Hands-on with the Ressence Type 8C and Type 3BBB at Watches and Wonders 2022

A couple of days before we left for Geneva, Ressence surprised us all by releasing their sole Watches and Wonders novelty. This was a smart move, as it allowed them to avoid the deluge of press releases, and have the moment they deserved. The watch they released, the Ressence Type 8C, is the simplest Ressence to date, if a Ressence can ever be called “simple.” It’s their most stripped-down, minimal, and, relatively speaking, most affordable. Although we already covered the watch here, visiting Ressence was high on our list to see the Type 8C in person, as well as a handful of other models from the last couple of years we’ve missed.

The Ressence Type 8c on the wrist
Fits great, looks great

And, it did not disappoint. The Type 8C is the kind of watch that brings an immediate smile to your face. Alien to what we expect a watch to look like, its fluid domed form, odd case footprint, and lack of standard hands are a new experience. Broken down to the basics, hour and minute, the dial is extremely clean and easy to read. This is true with all Ressence watches thanks to the unique Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS). The dial layout itself, at any moment, is the time. It’s ever-changing by the second, reconfiguring itself to new positions, providing subtly different designs and experiences.

Crafted out of titanium, the Ressence Type 8C is also light as a feather at 42g, despite all that is there from the automatic movement (heavily modified 2892 base), the ROCS module, etc. Though a watch with such an alternative time-telling concept wouldn’t likely seem to be a daily-wear candidate, that’s exactly what it is designed to be. It’s ergonomic, it’s legible, and somehow, it’s understated. That’s perhaps the most amazing thing about Ressence’s timepieces, despite their engineering and technological sophistication, their distinctive looks, and frankly their price tags, they are incredibly tasteful and reserved.

The Ressence Type 8C on its side
Hello from Geneva!

In addition to the Ressence Type 8C, we got some hand (and wrist) time with the Type 3BBB “triple black” that launched in January. If the Type 8C has a sort of everyday, urban-professional appeal, the Type 3BBB is Ressence’s tactical tool watch (though it’s not actually). A 44mm puck, its oil-filled display breaks the mind. The oil projects the ROCS system to the crystal, makes it distortion-free from side angles, and blurs the gaps between the dial discs. It’s too crisp to be constructed, yet emits no light like something digital. It’s surreal and stunning.

The Ressence Type 3BBB
A living graphic

The “triple black” design, features a black mid-case, black dial, monochrome indices, and a reduced amount of markers, for a more open, cleaner, if less precise, look than the original Type 3. Its inherently sporty and aggressive look is pushed even further by the rubber strap that accompanies it, belying the luxury price point of the watch, which is north of $40k. It’s a watch that immediately made me want to ditch my Geneva attire and get back to black jeans and a well-washed metal band t-shirt, which wasn’t the sensation I got from the various gold and platinum offerings found at the show. It’s almost odd to think of it as luxury at all, in a good sense. It lacks the preciousness, decadence, and occasional pretentiousness, often associated with the category, while still exuding quality, personality, and however you describe the wizardry of its mechanics.

The Ressence Type 3BBB on the wrist
Nothing else like it

We also got some hands-on time with the Type 1 squared, which is far from new but always a pleasure to see. Another watch that surprises you with its daily-wear attitude. Lastly, we checked out the Type 2, which takes Ressence’s engineering insanity to a whole different level. You know how we’re still waiting for hoverboards and cars from the movies we watched as kids? The Type 2 is from those sci-fi universes, yet is real. It’s a cyborg on the wrist that dances to life with a tap of the crystal. Check that one out in the video.

Ressence Type 1 Sq on the wrist
I could see wearing this everyday

We often think of technology as leading to cheaper and more disposable goods. But, with Ressence it’s quite the opposite. It’s luxury through technology. Watches that are lightweight, strange to behold, and hyper-modern in aesthetic. The magic is all underneath the dial, but rather than being finely-finished German silver or gold, is micro-engineered parts from bearings to magnets to baffles. Truly a unique experience. Ressence

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Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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