Though just 10 years old, Belgian watchmaker Ressence has already made its mark with its sleek, inventive designs centred on a planetary time display – which is fun and surprisingly legible – and an ingenious, oil-filled case.
To mark its 10th anniversary, the brand rolled out a quartet of limited-edition “X” series watches, which has just reached its conclusion with the launch of the final instalment, the Type 1 Squared X.
Each of the anniversary watches was based on a standard model, but gently and cleverly tweaked to distinguish them. A recurring theme throughout the quartet is green dial, albeit in different shades, and more notably, quirky technical modifications. So the new Type 1 Squared X is clad in metallic, olive green while having a novel day and night indicator that relies on coloured ceramic ball.
Ressence watches are appealing in a quirky way. Though entirely mechanical, they evoke the liquid-crystal displays of smart watches. Many of the brand’s watches are modern, looking cool but somewhat cold in their black or grey metallic colours. The Type 1 Squared X, however, lightens its tone with the green dial.
And it is made all the more intriguing with its day and night indicator developed with the neuroscientist at Harvard, a string of colourful ceramic ball that Ressence dubs the “Time by Colour” system.
Nevertheless, the Type 1 Squared X has the same downside as other Ressence watches. A consequence being produced by a small and innovative firm that manufactures in Switzerland while not enjoying any economies of scale, the Type 1 Squared X costs US$23,500, a hefty but perhaps acceptable price tag.
“Time by Colour”
The new “Time by Colour” system is based on research done by Professor Christopher Harvey, an Associate Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School.
His work proves that human best recognise time in terms of colours, and not conventional hands. That’s because brain is most reactive to colours associated with the body’s biological clock, for instance the changing colours of sunlight as the sun goes down.
With that in mind, Ressence developed a day and night display made up of ceramic “micro-balls” in four colours that evoke shades of natural light. Each just 0.9 mm in diameter, the ceramic balls move along the grooved track.
Only three colours are displayed at any one time along the narrow aperture, as the display divides the day into three eight-hour segments, each represented by an intuitive palette. For instance, the palette will be dominated by yellow in the morning, and blue at night.
Mechanically, the day and night display is based on the same principle as the other indicators. That means it’s driven by the patented Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS), a planetary display where each sub-dial rotates on its own axis, all the while orbiting the main dial.
The rest of the watch is identical to the standard model, with a titanium case that is 41 mm wide and unlike most other Ressence watches, a thin 11 mm high. Its slimness comes in part from the fact that the Type 1 is not equipped with the brand’s patented the oil-filled time display, and also because it’s powered by ETA 2892, instead of the thicker ETA 2824 found in other models.
Key Facts and Price
Ressence Type 1 Squared X
Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 11 mm
Water resistance: 10 m
Movement: ROCS 1
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, day, day and night indicator
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 36 hours
Strap: Olive green calfskin with pin buckle, additional strap in green rubber
Limited edition: 40 pieces
Availability: Now, direct from Ressence or its retailers
For more, visit Ressencewatches.com.
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