Ressence and Mr Porter have partnered to create a new limited edition of watches that take advantage of Ressence’s unique satellite time-telling system to create a new look. The partnership is something of a departure for both companies – Mr Porter, as you probably know, is one of the few authorized online retailers for luxury watches, with featured brands including IWC, Zenith, Junghans, Bremont, and Bell & Ross but in 2015 it also began to offer Ressence watches online as well. Mr Porter offers a range of Ressence watches including the types 1,3, and 5 and the partnership stands out from the other brands Mr Porter offers, both in terms of price and in terms of design.
The Type 1 MRP is a variation on the theme of the Ressence Type 1. The case shape is identical, but the combinations of case metals and dial treatments are different from those offered by Ressence. The two models which most closely correspond to the Ressence x Mr Porter limited editions are the Type 1W White, and Type 1W Night Blue, however the Mr Porter versions have unique dial treatments and of course, are going to be offered in very limited numbers. The Type 1PN MRP will be offered with grade 5 titanium case, a blue dial and contrasting silver satellites, while the Type 1PW MRP will be offered in an 18k rose gold case, with a sandblasted white dial.
On the off chance you’re not familiar with the unique mechanical characteristics of Ressence watches, a quick primer: basically, the idea behind Ressence watches (the company was founded by Belgian industrial designer Benoît Mintiens and launched its first watches in 2010) is to do away with conventional hands, in favor of a system of rotating satellite disks which carry indications for the time, as well as other functions depending on the model.
In the Type 1 models the main satellite carrier (which takes up the entire diameter of the case and forms the "dial") rotates once per hour, carrying the minute indication. Three satellite disks carry the hours, seconds, and a day-of-the-week indication, and rotate, respectively, once every 12 hours, once every 60 seconds, and once every 7 days.
The movement of the watch takes as its base an ETA 2824/2, however the base caliber is as you might have guessed extensively modified – so much so that for all intents and purposes it becomes almost a new movement. The additional module for the satellite disk system is called the ROCS 1 module (ROCS stands for Ressence Orbital Convex System). The Type 1 models aren’t oil filled, and so the coupling system between the going train and satellite system is different from that used in the oil filled models however it’s still an additional layer of considerable complexity, and of course offers a lot of the unique aesthetics that make Ressence watches so recognizable.
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One key feature of all Ressence watches is that the satellites always maintain the same orientation, so there is no possibility for confusion in reading off any of the indications. Thus, for instance, the hour satellite always has the stylized hand symbol at the 12:00 position. In a way Ressence watches are a sort of variation on so-called regulator dial watches, in which there is a large, central minutes hand, with the hours in a subdial. There is no conventional crown, and winding and setting are both done via rotation of the caseback, which for the Mr Porter Type 1 PN MRP and Type 1 PW MRP watches, has received an additional textured finish for a better grip for winding and setting. The titanium model has a "perforated" look caseback, while the rose gold model has a clous de Paris pattern.
Ressence has since the beginning of its partnership with Mr Porter been consistently popular, Mr Porter reports. Says Mr Porter Managing Director Toby Bateman, "Since the partnership began in in 2015, Ressence has consistently been a key seller and favorite for our customers and readers."
Ressence founder Benoît Mintiens says, "We (Ressence and Mr Porter) believe in looking ahead and embracing new technologies, but to do so with understatement and refinement … analogue and digital should and can work together."
At launch the Type 1PN MRP in titanium will retail for $20,600 (€17,500/£15,360). The Type 1PW MRP in rose gold will retail for $33,800 (€29,500/£25,850). Both models, as well as the other Ressence watches offered by Mr Porter, can be seen at mrporter.com.
The Mr Porter x Ressence Type 1PN MRP is offered in a grade 5 titanium case with a "night blue" dial; the Type 1PW MRP is offered in a rose gold case, with a sandblasted white dial. Water resistance 10m. Both watches use the ROCS 1 module, driven by the minute hand axis of an ETA 2824/2 base caliber; 36 hour power reserve, running in 40 jewels at 28,800 vph. Sapphire crystal with double antireflective coating; titanium or rose gold pin buckle.