Monochrome Watches
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The Full-Lumed Ressence TYPE 5 L Dive Watch

Already legible underwater from any angle, the TYPE 5 shines brighter than ever.

| By Brice Goulard | 3 min read |

You thought all dive watches were the same round watch topped by a unidirectional bezel with a classic time-only display over a black dial, right? Well, Benoît Mintiens from Ressence is here to prove you wrong. Not all dive watches need to look like a Submariner or a Seamaster. Not all dive watches need to be classic. While a dive watch needs to respect specific requirements (the ISO 6425 standard), this still leaves room for audacity. And the Ressence TYPE 5, a watch first presented in 2015, certainly breaks the norm with its original display, an oil-filled sealed chamber and, in its latest version, the TYPE 5 L, a fully luminous dial. 

Before we discuss the specificities of this new edition of the Ressence TYPE 5, the L model (L for Lume), let’s rewind a bit and understand why this is such an experimental watch. Born in 2010, Ressence surprised the watch community with its highly original display with two-dimensional rotating discs and a hand-free dial. This contemporary approach of watchmaking, blending industrial design and clever mechanical solutions, began with the Zero Series and continues with the TYPE 1, the brand’s most essential model. In 2013, Ressence released its TYPE 3 with its oil-filled dial, eliminating refraction and enhancing legibility. While testing the water-resistance of the TYPE 3, an idea surfaced. This oil-filled dial was actually eliminating one of the main problems of dive watches underwater: refraction – see here for an example.

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The Ressence TYPE 5 uses the properties of an oil-filled dial to create a highly practical display for underwater conditions. This, however, does come with technical challenges. Oil-filled watches have existed in the past but were quartz-driven. Being mechanical, this Ressence needs to protect its movement from both water and oil, and this watch relies on a complex construction with two separate sealed chambers – the upper one filled with oil, the lower one comprising the ETA 2824-based movement. How are these two elements connected? How is the movement connected to the upper ROCS display module? The solution is a magnetic transmission.

The TYPE 5 is more than just a concept watch; it is a genuine diver meeting the ISO 6425 standard. It is 100m water-resistant, passes tests of magnetic and shock resilience, and features a graduated 60-minute unidirectional bezel – the latter is oddly positioned, almost at a vertical angle, but still performs what it is meant to do. To guarantee water-tightness, the rotating caseback (there’s no crown) deploys the Ressence Compression Lock System (RCLS), a mechanism which enables wearers to lock the compression gasket for waterproofing. Made of grade 5 titanium, framed by two domed sapphire crystals, the Ressence Type 5 measures 46mm in diameter but, as I’ve experienced in the past, wears much smaller on the wrist.

New for 2024, in line with the current trend, the brand gives us the Ressence TYPE 5 L, with a fully luminous dial. To guarantee enough contrast during the day, all the indications on the light grey dial are white or yellow, including the central minutes, the hours, the running indicator and the oil temp. Of course, the magic happens at night, as all negative space of the dial is coated with green-emitting Grade A Super-LumiNova, leaving all tracks in dark grey.

Worn on a grey fabric strap with yellow leather lining and delivered with an additional blue rubber strap, the Ressence TYPE 5 L Luminous joins the existing TYPE 5 Night Blue and Black Black and is priced at CHF 34,500 (excl. taxes). For more details, please visit

1 response

  1. Interesting and very distinctive watch, but I can’t see it (literally) working as a diver’s watch – too much lume on the dial making it hard to pick out the “hands” against the background. In the dark and in turbid water, the difference in colour of the lume won’t be very visible – in my view it would have been far better to have areas of un-lumed black background to give more contrast.

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