Why Hodinkee’s Latest Collaboration Is Unlike Anything You’ve Seen Before

Shedding light on a remarkable movement.

Hodinkee just announced its latest limited edition watch collaboration. This one is with indie Belgian watch brand Ressence, and it may be one of the most unique timepieces the watch publication has ever put out. The latest watch, the Type 1H, is built on Ressence’s Type 1, but nearly every facet of the watch has been tweaked to Hodinkee’s specifications.

Most notable is the skeletonized silver dial, a first for Ressence and a serious point of focus for Hodinkee. “What makes Ressence so interesting is that it’s not just an aesthetic difference, it’s a totally different way of thinking about time display and mechanical movements,” says Hodinkee managing editor Stephen Pulvirent, referring to Ressence’s unique ROCS system, which tells time with a series of orbiting discs on the dial. “We thought it would be really interesting to have this watch be about those mechanics. So underneath each hand, you can see the wheel that’s driving that hand. As it rotates, you’re getting different glimpses of different parts of the system.”

The dial (or what’s left of it) is made from German silver, with numerals chiseled into the dial itself, each coated with gray Super-LumiNova. It’s a big departure for a brand whose aesthetic is built so strongly on the graphic nature of its dials, but according to Pulvirent, Ressence was incredibly open to experimentation. “Because it’s a small and creative team used to pushing boundaries, when we said we wanted to open up [the dial] and totally expose everything, instead of them saying ‘no, no, no, that’s not what we’re about,’ they said, ‘let’s go for it.’”

Because this is the first time Ressence’s unique movement has been put on display through the front of a watch, Pulvirent notes, the movement was refinished in rhodium to better fit the rest of the watch’s cool and clean industrial look. The case was also fiddled with, with arched stainless steel lugs taking place of the original watch’s titanium wire lugs, and downsized from 42mm to 41.5mm; Hodinkee was also able to shave down the case thickness from 13mm to 12mm. Only 20 versions will be made, and each will cost $22,500.

“We design these limited editions because we want to work with brands we like and respect and help them create things that we know our readers will like,” says Pulvirenti. “Working with a brand like Ressence is really special, and they’ve been supporters of Hodinkee for years,” says Pulvirent. “It’s fantastic to get to sit down as friends and do something like this.”

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