Ressence and Sotheby’s have announced the winner of their #WatchesAgainstCovid19 competition. Numerous watch enthusiasts designed their own creative interpretations of Ressence’s Type 1 Slim. The winning watch is a highly colourful piece and its designer is an English father-of-two, Yorkshireman Raymond Ramsden.
Throughout the competition, the dial was designed by an array of competitors from around the globe – no less than 466 times. This is an important reason as to why the dial constitutes the most important part of the unique watch. However, Ressence dials are always a real focal point for horology aficionados due to the use of an orbital time display system. That said, for winner Ramsden, the dial is also a way to provide numerous emotional and symbolic meanings to a timepiece – something he achieves through the use of colour.
Chiefly, the pastel blue dial represents medical staff and key workers who are supporting society throughout the pandemic. By contrast, the darker blue on two subdials pay tribute to the planet that we share. Meanwhile, the red hand brand logo symbolises human interaction, as well as the importance of washing hands to limit the spread of COVID-19. The yellow subdial is the sun giving warmth, light and life, while the white subdial is the moon; thus evoking aspirations, romance, and dreams. Finally, the red 19 minute marker is a discreet reference to COVID-19, as a reminder of why the watch exists.
Additionally, Ramsden chose the inscription for the engraving on
the back of the crownless case. The caseback reads: “Ayrton & Fin” – the names of Ramsden’s sons. He hopes it will remind people that “children are the future”.
The winning watch strays from the usual dark design style of Ressence, as the brand’s Founder and CEO Benoît Mintiens acknowledges. “Letting our community have the final say and be part of our project felt like the right thing to do. During the selection process, we discussed the feasibility of the designs with our Swiss manufacturers. We also wanted to create a genuine one-off, so we opted for entries that were far from our own artistic direction. And most importantly, we chose optimistic approaches which would bring a message of hope in the current difficult times.”
Ressence’s manufacture in Switzerland is currently producing the winning pastel blue watch with a matching strap. It will go to auction at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Important Watches sale, which takes place on July 11. Proceeds from the colourful watch will go towards KU Leuven University’s Covid-19 Research Programme in Belgium. The programme aims to research a vaccine, advance detection and find new treatments to fight the virus.