Hands-On: This Is The Ressence Type 8
It is only about five or six years ago that I was grabbed by the unique style of the Ressence brand. I fancy Ressence’s style and approach so much that I have, in the meantime, not only been able to build up a lot of experience with my own Type 1 Squared but also with the high-end Type 2 and the Type 5 Diver. So it’s a great opportunity that I got the chance to try and compare the new Ressence Type 8 for a week.
Collectors often use the term “entry model” when discussing a lower-priced watch from brand X or brand Y. Often, these watches are recognizable as such and characterized by a steel case with a simpler movement and dial than their higher-end equivalents. But for the Type 8, Ressence took a different approach, as the brand often does. The watches in the Ressence collection are all in the higher price segment, and this is where the usual comments often come in.
Collectors regret that these cool watches are not readily available, especially to the younger collectors, who are unable or unwilling to pay such amounts. But Ressence wouldn’t be Ressence if it curtailed the quality and finishing when creating a simpler model. Therefore, we should not see this Type 8 as an entry watch but still as a typical Ressence. It is the brand’s first model without any complications, and as such, it is also the lowest-price offering! In everything that Benoît Mintiens creates, form and simplicity are paramount, and this applies to Ressence’s complicated models such as the high-end Type 2 and Type 3 as well as this new Type 8.
How does the Ressence Type 8 hold up against its bigger brothers
Immediately upon opening the square box, I notice the familiar and typical Ressence 3D egg, in which all models sleep until they arrive at their new owner. This 3D egg consists of countless Ressence logos and is almost a unique piece of art in itself.
When we look at the finishing of the Grade 5 titanium case, for instance, the Type 8 is absolutely on par with the higher-priced models, but it immediately stands out thanks to its amazing simplicity. Just when you think that a Ressence dial couldn’t be any simpler in terms of design, the Type 8 proves that the fewer elements here win over the more complicated models in the contest for serenity.
What makes the Type 8 so minimalistic?
There are a couple of factors that make the watch look so simple. First, there is hardly any bezel, and the crystal comes close to the edge of the case. Additionally, there are no running seconds, date, or unique day indicators such as we’ve seen on the Type 1 and Type 3. In addition to that, Ressence never puts “Automatic” on its dials, and even the brand name is only represented very discreetly by the small, familiar hand logo. That logo also gives the dials of the other models a calm image, but with the Type 8, it is even more apparent.
The domed sapphire crystal, which we mainly know from the Type 2, looks like it is even more domed than its intelligent brother. And the highly polished Grade 5 titanium case is finished just like the other models. I find it so cool to see that no concessions have been made in quality and finishing. And that can also be said of the caliber. You can read a clear explanation of the caliber of the Type 8 in Dave’s introductory article here.
What do the Ressence dimensions mean in daily life?
The Type 8 is the easiest to use of all Ressence models because it only requires the user to set the time. None of the Ressence models have a traditional crown, and when we turn the watch over, there is not even a fold-out lever anymore as with the Type 1 and 2 models. Instead, you can turn the central part of the back plate back and forth (much like a DJ “scratching” a record) to wind the mainspring a bit. The automatic caliber will take over from there. After that, set the correct time in the same fashion, and off you go. There’s no need to lock anything and no need to worry that the time will become “unset” while wearing the watch because it absolutely won’t.
Something that you should know for sure is that the specified sizes of Ressence watches differ from what you are used to. The cases of the models are really differently built. They have very short lugs or, sometimes, almost no lugs at all. And that’s exactly why Ressence watches seem to wear so much smaller than their dimension suggest. When we look at my Type 1 Squared, which has an official size of just 41mm, and we put this watch next to the 42.9mm Type 8, we see that the Type 8 not only looks smaller, but it also feels smaller on the wrist.
The wearing comfort of the Ressence Type 8 is very similar to that of the Type 2, and the watch has a more comfortable fit than my own Type 1 Squared, which already sits perfectly on the wrist. It simply comes down to the fact that I don’t physically notice the Type 8 when I am wearing it. The watch also slides easily under the cuffs of my shirts, which I find very practical. And since we are almost heading into the holiday season, it is good to know that a Type 8 with its cobalt-blue dial wouldn’t look out of place at all on a woman’s wrist.
People often ask me if I find it easy to read the time on a Ressence watch. The funny thing is, there was actually no adjustment period when I got mine. In truth, I found that it took me longer to get used to the digital readout on my Casio G-Shock. I see a Ressence as a kind of regulator watch, and the fact that the dial rotates — which gives the watch a different dial every time you look at it — does not affect the readability at all. Unfortunately, Ressence is like most independents — not widely available. But if you get a chance to try one, I can only recommend doing so. And if you already have experience with the brand, we’d love to read about it in the comments section.
The Ressence Type 8 retails for CHF 12,500 excluding VAT. You can find a full list of specifications below. For more information, visit the official Ressence website.