now synonymous with RM, and perhaps elements of the design and movement are reminiscent of the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang. Whilst the Rebellion RE-Volt is neither, I feel it sits in good company here.
The wrist presence is also something that needs mentioning first up. This is not a watch that you wear to fly under the radar at all. It’s bold, busy and will command attention where ever you wear it. It’s also very much a sports watch in it’s looks and DNA, so again, what you where this with is up to you, but I feel it probably needs to be a little less formal. I’m wearing a suit jacket in the pics, so I’ll let you make your mind up if it works or not!
The watch does come is a very cool box which does add to the ties it has with the Alfa Romeo team and Valtteri Bottas. I also gives this limited edition piece a much more limited feel than just the watch itself. Inside the blue carry case which you open by touching the electronically locked sensor, are a set of FIA approved driving gloves, the same you would see on Valtteri Bottas when driving the car. In addition, you get a display plate, with a piece of carbon from the car’s wing, the same piece Rebellion uses for the sideplate on the side of the case – more on that later in the article. So it does make for a nice display when you’re not wearing the watch.
I love little things like this, as I feel that with limited edition pieces that have a purpose or a tie to a sport, team, celebrity so to speak, just adds to the whole experience of the watch, rather than just a limited edition number on the case back. Nice work Rebellion! And speaking of numbers, there are only 50 pieces of the Valtteri Bottas C43 available, so you know you will have something very unique on the wrist.
Like I mentioned above, the Rebellion RE-Volt Valtteri Bottas does, from a distance look like it may come from Richard Mille or Hublot, but when you have it in your hands, and see the dial, movement and case design up close, you won’t really be mistaking it for either. And with the RE-Volt, it’s all in the smaller details, and all the nods and direct links to the Alfa Romeo F1 Team, which is where I’ll start.
With only 50 pieces available of the Valttteri Bottas C43 (and the same with the Zhou Guanyu), Rebellion have taken their partnership with the Alfa Romeo F1 team to the next level by actually incorporating parts of the Alfa Romeo F1 car into the watch itself. On the left side of the watch, you will see a sideplate with ‘VALTTERI BOTTAS 77″ Written, indicating this is the Valtteri Bottas version and the number 77, which is Valtteri’s race number in F1. However, this sideplate is made from a piece of carbon taken from the rear wing of the Alfa Romeo C43 race car. Something that many F1 fans will love and potentially drool over.
The case design and construction is impressive. Rebellion have made the case out of machined and coloured carbon taking on the national colours of Valtteri Bottas’s Finland – Blue and White with shades of grey (and red in the case of Guanyu’s model). The carbon case is constructed in a way that looks somewhat like slate. Layers of slate layered on top of each other in an almost 3D printed technique giving the watch a very industrial stone like quality.
The dial is fully skeletonised and see through. Creating a fully skeletonised dial is not easy and requires a bit of engineering nous and skill to achieve both the right aesthetics as well as functionality within the movement. Rebellion have done this well, achieving a balance and symmetry on the dial, along with the colouring moving from the light steel/white to blue with texturing on all the elements.
The small seconds hand, or dial is it were is another subtle nod to the Alfa Romeo F1 car. Designed to mimic the movement of the car’s wheel, and incorporating the turbine design that is on the wheel hub of the car itself, it moves around smoothly. The blue segment with small indicator triangle shows where the seconds are within the 60 second dial and just adds to the F1 aesthetics on the watch. And above the balance spring, you can see the signature of Valtteri Bottas written on the sapphire, another tribute to the driver.
How It Wears
Sometimes looks can be a little deceiving. Now I won’t lie, the Rebellion Valtteri Bottas is a larger watch. Whilst the official specs say it’s 38.5mm wide, 41.5mm across the wrist and 12.48mm high which on paper is a similar size as a Tudor Black Bay 58, it’s not quite these dimensions, specifically, the 41.4mm across the wrist. This is due to the fact that Rebellion haven’t taken into account the ‘lug’ section where the strap connects, and this measurement is purely the square part of the case around the crystal.
If you take into account the traditional lug to lug from where the strap connects the case, it adds another centimetre or more to the sizing. As you can see below the watch takes up the whole surface of my 17.5cm wrist, and the straps then come down and wrap around.
Whilst the height isn’t overly large at 12.48mm, and the watch sits fairly flush to the wrist when fitted properly, the strap is thick and bolstered adding to the overall larger perspective. Whilst this is both a good aspect giving the watch a very solid feel and you feel in no way it will break, fray or come off the wrist, the downside is it adds to the thickness around the wrist. But as mentioned before, this is not a dress watch and is designed to be bold and for those that aren’t afraid to have a statement piece on their wrist!
The Rebellion RE-Volt C43 does come with a rubber strap option with a folding clasp in place of the velcro strap. Personally, this option would be my preference for two reasons. The first, I’m not a fan of velcro fabric straps. This is a personal preference and just one of my own idiosyncrasies with watches – it’s nothing against this strap. The second, I feel the vulcanised rubber strap with the push button folding clasp just looks betters and would wear more comfortable on the wrist. Plus you get the added safety of the clasp, which is one thing I always prefer with a sports styled watch.
The one area where I feel this watch is a little lacking is the water resistance. At only 30m WR, it’s hardly swimmable and barely splash-proof with a push in crown as opposed to a screw down crown. Given it’s designed like a sports watch with the Velcro or rubber strap, it would be good to have this on and be able to jump in a pool or not have to worry about getting it wet too much when washing your hands.
Inside the Limited Edition C43 is an in house Rebellion calibre with a 48hour power reserve off a single barrel. Whilst not a huge amount of power with the base standard around 70 hours these days, it’s enough to keep going should you not wear the watch for a day or two. The movement is hand-wound via the crown, which is fairly easy to pull out and gives a nice satisfying sound as you wind the watch to full power.
Visible through the case back and front (one of the benefits of a skeletonised movement) you can appreciate the movement’s aesthetics with the main plate and barrel seen through the case back, and via the front, you can admire the balance spring and bridges, with the etched brand name and logo on top of the barrel. The decorating is minimal and industrial in it’s looks, but with this piece, I feel that a highly decorated movement would look very out of place. So in this instance, it’s a case of the movement fitting the watch.
Rebellion have also added the Alfa Romeo F1 Team logo to the back of the watch on the sapphire crystal, which is another fitting nod to the brand’s partnership with the team. Whilst it does get a little lost in the movement, it doesn’t distract from it like you see with some brands who putt overly elaborate designs on the crystal, either obscuring the movement design or cluttering the case back up. This merely blends in subtly.
The Rebellion RE-Volt Valtteri Bottas C43 Limited Edition is a watch that will appeal to a certain type of person. It’s not for everyone, but like many watches out there, nor should it be. Life would be boring otherwise if we all had the same tastes. Whilst it wears on the larger side, it’s not overbearing, and is a piece you add to your collection once you have a few others. At AUD $118,400 it’s not cheap, and again, is not for your run of the mill watch collector.
What the RE-Volt Vatteri Bottas Limited Edition piece is, is a watch for racing fans, who want a piece of F1 on their wrist and feel that connection to the sport of F1, the Alfa Romeo team and the drivers. It is in essence a piece of engineering on your wrist that applies the same drive and DNA shared with the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team, and allows you to take the F1 with you where ever you go. And if you want to take it a step further, pull the gloves on, strap the watch to your wrist and go out for a drive, then that’s ok too!
If you have the means and want that next statement piece with a bit of ‘show off’ factor, then the Rebellion RE-Volt Valtteri Bottas C43 Limited Edition could be what you’re looking for. To try it on, head into Hardy Brothers on Castlereagh Street in the Sydney CBD or on Edward Street in the Brisbane CBD to see the watch in person and try it on.
Reference: Valtteri Bottas C43 – Limited to 50 Pieces
- Case: 38.5mm diameter, 12.48mm thick, 41.55mm across (excluding lug/strap connector)
- Case: Coloured Carbon, machined and layered in grey and white
- Dial: Blue and White skeletonised textured dial
- Crystal: Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
- Water resistance: 30m / 3bar
- Movement: Mechanical Swiss Made manual winding In House Calibre
- Power reserve: 42 Hours
- Strap: Option of textile, velcro closure with black DLC titanium buckle or black vulcanized rubber strap with the folding clasp