Since its founding in 2010, Belgian atelier Ressence has blazed a dramatically different trail from most of its competitors. Its unique oil filled orbital dial aesthetic has become instantly recognizable in the world of haute horlogerie, and to celebrate its first 10 years the brand has partnered with boutique car customizer Automobili Amos to create a playful automotive themed take on the diving focused Type 5 series. The limited edition Ressence Type 5X offers some of the brand’s most distinctive and esoteric features to date, with a graphic dashboard themed presentation that should prove intriguing to gearheads and watch lovers alike.
Based on the standard Type 5 architecture, the case of the Ressence Type 5X follows the same 46mm titanium form. Where the Type 5X sets itself apart, however, is with its unidirectional bezel, which discards the traditional diving scale in favor of what Ressence terms a “driver’s bezel.” Much of the functionality of this driver’s bezel is peculiar to the high-strung Italian powertrain of Automobili Amos’ famous Lancia Delta Futurista, a modern reimagining of the classic Lancia Delta Integrale road and rally cars of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The bezel includes a 15 minute engine warmup scale running from S for “Start” to R for “race,” intended to allow the Lancia’s notoriously finicky turbocharger oiling system to get to optimum temperature before setting off on a rally stage. On the opposite side of the bezel is a 10 minute engine cooldown scale, allowing drivers to time an idling sequence for the Delta Futurista’s engine to allow the oil to continue circulating after hard driving and avoiding the possibility of the intensely hot turbochargers creating separate heavier pockets in the engine oiling system. While a fun concept in theory, there’s no denying that the actual utility of these features is next to nil. Speaking from my own personal experience as a lifelong car enthusiast and occasional classic car rally driver, I have never seen a need for such a timer (that said, my automotive weapons of choice usually run towards high displacement naturally aspirated American V8s, so this may be a need more specific to Lancia turbo engines of the Delta Futurista’s vintage). Outside of the new bezel, the Type 5X also includes a limited edition signed caseback with the emblems of both Ressence and Automobili Amos along with the brand’s unique caseback winding and setting system. Lastly, the Type 5X also adds the detachable Levati rubber accessory. With the Levati accessory attached to the caseback, the Type 5X can be worn comfortably on the side of the wrist for maximum legibility while driving, much like a classic early driver’s watch. Like the standard Type 5, the Type 5x offers 100 meters of water resistance.
The dial of the Ressence Type 5X should feel familiar to fans of the brand, adding a new automotive inspired colorway to the elemental Type 5 design. The main oil filled dial surface is rendered in an extremely dark olive green, appearing nearly black in some images, reflecting the paint color of the Lancia Delta Futurista. Each of the dial’s signature orbiting elements is given a gauge theme, from the tachometer redline scale of the minutes track to the sweep gauge style of the unorthodox 90 second running seconds subdial. The oil temperature indicator is carried over from the standard Type 5, but the subdial here takes on a minimal automotive temperature gauge style. Lastly, the rounded Arabic numerals in the hours subdial take on a vibrant yellow hue, emulating the look of an ’80s Italian performance car dashboard.
Inside the Ressence Type 5X beats the ETA 2824-2 based ROCS 5 automatic movement. While the base may be a relatively commonplace ETA movement, the ROCS 5 is extensively modified. Major changes range from a seven element bellows system for the dial oil, to a hydraulic shock absorber system, a magnetic transmission to transfer power from the gear train to the rotating dial assembly, as well as the orbital dial system itself, and the caseback winding and setting system. Performance remains comparable to a standard ETA 2824-2 despite the extensive rework, with a 36 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate.
Ressence includes a pair of strap options with the Type 5X. The sportier of the pair is a simple rubber strap in dial matching forest green, creating a nicely cohesive overall look. For a more luxe feel, Ressence also includes a tobacco brown strap made from the same Alcantara material as the upholstery inside the Lancia Delta Futurista.
The limited edition Ressence Type 5X is an unorthodox, charismatic celebration of the first ten years of Ressence’s individualist spirit. Only 40 examples of the Ressence Type 5X will be made, available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $36,500. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.