The Ressence Type 5G looks positively unreal

But it is real. Real expensive and real oily

Is it analogue or digital?

Magical, isn’t it? At first you think it might be an electronic screen because of the sheer two-dimensionality of the display. And then, having looked a little longer, because some of the hands don’t seem to make any sense. Well, pick up your jaw off the floor and chew on this: it’s analogue. There’s spinny widgets in there, not flouncey electrons.

It looks as if touching it might cause it to wobble like jelly.

As nice as that might be, no. But there is an element of viscosity to Ressence’s watches. What you’re seeing is the watch hands suspended in oil. This makes them clearly visible up top, but crucially extra-super-legible down in the briny depths, for this watch is being pitched at divers. The hand-wound mechanical movement, which wouldn’t like being immersed in oil, is separated from the gloop by a titanium plate, but exerts its inexorable temporal insistence on them via the witchcraft of magnets.


But that minute hand’s just painted on the dial, surely?

Ah-ha! The whole dial rotates, giving you your minutes, along with a sub-dial for hours. The other two dials are diagnostic – the temperature of the in-watch oil, showing that it’s within its -10C to +40C happy place, and a 90-second ‘running’ hand that’s required for diver safety standards. There’s a subtle rotating bezel on the outside of the watch for measuring your dive time.

Earlier, you mentioned ‘watches’, plural…?

My, what big ears you have, Grandma.

All the better for picking out salient plot points, little girl.

You’re creepy. But also right – Ressence launched its first watch a few years back, and the Type 5 diving watch more recently than that.

But the original 5 had a white-on-black design that, while just the thing for not making mortality-threatening miscalculations under water, wasn’t so desirable for the majority of Ressence afforders who spend a lot more time swanning around at the boat club. Hence, the Type 5G, ‘Grey’, designed to look a little classier. It costs the same: a don’t-forget-this-is-an-engineering-marvel €31,500.