After six years, the collaboration between watchmaker Ressence and Dubai-based watch retailer Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons is being concluded with a final model, making a trilogy of watches inspired by the geometry and art of Arab culture. Released to coincide with the Seddiqi-hosted Dubai Watch Week, the new Ressence Type 1° DX3 builds on the first two models — the Type 1 DXB Dubai Edition and the Type 1 Slim DX2 — with a desert-inspired color scheme on a geometric mosaic that recalls the unique aesthetic of Arabic and Islamic art.
Each of the three watches has used a different of Ressence’s Type 1 cases. For this edition, it’s the “all-round” with more traditional lugs than the Type 1 Slim seen on the second model. Constructed of brushed grade 5 titanium, it measures 42.7mm in diameter and 11mm thick with a domed sapphire crystal. Like all Ressence watches, it features a crownless design: instead of your typical protruding winder, a fold-out lever sitting flush with the caseback is used for winding and setting the watch, both of which the brand is very insistent you do slowly. The Type 1 case only offers about 10 meters (1 ATM) of water resistance, which won’t let you do much with this, though if you’re in the desert, I imagine dust and sand may be a bigger concern. The watch is paired with a beige rubber strap, which should help in the hotter Arab climes.
The dial of the Ressence Type 1° DX3 brings new features to the trio. While they all feature the mosaic design, the new model offers a more thoughtful approach. The three sub-dials are surrounded by light triangles, making them seem like suns, while the geometric fragments darken the further from the dials you go, with the darkest, almost purple shapes placed equidistant between the dials. Perhaps most strikingly, though, the DX3’s mosaic gets a coating of Super-LumiNova, allowing the show to continue even when the lights go out.
The entire dial rotates as time elapses, and the idea is to have a display of time that is as clear and readable as possible, never minding current analog time display conventions (which suffer from hand overlap and length confusion). In the above lume shot, the time is 10:10:47 on Sunday evening. The medium hand inside the hour-marked sub-dial shows the hour, the large hand that sits outside the sub-dials shows the minutes, and the small hand in the hashed sub-dial shows seconds. The small segmented dial shows the day of the week, with the hollow arcs representing the weekend.
While it’s necessarily hidden behind the caseback, the Ressence Type 1’s movement is an impressive feat that uses a heavily modified ETA 2892 as its base. Ressence engages its patented module, the Ressence Orbital Convex System, with the 2892’s minute axle to drive the entire functionality of the watch. The ROCS 1.3 delivers automatic and hand winding with 36 hours of power reserve at 28,800 vph. Before you complain about the power reserve, I’d suggest you consider the likelihood that any of the target buyers of this watch would be bothered by such a thing.
I’ve always loved Ressence watches, and this is an absolute killer design to round out the trio with Seddiqi. The mosaic, the colors, and the lume all work for me. Ressence watches don’t have universal appeal for obvious reasons, but I think those who like Ressence and what it offers are going to really enjoy this one. The Ressence Type 1° DX3 is priced at CHF 23,600 and limited to 35 pieces. It comes with Ressence’s first book, “Arts & Crafts in Motion.” For more information, please visit the brand’s website.