SIHH 2017: Ressence Introduces Its Own Take on the Dress Watch, the Sleek, Steel Type 1 “Squared”

Smaller, slimmer and for the first time in stainless steel, the latest from Ressence also boasts an upgraded movement.

Ressence has made a name for itself with minimalist designs backed by ingenious mechanisms to display the time – including its signature oil-filled planetary display – but its latest wristwatch dials back the complexity to prove less is more. Slated to be launched at SIHH 2017 next week, the Type 1“Squared” is based on the original Type 1, the brand’s inaugural wristwatch, but an entirely new design.

Founded by Antwerp-based designer and engineer Benoît Mintiens, Ressence makes watches that muted, minimalist, and almost exclusively round and titanium. In contrast the Type 12 is cushion-shaped and in stainless steel with a bright polished finish. With echoes of 1930s Rolex Oyster and Panerai watch cases in its form, the case is thinner and smaller than the typical Ressence, measuring a modest 41mm in diameter and 11.5mm high.

One factor in its slimness is the absence of the sapphire-covered case back that’s a hallmark of other Ressence watches, none of which have a crown and rely on rotating the back for setting. Instead the Type 12 has a steel back with a semicircular lever that can be pulled out to set the watch.

Ressence Type 1 Squared-1

Ressence Type 1 Squared-2

Like all other Ressence watches, the base movement inside the Type 12 is the eminently robust, self-winding ETA 2824, with the patented Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS) time display mechanism that relies on planetary gears to show the time. The hours, minutes, seconds, day of the week and power reserve are on separate sub-dials that each rotate around the dial.

Ressence Type 1 Squared-6

But what sets the Type 12 apart is the newly developed day of the week setting mechanism. Whereas the earlier generation of the movement required tedious and numerous rotations of the back to set the day, the Type 12 has a quickset mechanism that quickens the setting process.

This feature will be standard from now on for all Ressence watches, but can also be retrofitted to watches bought earlier, excepting the earliest versions of the Types 1 and 3. The upgrade will cost €1000 for the Type 1 and €2000 for the Type 3, less if it is done simultaneously with a service.

Ressence Type 1 Squared-7

While the case is steel, the dial is German silver with a circular grained finish, and available in three colours: silver, ruthenium, Night Blue and Champagne. The style and colours of the watch also suit it for female wrists, with pastel coloured straps an option.

Ressence Type 1 Squared-5

Ressence Type 1 Squared-4

Ressence Type 1 Squared-3

Price and availability 

The Type 12 is priced at US$20,600 or €17,500. It will be available starting February 2017 from Ressence retailers.


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SIHH 2017: H. Moser & Cie. Introduces Wristwatch with Swiss Cheese Case (and Another Without)

The Swiss Mad duo make a statement on the import of "Swiss Made".

While the casual observer might think there’s no whey a respected watchmaker like H. Moser & Cie. would have the curds produce such a cheesy timepiece, the Swiss Mad Watch is a one-off creation that aims to be provocative proclamation of the brand’s opinion on the slack rules governing the “Swiss Made” appellation, much like how its Swiss Alp Watch is a dig at smartwatches.

While those rules were recently revised to require that watches so labelled to be at least 60% Swiss by value – up from the original 50% – they are still far from being demanding. H. Moser & Cie. watches, in contrast, are at least 95% Swiss by value. Naturally the Swiss Mad Watch is 100% Swiss, right down to the furry calfskin strap.

But at the same time Moser is also announcing a serially produced watch in the same vein, the Swiss Mad Venturer, that takes inspiration from the one-off, cheese-cased timepiece.

And to cap it all off, Moser will abandon the “Swiss Made” label on all its watches starting this year.

A unique piece with a price tag of just over SFr1m, the Swiss Mad Watch (ref. 8327-1400) has a case made of a carbon-resin composite mixed Vacherin Mont d’Or médaille d’or, a soft cheese traditionally produced in winter. Both the composite material and dairy product are Swiss.

H. Moser Swiss Mad Watch cheese 2

The Swiss Mad Watch has a red fume dial with graduated tones that go from light in the centre to dark at the edges. The markers and hands are a bright white, giving the watch a red and white (and cheese) theme that’s reminiscent of the Swiss flag.

And the Swiss-ness continues with the price of SFr1,081,291. That’s a reference to August 1st, 1291, the date when the Swiss Federal Charter proclaiming the Swiss confederation was signed.

The HMC 327 inside the cheese case

According to Moser, “All proceeds from the sale of this watch will be used to create a fund to support independent Swiss watchmaking suppliers currently suffering under the difficult economic situation and outsourcing to Asia.”

The Swiss Mad Venturer is a variant of the standard Venturer, with a 39mm case in white gold, but fitted with a red fume dial based on that found on the one-off Swiss Mad.

And like the Swiss Mad, the Venturer is equipped with the hand-wound HMC 327 – that’s complete with the in-house Straumann overcoil hairspring – as well as a furry calfskin strap.

H. Moser Swiss Mad Venturer 2

H. Moser Swiss Mad Venturer 1

The Swiss Mad Venturer (ref. 8327-0208) is a limited edition of 50 pieces priced at SFr19,500.

While Moser makes a fair point about the looseness of the rules governing “Swiss Made”, it should be remembered that its watches, which average SFr15,000, are in a price bracket that allows for entirely Swiss production.

With labour costs what they are in Switzerland, it’s essentially impossible to produce a mechanical watch priced under say, SFr2000, that’s wholly Swiss made.


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Hermès Introduces the Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar in Platinum

The perpetual with second time zone now in platinum and metallic blue.

First introduced in gold last year, the Slim d’Hermès Quantième Perpétuel is the complicated sibling to the time-only Slim.

Like its simpler cousin the perpetual calendar features the custom typography by graphic designer Philippe Apeloig, one of the several details that give it a clean but nuanced look.

The new platinum model sticks to the same design, with the only tweak being the dark blue dial with silver-tone numerals and rhodium-plated hands, excepting the bright red second time zone hand at six o’clock.

Hermes Slim d'Hermes Perpetual Calendar platinum 3

The moon phase disc is aventurine with a mother of pearl moon

Material and colour aside the watch is identical to the gold version. The case is 39.5mm in diameter, with the self-winding H1950 movement inside. It features a perpetual calendar and second time zone that can be advanced by the button at four o’clock.

Produced by Vaucher, the movement maker in which Hermes owns a quarter stake, the H1950 is the same calibre found in the Richard Mille RM 33-01 and the Baume & Mercier Clifton Perpetual Calendar. The perpetual calendar mechanism, however, was devised by Agenhor, the noted Geneva complications specialist.

The H1950 movement as seen inside the time-only Slim

Price and availability 

The Slim d’Hermès Quantième Perpétuel Platine is priced at SFr38,000 or €33,500.


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