Welcome to Always On Time, where we’ll highlight the very best, most interesting, and coolest new watches in the world.
The watch: The Ressence Type 1 Slim HOD for Hodinkee
The single best thing about this watch: it’s the anti-Ressence Ressence
The backstory: Ressence is known for making impossibly sleek watches. The company uses chambers filled with oil to create a completely flat surface that mimics the look of a smart watch, while beneath the surface is a very traditional and rigorous bit of watchmaking. The results are mesmerizing. This new watch, made in partnership with watch site Hodinkee, doesn’t follow that template. Rather than hiding the magic behind inky black oil, the new Ressence Type 1 Slim HOD puts everything out in the open. It looks a little bit like you punctured Ressence’s typical Type 1 and let the oil trickle out. The dial is still made up of a flat arrangement of discs, but it uses a honeycomb design to let the wearer see beneath to the inner mechanics. The effect is not unlike gazing into the innards of a clock tower.
Another interesting touch: Hodinkee and Ressence stripped away the crown, the small windy protrusion that often appears on the right side of a watch. Not only does it make the watch look a smidge sleeker, but it also means it can be worn on either the left or right wrist without fuss.
Is Hodinkee the Virgil Abloh of the watch world? Hodinkee started as a watch blog, but it is making a name as one of the industry’s hottest collaborators. Over the past year, the brand’s worked with John Mayer, Unimatic, Swatch, and Tag Heuer. Now, with Ressence, Hodinkee has linked with its more experimental buddy for something more high-minded than just a watch. In a press release, Hodinkee notes its fascination with Ressence’s desire to rethink the concept of time. Rather than just telling you it’s 1:34 in the afternoon, Ressence asks you to consider what it means, dude, that it’s 1:34, and what might happen at 1:35, 1:36, 1:37 and so on. “[Ressence founder] Benoît Mintiens has chipped away at long-standing horological conventions with a vision toward advancing our understanding of the visual passage of time,” a press release reads. Hodinkee was interested in changing how Ressence reached that goal and stripped the Ressence watch’s most recognizable features away—like that inky dial—to leave us with a no-frills take on the Type 1.
Where and when to buy it: The Hodinkee x Ressence Type 1 Slim HOD ($22,500), limited to 20 pieces, is on sale at Hodinkee now.