Founded in 2010 by Benoît Mintiens, RESSENCE is a unique horological start-up creating innovative mechanical fine-watches. Benoît had always been attracted to the idea of creating a new kind of watch. Around 2004, a friend presented him with an opportunity to do just that when he asked him to create an original design for a men’s watch featuring as many diamonds as possible. Benoît chose to use diamonds for their functional attributes and in particular their refractive qualities. But while he was working on a prototype, another brand launched a model based on a similar idea to his own, and Benoît’s design was put on hold. His appetite for watch design had been whetted and in 2009 Benoît finished designing his first watch, which included RESSENCE’s now iconic-patented rotating discs. Benoît’s approach to fine-watch making is entirely fresh and undeniably contemporary.
RESSENCE represents an independent way of thinking about fine watch making – no less expertly hand-crafted, but with an industrial design philosophy that seeks to be progressive with a clear, graphic aesthetic that is decidedly 21st century.
RESSENCE’s starting point is the deconstruction of the traditional watch in order to express Time in the purest possible way. Its original concept, summed up by its motto #BEYONDHANDS, is to replace the conventional horological hands with rotating discs for an intuitive reading of the Time.
All watches share the same inimitable DNA. Their sub-dials continually revolve, as does the main disc into which they are set – like moons in orbit around a planet. This means that the watch’s uncluttered dial is ever-changing – as is everything in Time.
Quality and excellence is an imperative as a RESSENCE is the result of years of research and development. Each completed watch undergoes testing in RESSENCE’s headquarters to its own R500H accreditation standards – this implies 500 hours of close examination across six stringent criteria.
Thanks to its freedom to think differently, RESSENCE has already reached international recognition: Among others, Horological Revelation by GPHG in 2013 and Design Star by Watchstars in 2015.
TYPE 3: A GROUND-BREAKING SOLUTION – THE MAGNETIC TRANSMISSION
As the ROCS is physically separated from the rest of the watch – because it is suspended in oil – RESSENCE developed a unique magnetic transmission. Several micro magnets, connected to each other, are positioned inside the oil-filled upper half and the dry lower half. That way the minute information can be transmitted from the specially modified calibre to the ROCS even if the magnets are separated by a titanium grade 5-membrane. The use of super conductors and the provision of a shield fully protect this clever system from any negative effects of magnetism. The RESSENCE TYPE 3 offers a new vision of haute horlogerie – innovation first, free of technical or aesthetic limitations.
AN ERGONOMIC CONSTRUCTION – THE DOUBLE CONVEX SAPPHIRE GLASS CASE
The TYPE 3’s case comprises not one but two curved sapphire crystal glasses connected by a 2mm wide grade 5 titanium band. As a consequence of this curvature, the watch sits only on the middle of the wrist, which, together with the watch’s lightweight character, ensures great comfort for the wearer. Characteristic of RESSENCE design, the lack of a crown also contributes to this exemplary ease of wear. The entire sapphire case-back fulfils the winding and setting functions of the crown.
TYPE 5: NEW DEPTHS IN INNOVATION
This is a world first for a mechanical watch. And it’s been done with good reason. Since the laws of hydraulics state that a liquid cannot be compressed, this oil compensates for pressure underwater. And there are other advantages too: the oil keeps those components constantly lubricated. And since they are suspended in a liquid, they are lighter and hence require less power to move, which in turn improves time-keeping. The result is a watch both more ergonomic and considerably lighter than traditional diver’s pieces too.
NO MIRROR REFLECTION UNDER WATER
There is one more advantage to the use of oil, crucial to the success of a diver’s watch. It cancels out what is known as Total Internal Reflection. Typically, when under the water, a traditional diver’s watch needs to be viewed straight on in order to be read properly – otherwise refraction turns the glass into a mirror. But not with an oil-filled watch: this gives it complete legibility whatever the angle of view. “And isn’t it time for a diving watch to be legible under water?” asks Benoît Mintiens.
The TYPE 5’s internal architecture comprises two halves – the upper chamber, comprising the ROCS 5, filled with oil; and a lower, dry chamber containing the movement, divided from the upper by way of a grade 5 titanium, hermetically-sealed membrane.
To transmit the primary minute information from the movement to the ROCS, the TYPE 5 ingeniously uses connected micro magnets – while a number of protective measures ensure the magnetic fields these create do no harm to the regulator. It is another nod to TYPE 5’s inspiration of the sea turtle: much like the watch uses the natural phenomena that are magnetic fields to move, so sea turtles use them to find their way through the oceans.
TYPE 5 cleverly compensates the use of oil, as its volume in the watch will fluctuate with temperature. The watch is therefore fitted with a system of seven small bellows. These compress when, with rising temperature, the oil volume increases, or expand if the temperature drops and the volume decreases – the result perfectly stabilises the fit of the oil within the watch. The system is directly connected to the oil temperature gauge on the dial – so the TYPE 5 owner can see a representation of the bellows capacity in action.
Like RESSENCE’s other models, the Type 5 has no crown – rather, the case-back is used both for winding and setting the time of the watch. But, to ensure maximum water-resistance, a new case-back has been specially developed for the TYPE 5. Dubbed the Ressence Compression Lock System, or RCLS, it has a system for the locking and compression of the gasket, with two positions, ‘lock’ and ‘set’.
With worldwide recognition and appreciation, Ressence is now in Bahrain exclusively through retailers, Projekt8 – becoming one step closer to watch-aficionados in the country.
For more information:
(00973) 6677 7600
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