Ressence is one of those brands that appear to have completely broken with conventional watchmaking. The Belgian independent watchmaking company is responsible for some of the most unusual watches you will ever lay eyes on. The trippy dial setup, the seemingly absent crown, and even oil-filled chambers are trademark elements of Benoît Mintiens creative mind. The aquatic Ressence Type 5 is perhaps the most extreme take on the Ressence concept, and it now comes in striking yellow. Partnering with the Art In Time Boutique in Monaco, and the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco, Ressence presents the Type 5 AIT which is dedicated to ocean life and the protection of the Pelagos Marine Sanctuary in the waters of the Principality of Monaco.
The case for the Ressence Type 5 AIT is machined from grade 5 titanium and finished to a pebble-like shape. A domed sapphire crystal on both sides covers the two containers, one of which holds the mechanical movement and the other the dial system. This latter one is filled with 3.57ml of oil, to dramatically increase underwater legibility. Lacking a traditional crown, the winding and setting of the watch is done on the caseback. On top, there’s a uni-directional rotating bezel so you can time your dives.
The dial of the Ressence Type 5 AIT is a play on the one found in previous Type 5 models. Distortion-free, even under water thanks to the oil-filled chamber it sits in, the convex dial is made from grade 5 titanium. Time can be read by the hour subdial, marked with the Ressence logo at 12 o’clock, followed by the minute hand that points to the yellow outer track. The two small subdials are for the oil temperature indication, and running indication (90 seconds). The whole system constantly rotates under the domed sapphire crystal.
As with any Ressence, the movement inside is something quite special, even more so with the Type 5. It uses a heavily modified ETA 2824-2 as a base, fitted with the patented ROCS (Ressence Orbital Convex System) in the lower container, connected to the oil-filled upper container through a magnetic transmission. This drives the constantly revolving display, with indications for the hours, minutes, running of the watch (90 seconds) and the oil temperature. A special compensation bellow allows for the oil to expand and contract under temperature changes. This complete system is wound automatically, uses 41 jewels and runs at a frequency of 28.800vph. The power reserve is 36 hours.
The Ressence Type 5 AIT comes with a bright yellow premium rubber strap, that matches the coloured details on the dial. It’s secured to the wrist with Ressence’s typical polished ardillon buckle, in grade 5 titanium. This special edition of 12 unique pieces is divided into 11 pieces exclusively available through Art In Time in Monaco for a price of EUR 35,500. The final piece will be auctioned at a charity event in September 2022 with the proceeds benefitting the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco for the protection of the Pelagos Marine Sanctuary.