Wearables

Ressence Type 5 diving watch fights water with oil

Ressence Type 5 diving watch f...
The Ressence Type 5 is filled with oil to resist pressure and improve readability
The Ressence Type 5 is filled with oil to resist pressure and improve readability
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The Ressence Type 5 compared to the reflection on a standard dive watch
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The Ressence Type 5 compared to the reflection on a standard dive watch
The Ressence Type 5 has revolving subdials
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The Ressence Type 5 has revolving subdials
The Ressence Type 5 is water resistant to 10 ATM
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The Ressence Type 5 is water resistant to 10 ATM
The Ressence Type 5 has a rotating back instead of a crown
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The Ressence Type 5 has a rotating back instead of a crown
The Ressence Type 5 has Superluminova indicators
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The Ressence Type 5 has Superluminova indicators
The Ressence Type 5 has a titanium case
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The Ressence Type 5 has a titanium case
The Ressence Type 5 is filled with oil to resist pressure and improve readability
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The Ressence Type 5 is filled with oil to resist pressure and improve readability
The Ressence Type 5 recreational diving watch
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The Ressence Type 5 recreational diving watch
The Ressence Type 5 components
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The Ressence Type 5 components
The Ressence Type 5 is designed to be smaller and lighter than conventional mechanical dive watches
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The Ressence Type 5 is designed to be smaller and lighter than conventional mechanical dive watches
The Ressence Type 5
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The Ressence Type 5
View gallery - 11 images

Diving watches are notoriously bulky affairs, and it isn't just for looks. The heavy construction and thick crystals are necessary to keep the timepiece from imploding in deep waters. The Ressence Type 5 recreational diving watch takes a different approach by adopting a shape inspired by sea turtles and filling it with oil, which not only makes it more pressure resistant, but also makes it readable underwater from any angle.

If you've ever gone scuba diving, you may have noticed that dive watches are often very difficult to read due to what's called "total internal reflection." Underwater, the refraction in an air-filled space behind watch crystals turn them into mirrors, so to read the time it's necessary to look at the dial straight on. Since keeping one eye on the time is vital for safe diving, it's a common and constant irritation.

By immersing the entire movement and dial in 37.5 ml of oil, the Ressence Type 5 design eliminates the refraction and reflection, so the dial can be read from any angle. In addition, the oil provides a magnifying effect and gives the illusion that the crystal isn't there. It's a solution that's been used for some digital watches, but Ressence says that this is a first for a mechanical watch.

The Ressence Type 5 is water resistant to 10 ATM
The Ressence Type 5 is water resistant to 10 ATM

Another advantage is that since oil isn't compressible, the Type 5 eliminates the need for a heavy case and crystal. The oil also lubricates all the components and suspends the parts, so they're effectively working in zero gravity. This means less power is needed to drive the movement and it's more accurate.

The Type 5 is sealed in a 46 x 15.5 mm titanium grade 5 case rated to 10 ATM with domed, anti-reflective, sapphire crystals front and back. Inside, there are two sealed chambers. The upper one contains the movement and dial and is filled with oil, while the lower one contains the counterweight for the self-winding mechanism. There is no physical connection between the weight and the movement. Instead, micro-magnets transmit the power from the spinning weight to the mainspring. Meanwhile, the fields are engineered to remain close to the magnets, so they don't interfere with the movement.

The 60-jewel Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS) 5 movement is made of 142 components with a 36-hour power reserve, which drives a three-dimensional revolving bridge architecture. There's no crown for setting or winding – Ressence has improved water resistance by using the sapphire case reverse for both functions. When set to "lock" the internal gasket is compressed. Switching it to "set" allows the back to turn, which sets the watch and winds it simultaneously. In addition, the arrangement allows for an ergonomic fit for lefties and righties.

The Ressence Type 5
The Ressence Type 5

In addition, the movement has a compensating bellows system that extends and compresses to counteract the expansion and contraction of the oil in extreme temperatures from minus 5º to 55º C (23º to 131º F).

The convex titanium dial of the Type 5 shows that there's more to it than just oily clockwork. It has a main hand for displaying minutes and three eccentric biaxial subdials for the hours display, a runner display of 90 seconds, and a thermal gauge. The latter is a mechanical gauge that displays a readout of a combination of the oil temperature and that of the wearer's wrist.

The party piece of the Type 5 is that the dials aren't static, but revolve about the main disc, which Ressence claims produces a more intuitive readout. In addition, the indicators are filled with blue and green Superluminova for day and night use.

The Ressence Type 5 is available for €26,250 (US$28,855).

Source: Ressence via A Blog to Watch

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3 comments
kernow
Well thats a spectacular waste of money. 10ATM is the very minimum for a watch to be certified as a dive watch. I don't know any diver who dives with a watch that is not rated at less than 200m (20ATM).
guzmanchinky
Very very cool looking, but that crystal looks SO exposed, like bumping it against anything would scratch it.
Chris Maresca
I agree, 10atm is not really a diving watch. Similar oil-filled diving watches like the Sinn U1 have 100ATM ratings. At ~$4000, it's a bargain compared to this... Perhaps a typo?
As far as scratching the dome, I wouldn't worry. I have a sapphire crystal watch that I wear for everything. It's been dragged through the sand, scrapped on cliffs & concrete, hit by welding & grinding splatter and doesn't have a scratch on it.