Few wristwatches can boast the technical and artistic merit of the limited edition Carpe Diem Ressence Type 1 REV, also known as the Grail Watch 1 because it was launched by Revolution founder Wei Koh’s Grail Watch, a new platform for unique, collaborative and substantive releases from independent or artisan-backed brands. Anyone familiar with the wonders of Ressence will recognize that the basis of this colorful, geometric release is the Ressence Type 1 Slim, one of a number of groundbreaking timepieces from founder Benoît Mintiens‘s pioneering Belgian brand. The artful infusion, however, is by designer Alain Silberstein (a former architect and friend of Mintiens), who looked to historic French artist Philippe de Champaigne’s 1646 painting “Vanitas” for inspiration in expressing the passage—and urgency—of time.
This 41.5mm, grade-five titanium wristwatch features a variation of Ressence’s convex mesh dial composed of three “biaxial satellites” (or revolving sub-dials) that tell the hours, day and day of the week. However, Silberstein incorporates meaningful graphic detailing—a petite “wilting” tulip indicates the hours, a small skull is at the center of the running seconds and a yellow triangle points toward the day of the week. By night (or in the dark), blue lume accents offer each element an eerie glow. Together, these attributes address the ephemeral undercurrent of life, time and material possession.
Powering the piece is Ressence’s patented ROCS 1 System and a modified ETA 2892/A self-winding movement unlike any other, that also grants manual winding (and time setting) through a lever on the back of the case. Altogether, 212 components bring this technical creation to life in a case that was slimmed to an 11mm width.
The watch will be available for $24,300 on 1 May exclusively at Grail Watch. It will be limited to 36 pieces, Silberstein’s ode to the concept of Lamed Vav Tzadikim in Judaism, otherwise known as the 36 righteous individuals.
Images courtesy of Ressence