Ressence Introduces the Type 3MC Unique Piece

In glorious red for charity.

Just months after a one-off Ressence was sold at auction to benefit the medical research department of a Belgian university, the brand has announced another philanthropic wristwatch, this time in association with Art in Time, a watch retailer in Monaco owned by Chopard.

A unique piece Type 3MC is remarkably red – the primary colour of the Monegasque flag – elevating the sleek, contemporary style of Ressence to a striking new level.

Initial thoughts

With part of the proceeds going to the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, a charity dedicated to ecological and social issues, the Type 3MC is a departure from the usually low-key look of the brand, as seen on the recent olive green Type 1 for instance. The red makes the rest of the dial less obvious, but there are other, more subtle colours, including the off-white markings and hands as well as orange and pale blue.

Already an extremely impressive watch in design, concept, and execution, the Type 3MC will appeal to anyone who finds the standard versions too plain. And the fact that is a unique piece to benefit a good cause helps in accepting the price, which is steep, not to the the point of being exorbitant, but steep nonetheless.

Two in one

Colours aside, the Type 3MC has all of the standard Ressence tech, including a dial capsule filled with oil that refracts light, resulting in the optical illusion that of the dial being printed on the underside of the crystal.

The oil also serves as a lubricant for the time-display mechanism, which is a module. The movement is made up of two discrete sections, an upper display module filled with oil, and below the conventional base movement, which is an ETA 2824.

Most intriguingly, there is no physical connection between the two sections. Instead, the central axle of the ETA 2824 is attached to a magnet that drives the time-display module via magnetic attraction.

Forms and function

The time display is complex – indicating the time, day, date, and oil temperature – but laid out in a clear, sensible manner. And the entire dial is a planetary display, rotating on its own axis, while each sub-dial is orbital, rotating on its own axis. This patented display is made up of over 200 parts, and is known as the Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS).

Beyond the novel display, some of the information on the dial is also unusual.

Oil temperature at two o’clock, and seconds at four

The oil temperature indicator shows the optimal operating temperature range for the watch, made necessary by the oil with the time-display module. Because the oil expands with increasing temperature, or vice versa with diminishing temperature, the module has tiny, built-in reservoirs that vary the volume of oil with the module according to the temperature, ensuring the display does have excess oil or too little, which might lead to visible air bubbles.

Also different from the norm is the seconds, which is a 360 second indicator, instead of the conventional 60 seconds, and primarily functions as an indicator that the watch is running.

Key Facts and Prices

Ressence Type 3MC

Diameter: 44 mm
Thickness: 15 mm
Material: Titanium
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: ROCS 3.5 (ETA 2824-2 base)
Functions: Hours, minutes, day, date, oil temperature indicator, and runner
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 36 hours

Strap: Red leather with pin buckle

Availability: At Art in Time in Monaco
Limited Edition: Piece unique
Price: €39,900 including taxes

For more, visit


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Frederique Constant Introduces the Highlife Perpetual Calendar

An affordable, integrated-bracelet perpetual.

Long focused on affordable mechanical watches, Frederique Constant continued with its specialty after its acquisition by Japanese watchmaking giant Citizen.

Now the Swiss brand has just revived its bestseller from two decades ago, the Highlife collection, which has been redesigned extensively. It’s a new watch in all but name – the revamped Highlife harks back to the integrated-strap of the original, but it is a design very much catered to today’s taste.

The Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture

The new Highlife collection debuts with three models that share the same tonneau-shaped case and integrated bracelet with quick-release pins. The most interesting watch of the trio is the Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, which is affordable despite its in-house movement and styling that’s reminiscent of more expensive watches.

The other two models in the line up are simple automatics: one is time-only with an “Open Heart” dial revealing the balance wheel, and the other is a COSC-certified three-hander with date.

Highlife Automatic COSC

The Highlife Heart Beat

Initial thoughts

The Highlife manages to translate the look of high-end luxury-sports watches into an affordable watch by keeping a few design elements and simplifying everything. It is unavoidably derivative in style, but competently designed.

So the 41 mm case is a simple affair with simple lines and surfaces, but dressed up with a polished, domed bezel. However, it avoids looking too plain even with the time-only base model thanks to the stamped globe pattern on the dial.

Though least obvious because of the calendar sub-dials, the globe pattern works best on the perpetual calendar, giving the complication a more contemporary look despite the traditional layout. The globe also gives the dial a sense of order; the calendar registers are contained within, while the outer section of the dial is preserved for large hands and luminous indices.

Priced at a little over US$9,000 on a steel bracelet, the Highlife Perpetual Calendar offers strong value, especially given the complication and design.

Budget luxury

Frederique Constant describes that the integrated bracelet as a feature for comfort, as a lug-less case better fits a wider variety of wrists. The fact that integrated-bracelet sports watches are current in vogue surely does not hurt either.

Nevertheless, the downside of such bracelet attachments has always been the difficulty in replacing the bracelet or strap, but this has been eliminated with a fuss-free, quick-release mechanism.

While the quick-release feature is often found in higher end watches, it often relies on proprietary locking systems. Frederique Constant has instead opted for the simplest solution, a spring bar featuring a built-in tab, which is just as effective and helps maintain affordability.

Inside is the in-house cal. FC-775. Introduced in 2016, the FC-775 is the brand’s workhorse movement with the perpetual calendar module on top. The view from the back is decorated enough to avoid looking plain, though it is still simple and clearly an entry-level movement – which is entirely appropriate for the price.

Key Facts and Price

Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture
Ref. FC-775V4NH2B (two tone)
Ref. FC-775N4NH6B (steel, blue dial)
Ref. FC-775S4NH6 (steel, silver dial)

Diameter: 41 mm
Thickness: Unavailable
Material: Steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: FC-775
Functions: Hours, minutes, and perpetual calendar with moon phase
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 38 hours

Strap: Steel bracelet or alligator strap, additional rubber strap with both options

Availability: From Frederique Constant or retailers
Price: Steel on bracelet – US$9,295

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