Baselworld 2017: Ressence Introduces the Type 5G “Grey” Diver

The fluid-filled mechanical diver's watch now in matte, grained titanium.

First introduced in titanium with a black dial, then in a functional black-on-black guise, the Ressence dive watch is now given a restrained palette with the Type 5G that matches the face and the watch case, in keeping with the minimalist approach of the Belgian watchmaker.

The dials and bezel of the Type 5G are in sandblasted titanium, just like the watch case, though with a different grain, resulting in a slightly different colour. That aside, the Type 5G is identical to the other versions of the diver.

Ressence Type 5G Grey 3

Ressence Type 5G Grey 5

Rated to 100m, the case is 46mm in diameter, without a crown; winding and setting are done via the rotatable case back. Inside is where it gets interesting. In the lower module of the case sits a customised ETA 2824 movement, which drives the time display via magnets.

Ressence Type 5G Grey 6

The constituent parts of the Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS) time display

The time display module is physically separate, being a sealed capsule that contains oil. This results in the optical effect of the dial appearing to be printed on the underside of the crystal, while also boosting mechanical performance of the watch by reducing the friction during function. And the oil is also incompressible, improving the water-resistance of the watch.

Ressence Type 5G Grey 2

Ressence Type 5G Grey 1

A tiny bellows system inside the oil-filled module compensates for changes in the volume of oil due to ambient temperature. The temperature of the watch is indicated on a sub-dial on the front, with pale green being the optimum temperature range.

Ressence Type 5G Grey 7

Price and availability

The Type 5G is priced at US$35,800 or €31,500.


 

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The First Tourbillon Wristwatch Ever Made by Roger W. Smith Comes to Market

Featuring a flying tourbillon and big date, the Tourbillon Commission No. 1 is one of the handful of complicated watches made by Roger Smith.

Delivered in 2010 after six years of work, the Roger W. Smith Tourbillon Commission No. 1 is a bespoke timepiece. Equipped with both a one-minute flying tourbillon – an unusual feature for an English timepiece – and an oversized date display, the watch is a departure from the archetypal Roger Smith wristwatch.

In fact, the Tourbillon Commission No. 1 is the first of just four tourbillon wristwatches made by the English watchmaker, and the only one with the large date. It’s now offered by the original owner via A Collected Man – the London-based platform formerly known as Watch Xchange.

Having got his start as an apprentice to George Daniels – the noted watchmaker who invented the Co-Axial escapement – Roger Smith is now the flag bearer of high-end English watchmaking, creating a dozen watches a year with traditional and time-consuming methods.

Roger Smith Tourbillon no.1-2

Roger Smith Tourbillon no.1-5

The Tourbillon Commission No. 1 is typical of Roger Smith’s watchmaking, with an engine-turned, sterling silver dial and a rose gold case. Some 98% of the watch, except parts like the mainspring, jewels and hairspring, were produced in-house at his workshop on the Isle of Man, an island off the coast of England that’s best known for its motorcycle race and low taxes.

Roger Smith Tourbillon no.1-6

Roger Smith Tourbillon no.1-7

Roger Smith Tourbillon no.1-1

Roger Smith Tourbillon no.1-8

Nearly all the components were produced manually, in the manner of 19th, or even 18th, century watchmaking. All the markings on the dial, including the Roman numerals and logo, for instance, are hand-engraved, then filled with India ink. The gilt frosting on the bridges and base plate of the movement is similarly hand-applied.

Roger Smith Tourbillon no.1-3

Roger Smith Tourbillon no.1-4

The Roger W. Smith Tourbillon Commission No. 1 is priced at £250,000, or about US$310,000, on A Collected Man.

Founded in 2014, A Collected Man was conceived by 29-year old Silas Walton as a platform to sell notable watches in a concise and tasteful manner. With only a dozen or so watches on offer, A Collected Man came to prominence for its – to utilise an overused word appropriately – curated line-up that at various points in time included timepieces by Philippe Dufour, Voutilainen, as well as other examples of Roger Smith’s work.

The other headliner in A Collected Man’s offerings is a Philippe Dufour Simplicity. Numbered “17”, making it a relatively early specimen, the Simplicity is 37mm, rose gold, and fitted with a white lacquer dial.

Philippe-Dufour-Simplicity-Rose-Gold-37mm3

Philippe-Dufour-Simplicity-Rose-Gold-37mm1

The Simplicity no. 17 is almost identical (but without the Dufour logo on the movement) to the example at sold at Phillips’ Hong Kong auction in November 2016 for US$258,000.


This was brought to you by SJX and A Collected Man.

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TAG Heuer Shrinks its Bestselling Chronograph with the Carrera Heuer-01 43mm

The affordably priced, skeleton-dial sports chronograph is now available in a 43mm case.

TAG Heuer‘s top selling wristwatch is the Carrera Heuer-01, a chronograph featuring an appealing see-through dial that reveals the mechanics below.

Priced at under SFr5000, equivalent to US$5000, the skeleton dial Carrera Heuer-01 is a large 45mm in diameter, making unwieldy for some. Now the same aesthetic is available on a more manageably sized 43mm model.

While the 43mm case was first introduced late last year, it was not available with the skeleton dial that makes its larger brother such a compelling watch – the styling does bring to mind pricey brands like Richard Mile and Hublot.

The downsized Carrera Heuer-01 may be smaller, but everything else stays the same, from the details of the dial to the movement inside. Visually it’s difficult to distinguish the 43mm model from the 45mm, as both share the same design.

TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 43mm-2

While the 45mm version is available in a plethora of guises ranging from black ceramic to Manchester United livery, the Carrera Heuer-01 43mm is offered in three variants for now: blue, black or brown, with various options for the strap.

The 43mm case is steel, with a ceramic bezel to match the dial colour. But as the case construction is modular, being built out of 12 separate parts, allowing for a degree of mix and match in styling, for instance combining a titanium case band with rose gold lugs.

That degree of variety isn’t yet available on the 43mm model, but going by what’s available with its larger sibling, it’ll will happen.

TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 43mm-3

And the watch is powered by the calibre Heuer-01, a movement produced by TAG Heuer but originally conceived based on the construction of a Seiko chronograph movement, the calibre 6S37.

TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 43mm-1

Price and availability

The Carrera Heuer-01 43mm starts at SFr4850 or S$7100 for the version on a rubber strap. And the models on a steel bracelet or alligator strap are SFr5000 or S$7300.

They will be available starting June 2017 at TAG Heuer retailers and boutiques.


Update February 23, 2017: Price and availability added.

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