Over the past 10 years, avant-garde brand Ressence has carved out a distinctive niche in the world of haute horlogerie for its signature rotating disk designs. With the coveted 2013 GPHG award and widespread enthusiast recognition under its belt, the brand has set out to celebrate its first decade of production in 2020 with a series of limited edition releases. The first of these is the Ressence Type 1 Slim X, combining subtle custom touches with the core Ressence style for a unique limited edition that only becomes more striking on further inspection.
The 42mm titanium case of the Ressence Type 1 Slim X, shared with the regular production Type 1 Slim, is something of a departure from the brand’s signature pebble-like rounded form. This is Ressence’s (very relatively) entry-level offering, and trades some of the higher priced offerings’ organic smoothness for a touch of retro charm. The overall case shape is classic ‘70s volcano style, with steeply sloping sides and a mirror polished finish. The mirror finish is unusual for titanium, with most brands looking to highlight the rugged nature of the material with an aggressive bead blasted or brushed finish, but it works well here to highlight that metal’s unique darker luster. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Ressence design without a domed sapphire crystal, but once again the execution is less the organic wraparound crystal of the brand’s other lines and more of a vintage style “top hat” execution. The 11mm overall thickness may not be record breaking either, but it’s far from ungainly. While the more vintage-oriented form of the Type 1 Slim X is charming, there is one dramatic Achilles heel to this case. Unlike its oil-filled stablemates, the less exotic case here is rated at only 10 meters of water resistance. With case construction like that, even a light drizzle might send wearers scurrying for cover.
At first glance, the dial of the Ressence Type 1 Slim X looks like a run of the mill design from the brand, with the now-iconic rotating dial format and rounded, organic design language. Upon closer inspection, though, the special touches shine through. The first change to reveal itself is the color, an extremely deep olive green tone on top of the German silver surface that separates itself from common black in changing light. The more dramatic change here, however, is the finishing. Half of the main minutes dial, along with half of the rotating hours subdial are matte finished, while the other half receives an aggressively brushed sunburst pattern. In order to maintain this split visual balance, the seconds subdial is fully matte and the weekdays subdial is fully brushed. The end result is striking and unexpected, with a constantly changing alignment between the two halves that plays well off the central Ressence rotating dial theme. The final special edition touch is more of a misstep. To celebrate the brand’s 10th anniversary, Ressence has replaced the 10 o’clock Arabic numeral on the hours subdial with a marker meant to combine a Roman numeral with a stylized hourglass. In practice, there’s no two ways about it. It reads as an eight even on close inspection, making this a confusing addition at best and an apparent misprint at worst.
Ressence powers the Type 1 Slim X with the heavily customized ETA-based ROCS 1 automatic movement. Featuring a host of changes to accommodate Ressence’s unusual design, including a caseback lever in place of a winding and setting crown, the ROCS 1 compromises on power reserve to achieve the desired rotating effect. Only 36 hours of reserve are on offer here, at a 28,800 bph beat rate.
The olive green calfskin strap of the Ressence Type 1 Slim X helps to emphasize the unique dial finishing on offer here. With minimal stitching and a low visual profile, this strap is allowed to fade into the background and direct visual attention back towards the dial.
With the Type 1 Slim X, Ressence has elevated one of its simplest models with a truly distinctive treatment that demands repeated attention on the wrist. Only 40 examples of the Ressence Type 1 Slim X will be produced, and are available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $21,500. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.