By TLex And now for something completely different! This is the TYPE-5, the divers evolution if you will of the RESSENCE family that includes the TYPE-1 and TYPE-3 with their ground-breaking time-reading displays, a signature style of the brand.
Drawing inspiration from humble sea turtle, with its aqua-dynamic shape that allows it to glide effortlessly through the oceans, the TYPE-5 with its seamlessly integrated unidirectional divers bezel uses advanced materials such as Grade-5 Titanium and is designed to meet ISO 6425 standards for a divers watch. It has a total weight of just 87g.
RESSENCE claim that the TYPE-5 is the first mechanical watch to be perfectly readable underwater regardless of the viewing angle thanks to its use of a distinctively unique means of display without the use of traditional hands.
Instead, the hours, seconds and the oil temperature gauge sit in revolving discs, which in turn orbit inside the main disc of the minute display, which itself is continuously revolving - so this patented orbital display system is an integral part of the dial.
This complication is known as the ROCS or Ressence Orbital Convex System. It is a first in the history of watchmaking and employs a specially-modified 2824 automatic caliber that gives the minutes, and hence the base calculation of time, from which is extrapolated all the other temporal indications on the dial.
RESSENCE had always wanted its TYPE-5 to be a dive watch that could hold its own against any other diver on the market. However they chose not to use an over-sized case or thick crystal to achieve this rather filling the ROCS and its 142 components, including the dial in 37.5ml of oil.
From my experience oil-filled dive watches tend to have really extreme depth-ratings. Think Bell & Ross Hydromax with its 11100 meters of water-resistance or the 12000m Sinn UX, so is it a surprise that the TYPE-5 only manages 100m! Well the difference with Type-5 and other oil-filled divers watches is that uses a mechanical movement not a quartz ,which is a world first.
The laws of hydraulics state that a liquid cannot be compressed, so the oil in the TYPE-5 compensates for pressure underwater. It also keeps all components constantly lubricated. And since they are suspended in a liquid, they are lighter and hence require less power to move, which in turn improves time-keeping.
Another advantage of using of oil, crucial to the success of a dive watch is that it cancels out what is known as Total Internal Reflection. Typically, when underwater, a traditional dive watch needs to be viewed straight on in order to be read properly - otherwise refraction turns the glass into a mirror. But not with an oil-filled watch: this gives it complete legibility whatever the angle of view.
The TYPE-5’s internal architecture comprises two halves - the upper chamber, comprising the ROCS 5, filled with oil; and a lower, dry chamber containing the movement, divided from the upper by way of a Grade-5 Titanium, hermetically-sealed membrane.
To transmit the primary minute information from the movement to the ROCS, the TYPE-5 ingeniously uses connected micro magnets - while a number of protective measures ensure the magnetic fields these create do no harm to the regulator.
It is another nod to TYPE-5’s inspiration of the sea turtle: much like the watch uses the natural phenomena that are magnetic fields to move, so sea turtles use them to find their way through the oceans.
The TYPE 5 cleverly compensates the use of oil, as its volume in the watch will fluctuate with temperature. The watch is therefore fitted with a system of seven small bellows. These compress when, with rising temperature, the oil volume increases, or expand if the temperature drops and the volume decreases –
the result perfectly stabilizes the fit of the oil within the watch. The system is directly connected to the oil temperature gauge on the dial - so the TYPE-5 owner can see a representation of the bellows capacity in action.
The TYPE-5 has no crown - rather, the caseback is used both for winding and setting the time of the watch. But, to ensure maximum water-resistance, a new case-back has been specially developed for the TYPE-5. Dubbed the Ressence Compression Lock System, or RCLS, it has a system for the locking and compression of the gasket, with two positions, ‘lock’ and ‘set’.
The TYPE-5 comes in two versions: the TYPE-5B, black dial and polished/satin Titanium finish. –TYPE-5BB all-black with a black DLC coating. It price is, wait for it – 31500€!!!
I applaud Ressence for daring to do something so different; however I’m not entirely convinced that this a proper dive watch based purely on its 100 meters of WR. Nevertheless, it is an elegantly and inventively designed piece of kit but there’s no way I’d shell out that much for one, sorry!