Call of the Desert: The Ressence Type 1DXBBy Suan Futt Yeo
Credit is due Ressence for conceiving such a unique and efficient new wrinkle to the art of time display, that nearly a decade after it unveiled its Zero Series watch in 2011, the company’s Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS) of telling time remains as refreshing and dynamic today in an ocean of passivity. Over the years, the ROCS system and Ressence watches have been continuously refined – notably shedding the crown quite early on – and bagging numerous awards along the way. The company’s latest, unveiled at the Dubai Watch Week 2019, is the Ressence Type 1DXB, to mark its partnership with one of the leading luxury retailers in UAE, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.
In a limited edition of 19 pieces, the Type 1DXB (Dubai International?) is instantly distinguishable from the Type 1 Squared on which it is based. An exotic desert theme pervades: the watch face is in geo-correct sand PVD, and steals the show with the beauty and mystique of lattice work that one encounters in Islamic architecture. It’s Ressence delivering an Arabic take on skeleton dials; a most fetching execution, paired with an extremely clever display system. In keeping with the airy impression, the DXB variant is also lighter than regular Type 1, being cased in polished Grade 5 titanium (satin finish in the back) instead of stainless steel.
Contrary to some first impressions, Ressence does not make smartwatches. The company has simply taken the convention of marking time with hands moving over a fixed circle (itself a quantum leap in efficiency over myriad ancient methods) and leapfrogged it by moving it around. ROCS is a fully mechanical planetary gear display module built on top of a mechanical movement, in this case an ETA 2892. The module is driven by the minute axle, which sets the multiple displays (hour, minute, day of the week, running seconds) on orbit around the center. The very dial of the watch is in a state of constant animation; yet time-telling is as clear and unfussed as in a regulator dial watch. There’s no crown to disrupt the sweep of the body line, either; yet more crafty engineering was invested in having watch setting and winding executed via a lever at the back.
Ressence is supposedly a contraction of “Renaissance of the Essential”. That it has, in more ways than one.
Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS) driven by the minute axle of a specially customised cal. 2892; self-winding; 36 hours’ power reserve
41mm polished Grade 5 titanium; 11mm height; double domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating; water resistant to 1 atm
Sand calf leather strap and kaki NATO style strap with polished Grade 5 titanium buckle