Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
Richard Trinder
10:45 AM 7th July 2020

Ayrton & Fin: Watch For the Future

In April 2020, independent watchmaker Ressence and Sotheby’s launched a competition to design a one-off custom watch based on Ressence’s latest models, the Type 1 Slim. Four hundred and sixty six people entered their designs, with Yorkshireman and proud father-of-two Raymond Ramsden (Ray) ultimately winning the competition.

Ray Ramsden
Ray Ramsden
The winning design - a pastel blue watch signed by Ray – has now been produced by Ressence’s manufacture in Switzerland, and auctioned by Sotheby’s Hong Kong with proceeds from the sale going to support the Covid-19 Research Programme being run by KU Leuven University in Belgium. The aim of the programme is to research a vaccine, advanced detection and new molecular treatments against the virus.

Ray's original design
Ray's original design
Ressence Founder and CEO Benoît Mintiens said: “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.”

Key aspects of Ray's design are:

The main blue colour represents the medical staff, key workers and all the people who, by their work and dedication, supported society through the coronavirus pandemic.
The red hand symbolises human interaction and the importance of washing hands to limit its spread.
The blue subdial is the planet we share.
The yellow subdial is the sun giving warmth, light and life.
The white subdial is the moon: aspirations, romance, and dreams.
The red 19 marker is a discreet reference to the coronavirus.

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”.