We’re very excited to show you all our latest collaboration. Sometimes when you put a watch on your wrist and look down, you know immediately that something special is staring back at you. This is the Ressence Type 1H Limited Edition For HODINKEE and it’s a true first in a number of important ways.
What Is It?
For those of you who have been following Ressence for years (on HODINKEE and elsewhere), there’s a lot about the Type 1H that probably looks familiar. But for those of you new to Ressence, here’s a bit of a primer.
Instead of using hands to display the time on static scales like nearly every other wristwatch ever made, Ressence utilizes an orbital display powered by a proprietary planetary gear train system called the ROCS (Ressence Orbital Convex System, in case you were wondering). The dial is a set of nested discs that move in concert, meaning the dial looks completely different at each moment of the day. You can get a sense of what that motion looks and feels like in the video above.
Usually, the effect of this is that the large domed crystal and bold dial give the impression of a very graphic time display – it almost looks as if the markings for the hours, minutes, seconds, and the day of the week are painted right there on the surface of the crystal (something even truer with Ressence’s Type 3 and its oil-filled display).
But the Type 1H goes for a totally different look altogether, and one never seen before. The convex dial discs are made of solid German silver and they have been sandblasted and skeletonized to reveal the mechanics underneath. The edges of the discs have been sharply beveled, outlining the openings with just a bit of shine. The markings and “hands” are milled and filled with a dark grey SuperLuminova that glows bright green in the dark. The first time you see this thing at night, it’s truly mind blowing.
Through those organic-shaped cut-outs, you get a totally new perspective on the ROCS underneath. There are 27 gears, 40 jewels, and two ball bearings at work, allowing the heavily customized ETA 2824/2 caliber to do its work. The gears have also been rhodium-plated and finished with a circular grain to make them strand out against the dark grey discs. While there’s a certain beauty to the typical Ressence display that hides the mechanism entirely, the poetry of watching the mechanics manipulate this unique display can’t be beat.
In case you want an even closer look at what’s going on, here’s an exploded view of the Type 1H:
What Else Sets It Apart?
The skeletonized German silver dial isn’t the only thing that sets the Type 1H apart though. In fact, the watch was rethought basically from the ground up. For the first time, the Type 1 is being presented in a stainless steel case instead of the usual titanium. This gives the watch a tiny bit more heft on the wrist (though it’s still very light and wearable), and we’re able to achieve an extremely soft, even brushed finish throughout.
With the new material comes a new profile as well. The diameter is 41.5mm instead of 42mm and a full millimeter of height has been shaved off, making the Type 1H just 12mm thick. Instead of the slim wire lugs seen on a typical Type 1, here there are more traditional arched lugs with just the tiniest bevel to give some additional dynamism to the case.
By now you’ve probably noticed something rather unusual: there’s no crown on the Type 1H. And it doesn’t need one. You wind and set the watch using the caseback, which has a textured rim and is simply turned to execute these functions.
There’s a quick-set mechanism for setting the day of the week (turn the caseback clockwise), so you won’t have to spin it too many times should you let the 36-hour power reserve wind down. The Type 1H is self-winding, but in case you need to manually wind it there’s a 30 degree arc where you can feel the winding mechanism engage when turning the caseback counter-clockwise – you simply twist back-and-forth over that section about 20 times to fully charge up the Type 1H.
On the wrist, the Type 1H wears extremely well. It feels much more like a 40mm watch than a 41.5mm watch, and the domed sapphire seems to disappear right into the steel case at the edges. The lack of bezel combined with the depth of the dial gives the watch amazing presence on the wrist, and you get used to the unusual time display after just a few minutes – it’s actually surprising how quickly the orbital time-telling system becomes intuitive. Stylistically, there’s definitely something a bit futuristic about the Type 1H, but the traditional finishes and nods to old-school horology level it out and make the watch very wearable.
Availability And Pricing
As with all HODINKEE limited edition watches, this one comes with a selection of straps for achieving different looks. There are two leather options, one in grey calfskin and one in natural shell cordovan, and both are designed to work with Ressence’s unique (and extremely comfortable) buckle. Finally, there’s a black velcro nylon strap – it might sound strange, but trust us, it’s awesome.
The Ressence Type 1H Limited Edition For HODINKEE is limited to just 20 pieces. Each is individually numbered “XX/20” on the back, just below the Ressence and HODINKEE engravings. It also comes in a special 3D-printed spherical box with the HODINKEE "H" logo on top.
The Type 1H is priced at $22,500 and you can purchase it here.
If you’re located in New York and are seriously interested in purchasing this watch, but would like to see it in the metal first, please email email@example.com. Please note that we will not be holding any watches for in-person viewing.