Hands-On: Ressence Type 3W

Ressence’s Type 3 with its oil-filled black dial was first released in 2013. It is arguably one of the most visually & technically interesting watches ever made. Not just by Ressence but well and truly across the entire watch industry. To me, the Type 3 is the essential Ressence watch. The watch which says everything you need to know about Ressence in one beautifully designed package. It was therefore a pleasure to hear that the brand has added a new silvery-white member to the Type 3 family, the Type 3W.

Ressence had a lot of new and updated watches to show at this year’s SIHH. Not in the least their future classic – the Type 2 with the e-Crown. This Type 3W was one of the releases that stood out for me. Not just from Ressence’s other releases, but from all the watches we got to taste at SIHH 2019. 

The Ressence dial, for those not familiar with them, takes some getting used to. However, once you know what you’re looking at it’s all kinds of magic. A quick recap of their iconic dial: It shows you the hours, minutes, seconds and oil temperature. In addition, it also shows you the days of the week (dial bottom right, with the weekend in orange) and the actual date on the exterior ring. Looking at the above picture, it reads as 09:51, Wednesday the 27th. And the temperature is just perfect. As per Ressence’s tradition, there are no hands on their watches. The time is displayed by means of rotating discs instead. 

The fact that the piece is oil filled results in that unique Ressence look, where the dial seems to sit ‘in’ the actual sapphire crystal. It seemingly sits right up there against the glass. You can see the big impact the oil has on how the watch looks visually by comparing the oil filled dial side against the non-oil filled back of the watch. See the difference? 

While this is essentially a Type 3 with a silvery-white dial, it really does look and feel like a different watch altogether. The black version has an almost digital vibe to it. In fact I’m sure if you didn’t know any better you would not think the black version is a mechanical wristwatch. The key reason for that digital ‘character’ is surely the black background and also the fact that the black completely hides the grooves between the discs. This results in something visually spectacular and intriguing. 

The 'original' black Type 3 by Ressence

On the silvery white dial of this new Type3W, you can clearly see the lines contouring the invididual disks, the watch reveals just a little bit more than the black dialed version. It loses that digital character a bit. Neither is ‘better’ than the other. I’m just pointing this out as to me they are two visually distinct watches due to this fact. One keeps you completely in the dark, and the other lifts just a little corner of the veil.

The Type 3W looks spectacular. But how does it wear? With most watches, when thinking wearability the size of the case matters a lot. With a watch such as a Type 3, honestly it doesn’t. It is so different that you just have to ignore conventional wisdom for watch sizing. For example, the watch measures 15mm thick. That’s thick for most classic watches, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it for this watch given its smooth aesthetics and rounded edges. It is also a 44mm case, which is gargantuan for a classical watch, but again not that crazy on a Ressence. Look at the picture above. Any standard 44mm would eat my chicken wrist for breakfast. The 44mm Type 3W instead felt right at home. This is a perfectly wearable and gorgeous piece.

Ressence has nailed it yet again. Choosing between the black or the white dial is nearly impossible and a highly personal choice. The black is the original, a visually intriguing piece. The silvery white dial is a fresh take on that, and seems a bit more all-round than the black dial. Whichever you choose, you can’t really go wrong. 

SPECIFICATIONS: 

Functions: Hours, Minutes, Runner (180 Seconds), Week days, Date, Oil Temperature

Movement:

  • Patented ROCS 3 – Ressence Orbital Convex System – driven by the minute axle of a specially customised 2824/2 calibre
  • Caseback winding and time setting
  • Magnetic Transmission
  • Compensating Bellow System for the oil (7 Bellows)
  • Self-winding, 36 hours power reserve
  • 28,800 vibrations per hour
  • 47 jewels, 44 gears

Dial

  • Convex grade 5 titanium dial (125mm radius) with 4 eccentric biaxial satellites
  • inclined at 3° (hours), 4.75° (week days and thermal gauge) and 6.25° (runner)
  • Engraved indications filled with Superluminova

Case

  • Grade 5 titanium
  • Two separate sealed chambers with the upper one filled with 35.7 ml of oil
  • Domed sapphire crystals top and bottom with both sides anti-reflective coating
  • 44mm (diameter) x 15 mm (thickness)
  • 3 ATM water-resistance
Average release price CHF 36.500.

3 thoughts on “Hands-On: Ressence Type 3W

  1. The original Type 3 is the watch that brought Ressence to my attention. They deserve high praise. Great to see them adding a touch of color to the line! Why is it that only the ‘young’ brands still innovate in watchmaking?

  2. Antwaarpe! 🙂 Very curious to see this one, hope to catch them at Basel. It does look very different with the discs now being visible, an entirely new Type 3

    1. They will definitely be at BW again this year, so you should be able to catch a glimpse of this piece no doubt!

      Groetjes vanop ‘de parking’ 😉

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