For the most part, avant-garde Swiss mechanical watchmaking comes at a sizeable price. The privilege of wearing something that displays the time in a novel or non-traditional way is often an exclusive one, and while these more experimental designs command a premium, there is still immense interest in these watches outside of the upper echelons of the luxury market. Boutique brand Ressence aims to bridge the gap between its futuristic orbital displays and the more mainstream segments of the luxury watch market with its latest release, delivering a new “entry-level” concept with pricing aimed more in line with some of the largest brands in the industry. The new Ressence Type 8 is a streamlined, distilled expression of the brand’s core design philosophy, delivering what might be its most charming and wearable look to date.
The crownless, 42.9mm-wide Grade 5 titanium case of the Ressence Type 8 distills the sloping, volcano-style form of previous Type 1 and Type 2 designs into a sleek, ultra-minimal disco volante-esque layout. When viewed from the side, everything from the top of the domed sapphire crystal to the ends of the hooded lugs forms a gentle unbroken curve in images. The Type 8’s finishing is similarly clean and focused, split between mirror polishing on the upper surfaces and an intriguing matte blasted finish that begins halfway down the case sides and wraps around to the caseback. While this sandwich-style construction leads to a sharp and attractive blend of finishes in images, it’s not without its drawbacks, as Ressence rates the Type 8 for an abysmal 10 meters of water resistance. Water resistance issues aside, Ressence approaches the Type 8 with a focus on easy wearability, and the 11mm overall thickness should make for a comfortable experience on the wrist. Like other models in the Ressence lineup, the Type 8 moves its winding and setting functions to the caseback, but rather than the folding D-ring design of previous iterations this new model uses a handsomely notched rotating caseback design. Simply turning the caseback in either direction sets the time, while simultaneously winding the mainspring.
While the Ressence Type 8 carries over the orbital mystery dial concept that forms the backbone of the brand’s aesthetic, this new model delivers its simplest and most focused interpretation yet. Ressence forgoes its usual suite of complications here in favor of a simple time-only display, with a central minutes display and a large orbiting satellite hours subdial. Despite the simplified layout, the Ressence Type 8 still carries on the brand’s rounded minimalist design language, with its soft oval engraved indices and blunted needle-style engraved hands. Ressence injects this layout with rich color in images, thanks to a layer of matte cobalt blue atop the convex titanium dial surface.
Ressence powers the Type 8 with the ETA 2892-A2 based ROCS 8 automatic movement. The ROCS 8 is the latest iteration of the brand’s heavily modified ETA-based platform, with a unique gear train and jeweled ball bearing system that allows the hours subdial to move in a circuit around the dial as the mystery dial-style disk minutes hand makes its rotation. In terms of performance, thanks to the torque-hungry nature of these orbiting components, the ROCS 8 offers a shorter power reserve than its base movement. Ressence rates the ROCS 8 at 36 hours of power reserve, with a 28,800 bph beat rate. Ressence pairs the Type 8 with a suitably minimal navy blue leather strap.
With a focused, refined presentation and a simplified layout, the new Ressence Type 8 brings the brand’s signature look to a new price point while losing none of its charm. The Ressence Type 8 will be available through authorized dealers on March 30, 2022. MSRP for the Ressence Type 8 stands at 12,500 CHF as of press time. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.