Since its inception in 2010, boutique brand Ressence has built a strong corporate identity for its unique planetary dial watch lineup. Essentially every Ressence design to date has shared the same futuristic rounded design language, a graphic and minimal approach to its dials, and a streamlined case form. What Ressence has not really experimented with to date, however, is color. Most of its releases have trended towards muted monochrome colorways, in varying shades of black, gray, white, deep blue, and in one limited instance olive green. That said, as a wave of vibrantly colored dials sweeps through the watch industry, Ressence joins in with its latest release, infusing its sleek Type 1 slim design with a bright and arresting new personality. The new limited edition Ressence Type 1 Slim Red is a bold and effective step outside the brand’s chromatic comfort zone, but one which keeps the spirit of its catalog intact.
Despite being the brand’s (comparatively) entry-level line, the 42mm Grade 5 titanium case of the Type 1 Slim Red still offers Ressence’s smooth, pebble-like approach to case form, with a tall domed sapphire crystal. It’s this smoothness that immediately grabs attention in images thanks to a full mirror polish, which is itself no mean feat as titanium is a relatively difficult metal to evenly polish. The overall form marries Ressence’s rounded organic approach to casemaking with a throwback ‘70s volcano case profile, rendered more unique thanks to the lack of a traditional crown. Instead, the Type 1 Red uses a folding D-ring lever style crown mounted flush against the solid caseback. Despite this crown and the domed crystal, the entire package measures in at a svelte 11mm thick, but water resistance is a dismal 10 meters.
The dial of the Ressence Type 1 Slim Red is undoubtedly the main attraction, reinventing the brand’s trademark orbital dial concept in deep crimson. The domed German silver dial surface gives this color a slightly grainy matte texture in initial images, while adding a touch of depth to an otherwise flat design. With such a bold main color, Ressence opts to forego its usual yellow dial accents in favor of pure white for all the indices and rounded Arabic numerals. The use of a polished border around the hours and minutes indicators (the Type 1 Slim Red uses orbital rotating disks instead of true hands) gives a touch of flash to the look as well. Overall, however, it’s a pure and simple expression of the brand’s core design, allowing the new color to take center stage visually without overcomplicating the layout.
Like previous versions of the Type 1 Slim, the Ressence Type 1 Slim Red uses a heavily modified ETA 2892/A automatic movement. Topped by Ressence’s patented ROCS 1 orbital dial system driven by the minute axle, this 2892/A offers hours, minutes, seconds, and a day of the week complication each mounted on its own planetary disk. Compared to many offerings in this price range, however, the performance of this movement is lackluster, with the torque-hungry and heavy ROCS 1 system reducing the power reserve to an underwhelming 36 hours at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Ressence pairs the watch with a bright red minimalist rubber strap.
By introducing a bold new color and paring back other visual elements, the limited edition Ressence Type 1 Slim Red presents one of the purest and most striking iterations of the brand’s signature aesthetic to date. While not limited to a specific production number, the Ressence Type 1 Slim Red will only remain in production through the end of 2021. The Ressence Type 1 Slim Red is available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of 16,800 CHF. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.