The Ressence Type 1 was introduced in 2014 and has never ceased to evolve. Multiple colours, different materials, even a square version of the crownless case, but always the same unique display positioning itself as the ‘Air-Filled’ collection (contrasting with the oil-filled watches). Earlier this year, the brand introduced a major update with the new Type 1 Slim. Today, the brand, in association with Laurent Picciotto of Chronopassion, introduces the Ressence Type 1 ZZ – a full-black edition, which is hardly surprising given Laurent’s taste in music!
The base: the Type 1 Slim
Modern, avant-garde or futuristic are keywords at Ressence. So does the classic “less is more” motto. While the Type 1 is still to date the most accessible and the most successful model in the brand’s portfolio, the team at Ressence is not really inclined to look at the past. At the SIHH 2019, a new version of this watch debuted, with a newly-shaped case, a thinner profile but still the same unique display – the signature element of all Ressence watches.
The shape has been significantly updated, with a resolutely more modern, ovoid-shaped case with what appears to be an integrated strap. The lugs and case are milled in one action from the same block of grade 5 titanium. In that perspective, it is inspired by the recent Type 2. This new shape doesn’t revolutionise the concept but gives the watch more consistency with the rest of the collection. Also, from a case measuring 42mm in diameter and 13mm thick, the new 42mm Ressence Type 1 Slim has whittled down its waistline to 11mm.
How did Ressence manage to shed 2mm? First, thanks to the new caseback and winding/setting system. Instead of the rotating sapphire crystal (see here), Ressence has now installed the same device found on the Type 1 Squared, meaning that the watch has no crown and the winding and setting mechanism are the caseback itself. Second, the base movement has been changed from an ETA 2824/2 to an ETA 2892/A, which is slightly slimmer too (3.60mm vs. 4.60mm). Altogether, Ressence Type 1 has lost 2mm.
The display and signature dial composed of a series of satellites rotating on 360 degrees didn’t change. The original layout of a large minute disc (activated with the minute axle of the ETA movement) and three satellites for the hours, the seconds and the day of the week has been respected. This system named ROCS (Ressence Orbital Convex System) produces an ever-changing dial as the satellites orbit one another. Information is displayed on a single surface with no hands. Composed of 107 parts, the gears in the ROCS calculate the seconds, hours and day, taking only the minute as a reference from the movement.
At the SIHH 2019, Ressence introduced four versions of this Slim model: Type 1B (black dial), Type 1W (white dial), Type 1N (night-blue dial) and Type 1RS (silver dial). Today, there’s a new one coming.
The Ressence x Chronopassion Type 1 ZZ
Chronopassion is certainly one of the most original watch retailers around, with a strong focus on everything independent and unconventional. Located in Paris, in the early 2010s, it was one of Ressence’s first partners and is still today one of the major retailers of these watches. The new Type 1 ZZ is thus a natural collaboration piece for both parties.
The Ressence Type 1 ZZ takes its name from two inspirations. In this instance, it pays homage to ZZ Top, the famous Texan rock band which Laurent Picciotto is an absolute fan of. ZZ for the rockers, but also for “zwart zwart” which means “black black” in Flemish. Ressence is a Belgian brand with a studio is based in Flanders, in Antwerp more precisely.
For this reason, the new Type 1 ZZ is a full-black model. Every last detail is black. From the matte black DLC-coated grade 5 titanium case, to the matte dark grey PVD dial, all the way through to the indications and inscriptions on the dial. Admittedly, the indications are a glossy black to create more contrast with the base of the dial. Of course, to continue with the dark theme, the strap is black Barenia leather. Altogether, the Ressence Type 1 ZZ is one great furtive-looking piece.
The Type 1 ZZ will be limited to 20 (non-numbered) pieces with an engraving “1 of 20” on the caseback. Retail price is set at EUR 18,500 (incl. taxes). More details at ressence.com and www.chronopassion.com.