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Hands-On The Ressence Type 3W

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I've said it before and I'm far from alone in the opinion, but no one makes a watch like Ressence. No one. I will always remember the first time I saw a Ressence in person at my second-ever Baselworld. For lack of a better term, Ressence is a game changer, with avant-garde technology perfectly matched by a thoughtful new-age design language that is both remarkably legible and entirely beautiful. Among a series of new releases for SIHH 2019, I couldn't help but be instantly drawn to the new Type 3W, with its bright silvery-white dial and grey textile strap. 

Originally launched at Baselworld in 2013, the Type 3 has evolved into the format and functionality offered the current generation, including this lovely Type 3W. For those unsure of what they are looking at, the Type 3 shows hours (on the sub-dial with the 12 hour makers), minutes (using the large central "hand"), seconds (on the smallest display), day (on the seven segment circular display with two orange segments), oil temperature (on the remaining blue/orange display), and finally date on a ring surrounding the dial. 

All of the displays function as independently rotating discs, so there are no hands and none of the measures ever overlap. Once you know what you're looking for, it is remarkably legible. 

The standard model uses a starkly modern black dial that hides the seams between each of the magnetically controlled rotating discs which are connected to a customized example of ETA's 2824 mechanical movement (seriously, read Jack's piece for more details, linked above). While the original black dial model has a specific charm that is both impactful and mysterious, this new model employs a bright silver-toned dial (not quite white) that presents the exact same functionality in a more industrial and futuristic execution.  

While the Type 3W measures 44mm across, it doesn't feel nearly that large on wrist. Likewise, I wouldn't have guessed its 15mm thickness. Both dimensions are somewhat lessened by the expansive dial design and the concave domed shape of the watch. Essentially a pair of domed sapphire crystals mated to a titanium chassis that also forms the lugs, the total weight is 79 grams and the Type 3W feels great on wrist, with the lighter tone of this variation lending a certain airiness to its charm. 


Priced at CHF 36,500, as much as I like the look of the black dial Type 3, this brighter dial option really hits home for me. The silvery white of the dial feels like a better match for both the styling and the use of the lightly desaturated oranges and blues. Paired with a grey textile strap, the Type 3W has a low-key casual feel that I really enjoy about white dials on a broader level. There is something so stoic about a black dial watch, and the Type 3W presents a gorgeous, easy-wearing, and uniquely appealing presentation of the ingenious engineering and design experience that makes Ressence one of the most exciting small brands on the scene today. 

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