Can you feel it in the air? It’s unmistakable: new watches are coming at a faster and faster clip, as release season swings into full gear ahead of Watches & Wonders next week. If you follow the site closely, you’ve no doubt noticed an uptick in release activity, and it’s only going to get crazier from here. It’s an exciting time for a watch lover because even when you sift through press releases all day as part of your job, you’re inevitably surprised and delighted to hear from a brand that you maybe weren’t expecting a new announcement from, or had just fallen off your radar for one reason or another. All the better if the new release is genuinely exciting, and surprisingly accessible. That was the case for me this week with the new watch from Ressence, the all new Type 8C.
The Type 8 is an entirely new family of watches under the Ressence umbrella, and as can be seen plainly in this first watch in the new line, it was designed to be stripped down and simple with the same sleek ergonomics that have come to define the brand (alongside their unique time-telling format – more on that below). The Type 8C has a titanium case measuring 42.9mm, but as you can see from the photos supplied by Ressence, without lugs it’s likely to wear considerably smaller than the diameter would indicate. Ressence tells us that with the strap, the watch weighs a total of 42 grams, which is quite light indeed, and should make this one easily wearable for many who normally wouldn’t consider a watch of this size.
The Type 8 case has a sandwich style construction and has been finished with both high polished and satin surfaces. You can certainly tell this is a Ressence case just by looking at it – it has an organic, futuristic quality to it that is common to other models. But at the same time it feels like a real step forward for the brand in terms of design. It’s more discreet, and while I wouldn’t describe this as a dress watch by any means, there’s a subtlety to it that might have been lacking in earlier Ressence watches, and at just 11mm thick the Type 8C should slide under just about any cuff you throw at it.
That subtlety is certainly extended to the dial, which is cobalt blue and acts as a venue for Ressence’s ROCS module, just like all of their other watches. This one, though, displays only hours and minutes, and has no text, numerals, calendar functions, or power reserve indicators to clutter the dial. Previous Ressence watches have included a lot more in terms of dial information, which makes for an impressive party trick as the module’s circular indicators rotate around one another, but in this stripped down form, the time-telling is far more intuitive than it’s ever been before. In previous articles I’ve written about the brand, I’ve linked to Ressence demos that show in clear graphics how to tell time on one of their watches, but that hardly seems necessary here: the small subdial points to the correct hour as it rotates through the main dial, and the large hand posted at the center reads the minutes in the traditional way. There are no distractions, and it’s all highly legible.
Amazingly, Ressence still accomplishes this unique feat with a highly modified ETA 2892 movement, coupled with their own module system. Ressence watches are an interesting Rorschach Test for watch people when you get to the discussion about the movement. Some can’t see the logic in spending five figures on a watch that uses a mass produced, off the shelf movements at its core. Others (and I’m admittedly fully in this camp) see the incredible amount of ingenuity that it takes to make that simple, mass produced movement do something kind of extraordinary.
I mentioned up top that the Type 8C is more accessible than other watches in Ressence’s catalog. While it’s still quite expensive, the CHF 12,500 retail price makes this the most affordable Ressence, and it doesn’t appear that they’ve taken any significant shortcuts to keep the price point on the low side. The watch will be available to purchase through the Ressence dealer network on March 30. Ressence