Introducing The Ressence Type 1 V Genesis, Raw And Unfinished (With Specs & Price)

A limited edition to celebrate the brand's fifth birthday, the Ressence Type 1 V Genesis is natural and untreated, with the dial and case left just as they come out of the milling machine.

Ressence marks its fifth year with a purified version of its Type 1, the timepiece that established the signature look of the brand – an satellite time display and no crown. The Type 1 V Genesis has a titanium case that is machined on a multi-axis milling machine, and left as is. This leaves its surface marked by the subtle signs of machining, giving it the look of a prototype. The lugs flow seamlessly into the case, all part of the minimalist, organic design favoured by Ressence and its founder Benoit Mintiens.

Similarly the dial is nickel silver with a frosted finish achieved by sandblasted, but otherwise unfinished. There is no paint or Super-Luminova on the indices and markings, which are engraved on the dial. The hands have been galvanised a dark grey for legibility. And the dial is slightly convex, echoing the curve of the domed sapphire crystal. Unlike the top of the line Type 3, the Type 1 has no oil-filled display, but it does have the brand’s key innovations, the ROCS time display and case-back functions.

The time is shown with planetary discs, a system known as the Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS). It is made up of 107 components, with the entire dial rotating on itself, and each sub-dial making smaller revolutions to show the hours, minutes, seconds and day of the week.

Like the other Ressence timepieces, the Type 1 V Genesis has no crown. Winding and setting are done via the case back which has gears inside that engage when the watch is flipped over.

The case diameter is 42mm, and it’s fitted to an Barenia calf leather strap. The Type 1 V Genesis is limited to just five watches and priced at €18,750 before taxes. It’s available from Ressence or its authorised retailers.

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Introducing The Chanel Boy.Friend Watch

Chanel’s latest timepiece, the Boy.Friend, is a large octagonal wristwatch, conceived as a ladies’ timepiece with a masculine feel.

Leaving aside the curious punctation, the Chanel Boy.Friend watch is easy to understand. It’s large for a ladies’ watch, with an elongated octagonal case modelled on the Premiere wristwatch, itself based on the shape of the Chanel No. 5 perfume bottle cap. Though Chanel is best known for the J12 – the watch that removed ceramic watches from the realm of nerdy tool watches and made it fashionable – it has one other signature watch case, the Premiere. The Boy.Friend is a reinterpretation of that design, which in most recent iterations looked dull. 

Retaining the familiar Premiere case shape, the Boy.Friend combines it with a clean dial, bringing to mind the 1970s when such form watches were in the vogue. The dial is plain, lacking any markings, with a stamped oblong form. For nuance, it has a silvered finish with a concentric guilloche known as azurage.

The Boy.Friend is available in two sizes. The larger Boy.Friend XL features a sub-seconds and is powered by a hand-wound movement. It measures 37mm long by 28.6mm wide, similar to the dimensions of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Grande Taille. 

And the smaller model has a date function date and is quartz. This measures 34.6mm by 26.7mm.

Fashion houses lack the cachet of traditional watchmakers when it comes to watches, but they are make increasingly accomplished timepieces. Recent examples include the Slim d’Hermes and Louis Vuitton Escale Worldtime. Chanel’s timepieces are mostly slanted towards the female consumer, so they get less press here but they are generally respectable.

One reason being the fact that Chanel owns case and bracelet maker G&F Chatelain, the same company that supplies companies like MB&F, Urwerk and Richard Mille. Chanel, naturally, makes it own cases in-house, including the well known J12 ceramic cases but also the octagonal precious metal cases of the Boy.Friend.

It’s offered in white or beige gold, the latter an alloy proprietary to Chanel that’s a pale shade in between yellow and rose. A diamond set bezel is another option. The Boy.Friend is fitted to an alligator strap with a gold buckle shaped like the watch case.

Pricing has yet to be announced but it will be in the range of S$17,000 to S$40,000, or about US$13,000 to US$30,000. It will hit stores in September 2015.

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