This is the wristwatch, reinvented

The pioneering Ressence ‘Type 1 Slim’ in white features a classic-coloured dial, leather strap and titanium case — but is a watch like no other…

Picture a wristwatch. What do you see? Likely a brown leather strap. And black baton hands, with a silver-toned, round-shaped case encircling a bright white dial. It’s the archetypical timepiece — and one that, at first glance, Ressence seems to have realised in kind with its ‘Type 1 Slim’. But snatch a second look, and you’ll see that the Belgian brand’s is no normal timepiece.

Because, while the Type 1 Slim may buckle up like any other watch, the ingenious innovations ticking away inside its titanium case are leading the modern watchmaking revolution. And the dial display, formed of several ever-changing sub-dials continually orbiting around one another, remains one of the most eye-catching, dynamic developments in all of modern horology.

The Type 1 Slim is a slighter, tighter version of Ressence’s original Type 1; a watch that debuted first in 2014 and introduced the brand’s pioneering ‘crown-less’ system to the watchmaking world. It’s a ground-breaking, development — one that allows the watch to be manually set using an ergonomic lever set into the model’s case back. 

And the case itself is a work of well-engineered art. Unlike the original Type 1, this leaner model features a seemingly integrated strap, with unassuming lugs milled from the same block of grade 5 titanium as the case itself. As a result, the ‘Slim’ is all tactile curves and far-reaching domed sapphire glass; a design much more streamlined and slimline than any other Ressence (it measures just 11mm thick).

As such, it differs distinctly from the rest of the watchmaker’s collection. Because the Type 1 — and this thinner version, in particular — manages to balance simplicity and complexity completely; walking the razor-sharp edge between clear, stripped-back time-telling and exciting visual showmanship.   

And the dial is where this mechanical magic happens. The smooth-running face of the Type 1 Slim is an enthralling piece of small-scale engineering; meticulously crafted and completely captivating. This is the Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS), a unique in-house horological unit developed and patented by brand founder Benoît Mintiens, a designer who first dabbled in the watch industry around a decade ago. 

Instead of creating a dial design that mounted its hands, face and subdials on separate levels, Mintiens decided to display every function on the same face; convex discs flush to the dial itself. This way, he ensured that there would be no floating hands, no obstructed indices and no difficulty ever reading the time (lashings of Superluminova help at night, too). And, whether it be seconds or days, each unit of time gets its own dedicated subdial.

On the Type 1 Slim, it takes over one-hundred parts to come seamlessly together to create this single smooth level. This slick movement is driven by the minute axle of a specially-customised, self-winding calibre, and offers a 36-hour power reserve. And, when rendered in white, this model even more comprehensively captures the brand’s intention to make reading a watch like reading ‘the words on a piece of paper’.

But the technical touches — the specific details and micro-components that convene inside the case to create the watch — pale in comparison to the product when it is viewed as a whole. With legibility, usability and wearer experience at its core, this ‘Slim’ model in particular encapsulates the ‘less is more’ philosophy of the brand. It’s less about facts, figures or fine points — and more about the overall feel of the watch.

And its cognac-coloured leather strap certainly does feel good. Supple and smooth, it’s the ideal contrast-stitched, logo-embossed way to secure this trailblazing timepiece to your wrist. Because, while the mid-century ‘Ardillon’ buckle looks classic enough, you’ll find that the brand’s ‘hand’ motif has been engraved on the titanium pin. It’s the final flourish of an incredible watch; and the last instance of how looking closer at a Ressence will proves that these seemingly traditional timepieces are really anything but.  

Ressence ‘Type 1 Slim’

CHF 16'800

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