Although a dive watch is by no mean a necessity, it’s still a much-loved accessory for many divers. And now a new model has hit the market: The Ressence Type 5. So how does it stack up? Dive watches must fulfill a number of requirements in order to be useful, not least among them legibility, which is the Ressence Type 5’s main selling point. It was designed specifically, in fact, to be the most legible dive watch on the market. Particular glass components were used in its construction, and the entire housing is filled with oil to eliminate glare.
The glass is also domed, allowing you to read it from any angle. The oil also aids in waterproofness, allowing the designers to use thinner, and thus lighter, glass and metal walls in the housing. This, combined with the titanium construction, means that the watch weighs in at only 87 grams, or 3 ounces. The titanium is also a plus, as it is highly corrosion-resistant.
- Weight: 3 ounces/87 grams
- Case diameter: 46 mm
- Depth rating: 10 ATM ((100 meters or 330 feet)
- Movement: Mechanical, self-winding with 36 hours of power reserve
- Case material: Titanium
- Strap material: leather/nylon (two interchangeable straps included)
In spite of the oil used to ensure waterproofness, however, the watch is only rated to 10 ATM (100 meters or 330 feet), which is less than most watches. While very few divers venture beyond 300 feet, it’s one thing to be water resistant to 10 ATM when the watch is brand new and kept immobile, and quite another to maintain that waterproofness while in motion and a few years into the watch’s lifespan, when gaskets and O-rings start to see some wear.
The design of the watch face takes some getting used to. Similar to Oris, Ressence split up the traditional hour- and minute-hand design, and shows the minutes along the edge of the watch face, but the hours in a completely separate, smaller dial nestled inside the minute dial. This is a traditional design for dive watches, one that keeps focus on the tracking of minutes, as very few (recreational) dives exceed an hour. The watch face also has a separate dial for tracking temperature, but with only 10 and 40 degrees Celsius marked, you’ll be getting an approximate temperature reading. The rotating bezel is more integrated into the watch case than on most dive watches, making an accidental movement of the bezel unlikely, which is a big plus. The watch does not feature a depth gauge.
Ressence Type 5 Dive Watch
- Innovative design and construction
- Very corrosion resistant
- Quite expensive
- Only rated to 10 ATM
- Reading the time takes some getting used to
- Temperature gauge too small and unspecific to be of real value
- No depth gauge
All in all, the Ressence Type 5 dive watch is interesting and a novel design. The aesthetics will be a divisive point; some will love the look and some will hate it. It has a definite feel of functionality, which is a big plus in my book, and the notion of waterproofing with an oil-filled case is innovative. And finally, the legibility really is unsurpassed by any dive watch I’ve tried. However, the relatively low depth rating of 10 ATM is a drawback, as is the hefty price tag of $35,800. For divers seeking a ‘backup computer’ style watch, this is probably not the best choice. For those seeking a dive watch unlike any other, and with an extra $35,000 to spend, this watch is a great fit.