Ressence just released a new limited edition (very limited, actually) version of the Type 5 inspired by motorsports, and it’s quite an interesting deviation for a watch originally designed start to finish for aquatic use.
Specifically, the new watch is the Type 5X, and it’s inspired by not just any car, but the Automobili Amos Lancia Delta Futurista, an extremely successful restomod of the famous Italian car, somewhat comparable to a Singer Porsche. Indeed, the watch was a collaboration with Eugenio Amos, the founder of the company that created the influential car. The question for Ressence and Eugenio was how timekeeping, and therefore watches, could find new use in motorsports. Implicitly, I take this to mean related to the car itself, as opposed to an activity of the car, like setting a lap time, since chronographs, such as TAG Heuer’s Monaco, have long been associated with racing already.
What they came up with was, somewhat fittingly, a conversion of the Type 5’s bezel from a diving bezel to a “driving bezel.” Now the bezel has dedicated markings specifically tailored to the Delta Futurista’s engine. More precisely, the bezel can be rotated to indicate when the car starts, and subsequently when the engine is warm enough for driving and eventually racing.
Conversely, it has a similar function for when the car is stopped, essentially a wrist-mounted turbo timer, which will allow you to safely turn off your quite expensive (roughly $350,000) car without damaging the turbocharger. Of course, this utility is not only very limited, but the settings are actually tailored for this incredibly rare car. It is safe to say, then, that the Type 5X is less about any sort of practical utility and more about a design that invokes thoughts of vintage gauge clusters.
Fortunately, it does that extremely well. The color of the dial is a dark (apparently very, very dark) olive green, matching the Lancia, and the yellow and red markings on the dial are that of the gauge cluster. Even without knowing anything about that particular car, however, it easily evokes images of vintage gauges, particularly since the Type 5 (in general, not just this 5X) has a temperature gauge due to the oil-filled dial side of the watch. You’ll also notice some interesting touches, like a tachometer-esque red area on the minute track and, although not strictly car related, the 10 has been replaced by Ressence’s custom X (Roman numeral 10, if that wasn’t obvious), a symbolic representation of an hourglass.
Ressence’s heavily modified movements are far too complex to explain in this article, but if you want to learn more about how they work, and specifically how this oil-filled Type 5X works (something of an engineering marvel, by the way), you should check out Our Guide to All of Ressence, which goes in-depth with not only all of the watches, but also all of the movements.
It’s a very interesting idea to convert a watch so fundamentallys designed for aquatic environments into something dedicated to vintage motorsports, but then, Ressence has never been short on vision or creativity. Oddly, the 5X really does look like something (albeit something extremely unique) that could have come out in the late ’70s, unlike most Ressences which look very futuristic. The new Type 5X is a very limited edition of 40 and is priced about what you’d expect for a Ressence LE at $36,500. It’s an extraordinary watch for a very special car, but for fans of classic cars in general, not just Lancias, the mechanical marvel that is the Type 5X should be very appealing.