Hodinkee has unveiled their latest limited edition collaboration with Ressence, a brand that many of us here at Worn & Wound have a deep appreciation for. This is actually Hodinkee’s second limited edition with the Belgian independent brand, the first being a limited run of the Type 1 in what has become a traditional grayscale for Hodinkee releases. Now, four years later, we have an all new collaboration that puts the Hodinkee aesthetic to the Type 1 Slim, a watch that takes the completely unique orbital time display layout and places it within a (you guessed it) slim and wearable case shape that allows the dial design to shine and places an emphasis on ergonomics. Let’s take a look at the all new Ressence Type 1 Slim HOD Limited Edition for Hodinkee.
The new Type 1 Slim HOD keeps the skeletonized dial theme from the first collaboration, but adds a honeycomb-like effect that gives the watch an organic look, and makes it stand out against other watches the brand has produced. Ressence watches often appear to be quite tech forward and modernist (a function of the time-telling layout and the case shapes they employ) but this watch feels like a pure design object. Like a classic mid century dress watch with a shaped case, for example, it’s been made this way simply because it looks great.
For those not familiar with Ressence’s orbital time display, what looks complicated and foreign at first is actually quite straightforward once you understand the basic concept behind it. Hours, minutes, and seconds are each divided into their own, isolated, sub-dial, and they rotate around the center of the watch’s dial. It’s a unique way to look at time that places an emphasis on the relationship between the days of the week, hours, and minutes as they advance throughout the day, and after you grasp the idea and make the appropriate mental adjustment, it’s easy to get an accurate reading of the time at a glance. Seeing the watch in motion helps, and Ressence has a helpful module on their website to help you “learn” the process of telling time using their system.
The Type 1 Slim case used here is made from grade 5 titanium, and only 11mm thick, down from the 13mm thick Type 1 that Hodinkee and Ressence teamed up on previously. At 42mm in diameter it’s not a small watch, but the case is dramatically curved to hug the wrist, and the lack of a traditional crown (time is set via a retractable lever on the caseback) helps to make this watch a particularly easy one to wear. Despite the watch’s thin profile, Hodinkee and Ressence have worked to give the dial a real sense of depth, using a mixture of gray tones through each dial “layer” that shifts throughout the day as time passes.
Ressence is not for everyone. The price point of their watches keeps them out of reach for many, but the design is really special, and they are one of a small handful of brands that are genuinely moving the ball forward and doing something unique in the space. The new Type 1 Slim HOD was made in an edition of just 20 numbered pieces with a retail price of $22,500. After going on sale via the Hodinkee Shop yesterday, they’ve sold out of the entire run, but if you’re a curious watch enthusiast (is there any other kind?) you can find more information here.