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"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." - Confucius

Ressence and Sotheby’s are joining forces against the coronavirus and launch a competition to design a unique watch to support a covid-19 research programme. Find out how you can participate! 

I have been a visual-freak since I was 3-4 years old. I have loved to draw, paint and colour. Artistic interests and abilities are part of the family DNA: my sister is an art historian and her daughter (my 4-year-old goddaughter) is super talented too (please see one of her recent ‘artwork’ at the end of the article, for reference 😉 ). So Ressence’s cool initiative resonates very well with me: use your talent to encourage charity. 

Independent watchmaker Ressence teamed up with one of the world’s most prestigious auction houses, Sotheby’s. They launched a competition to design a unique Ressence Type 1 Slim watch, which the manufacture will create and sell at a special Sotheby’s auction for a good cause. 

The original Ressence Type1 Slim, photo credit: Ressence


Download the outline drawings (dial and back) of the Type 1 Slim, here. Use any material of your choice; pencil, felt pen markers, aquarelle or even Photoshop. Follow the few specifications described on the site of the brand in order to make the best of your design. 

Benoît Mintiens – Belgian designer and the founder of Ressence – will select the winning design. The Swiss manufacturer of the brand will create a Type 1 Slim watch based on this design. The name of the winner will be engraved on the back of the unique piece’s case.


The piece will be offered at the Sotheby’s Hong Kong “Important Watches” auction on 11 July. Proceeds from the sale will support the Covid-19 Research Programme at KU Leuven University in Belgium. The aim of their programme is to research a vaccine, advanced detection and new molecular treatments against the virus. You can support them here of course – outside of  the competition.


The drawing competition is open from 28 April (2pm GMT) until 12 May (2pm GMT).

If you feel, you can also share your creation on Instagram with the hashtag #WatchesAgainstCovid19 and the tags @ressence_watches and @SothebysWatches.

Artist at work - my 4 year-old- goddaughter takes the drawing seriously
Quarantine view in Dubai, through the eyes of my-4 year-old goddaughter

UPDATE – 27 May 2020

In the past few weeks, 466 people – children and professional designers – entered the competition and submitted their #WatchAgainstCovid19 designs. A winner has now been chosen by the Instagram watch community among four finalists selected by Ressence founder Benoît Mintiens. The winning design – a pastel blue watch signed by English father-of-two Raymond Ramsden – is now being produced by Ressence’s manufacture in Switzerland, before it goes to the auction. The winner had been asked to provide an inscription for the engraving on the back of the case. Raymond chose “Ayrton & Fin” – the names of his sons – as, in his own words, “the children of the world are the future”. (The renderings of the watch drawing was made by Martin Miškolci.)

Winning Ressence design by Raymond Ramsden, photo credit: Ressence

UPDATE 2 – 11 July 2020

The unique watch inspired by the winning design of the #WatchesAgainstCovid19 competition launched by Ressence sold for 45 500 CHF (375 000 HKD) to an online bidder at the Sotheby’s Hong Kong “Important Watches” auction on 11 July.

Photo credits: Ressence, Loupiosity.com
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