Ressence really is in a class of its own on the watchmaking scene (even on the creative indie scene). Born in 2010, the brand redefined the way a mechanical watch functions, to the point of creating an unprecedented display and an electronic crown. For its 10th anniversary, Ressence has already unveiled several special edition watches, such as this one. The latest in line is a rather unexpected but truly cool collaboration with Automobili Amos, resulting in a sportscar-inspired limited edition based on the brand’s unusual aquatic/sports watch. Let’s have a look at the Ressence Type 5X.
A collab with Automobili Amos
As they say, when it comes to cars, Italians do it better. Behind Automobili Amos is Eugenio Amos, an Italian collector, entrepreneur and above all, a passionate man. If you look at what the industry refers to as “youngtimers”, the most emblematic car coming out of Italia is probably the Lancia Delta Integrale. Brutal, not truly reliable (but who cares), demonstrative, turbocharged (of course, this was the 1980s) and developed after a rally legend, the Integrale is today an icon of a generation that recalls the glorious days of Group B.
Eugenio Amos, a child of the 1980s, can’t hide his love for cars and specifically the Delta Integrale. But he decided to make it better, more powerful, even more brutal and way cooler than it already was. The result is the Automobili Amos Lancia Delta Futurista, a two-door version of the Delta built mostly from aluminium and carbon fibre, with an engine boosted to 330bhp and a look that will certainly talk to rally enthusiasts.
The collaboration started in the form of a question when Eugenio Amos came to visit the Ressence studio in Antwerp: “Would it be possible to make a genuine driver watch that has a function related to time and cars?” That was the challenge.
And then comes the turbo
Ressence puts it this way: “If you were around in the 1980s, you’ll remember that no car could be truly cool unless it had a turbo bolted to its engine.” Something that I totally agree with. The word “turbo” at the back of a car, together with multiple exhaust pipes, was enough to make a car cool… What is a turbo? Basically, a turbo forces more air into the engine, increasing power and torque. However, it’s essential to warm up your car and turbos before racing. Allowing the engine to run allows the oil temperature to rise to suitable levels before stepping on the accelerator. The same is true when you finish driving. You can’t just switch the engine off immediately; you need to let it cool down. After racing, the turbos are still significantly hotter than your engine oil temperature. And this is where Ressence enters the show, based on Eugenio’s idea.
Alongside new colours and materials (more on that below), the main specificity of the Ressence Type 5X is to be seen on the bezel. A normal Type 5 is designed to be a dive watch, and thus features a 60-minute unidirectional bezel. The graduations on the bezel of the Type 5X are directly related to the collaboration with Automobili Amos and the functioning of the turbos. The bezel is divided into two distinct parts. The first one is dedicated to the warm-up time of the engine (the first 15min) – the S stands for Start, D for Drive and R for Race – while the other one is dedicated to the cooling-off period of the Turbos (the other 10min segment). The bezel is, of course, still unidirectional and works like a dive watch by pointing the “S” marker or the red triangle in front of the minute hand.
Still a Type 5, with a new style
This new Ressence Type 5X is a mix of signature elements from the 10-year collection and inspirations from the Delta Futurista. First of all, the dark olive-green colour will be the common thread linking all pieces and is used in this new model. Second, the brand has created a dedicated symbol for the collection that is the fusion of an X, or ten in Latin, and an hourglass. You can see it inside the hours sub-dial at 10 o’clock.
Also, the entire graphics of the dial have evolved compared to the classic Type 5. The markers, tracks and numerals have new designs to match the sportscar concept and the Delta Futurista, boasting new colours such as red and yellow. The olive green colour of the dial is softened and darkened, due to the presence of oil in the dial.
Other than these evolutions, the Ressence Type 5X remains true to the original and super-innovative concept, a dive watch allowing divers to read time underwater, without reflections or distortions. The basic idea of Ressence relies on the ROCS, a display module that sits on top of an automatic movement, only connected to each other by the minute axis. With this in mind, the brand has developed a fascinating display module filled with oil (hence no reflections/distortions) and sealed hermetically. The connection between the movement and this module is now magnetic, and a complex compensating bellow system corrects the expansion of oil when the temperature rises – hence the presence of a temperature gauge on the dial.
The case retains its original shape on this Ressence Type 5X. It is made of polished grade 5 titanium and measures 46mm diameter and 15.5mm height – yet the watch wears smaller than the numbers suggest. The dark green rotating caseback is used to wind the automatic movement and to set the time.
Straps and “Levati” module
The Ressence Type 5X is delivered with two straps. The first one is a classic rubber strap, here offered in green. The second, the coolest of the two, is made of the same Alacantara found in the Lancia Futurista and is executed with racing-inspired stitching.
Finally, there’s another accessory included in the box… On the steering wheel of the Lancia Delta Futurista, you find the “levati” button, useful for blinking at those in front of you and inviting them to politely get out of your way (the Italian way). In the case of the Ressence Type 5X, “levati” refers to a rubber accessory that enables the driver to wear his watch on the side of his wrist, for a perfect fit while driving.
Availability & price
The Ressence Type 5X, the second of four watches in the 10th-anniversary collection, is a limited edition of 40 pieces. It will be priced at EUR 34,200 (incl. taxes). More details at ressencewatches.com.