Last year, Ressence unveiled its Type-2 e-Crown Concept watch that combined mechanical movement with digital precision. Now, the company is releasing the hybrid timepiece for general sale, so anyone with CHF 42,500 (US$43,000) can have an mechanical/electromechanical automatic wrist watch and begin setting the time by simply tapping the crystal.
Twelve months ago, the Type-2 e-Crown was a concept showing a new hybrid watch that mates a mechanical movement to the e-Crown electromechanical module. That not only mades the watch self-setting, but also conserved power by shutting down the mechanical movement when the watch wasn't being worn.
How the Type-2 works seems a bit mysterious at first because it doesn't have a crown, so there's no way to set it manually. The answer is in the back, where the owner can set the time using a lever. According to Ressence, once set, the watch requires no further attention as the-Crown module keeps time like a conventional quartz timepiece. The e-Crown module adjusts the movement automatically and can even set it to a second time zone using the mode selector or through the mobile app.
The 479-component Type-2 is also designed to be energy self-sufficient. The e-Crown module sips 1.8 joules of energy per day and is powered by photovoltaic cells set behind ten micro-shutters in the watch face. Meanwhile, the movement is self-winding with a 36-hr power reserve. To further save energy, the e-Crown module locks the winding barrel when the watch isn't worn. When the owner puts it back on, a double tap of the crystal makes the e-Crown reset the hands to the correct time – even after three months.
The Type-2's multi-display Ressence Orbital Convex System works with the bespoke automatic, 25-jewel 2892/A caliber and the 87-piece e-Crown module. The convex dial is made of grade 5 titanium anthracite and is PVD-coated. It has three eccentric biaxial subdials set on jewel micro-ball bearings.
This is protected by a 45-mm grade 5 titanium case with a double-domed sapphire crystal and anti-reflective coating. It is water resistant to 10 m (33 ft, 1 ATM) and is secured with a strap and Ardillon buckle.
The Type-2 is available with an anthracite or gray dial. It goes on sale in April.
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