Ok. I’ll admit it…in fact I’ll just put it out there for the world to know. At first, I thought it would not happen to me – you know the expression. Then, it became blatantly obvious that there was a little something brewing….I tried to deny it at first, but it was all part of the classic progression that leads to flown blown Basel on the Brain.
For what it’s worth, I have completely given in and thrown in the white flag – I am stricken. It all started with a text from a friend who wanted to know about a watch brand that he’d not heard of. I love getting these messages, because it not only allows me a moment to share my passion with a mutual friend or colleague, but there are many times where I myself learn about something new, or in this case, a new brand. I am a staunch believer in “you learn something new everyday…”. In fact, I love learning about new concepts, ideas, designs, philosophies and such, especially when it applies to the field of Haute Horology. In this particular message the simple question was “have you heard of Ressence?”
Now, I recall the name Ressence from last year’s Basel exhibition, where the Belgian founder and industrial designer, Benoit Mintiens, of Ressence had unveiled an interesting collection of timepieces – at the time, nothing that really captivated me personally. However, after a few inquiries with some of my fellow “stricken” colleagues, I discovered what I will quite frankly say, is my type. First, let me say that I am a happily married guy with a wonderful and, not to brag, gorgeous wife; however, when I found out what the folks at Ressence are about to unveil at this year’s upcoming Basel show, I was convinced…I had finally found my type.
The new Type 3 from Ressence is a watch that I am lusting after….brilliant in its execution, it is a wonder to behold – seeing it in for the first time was like my first time seeing the “Venus D’ Milo”! I immediately thought of my “flame” from last year’s Basel show: the hydro-mechanical wonder from the watch brand HYT, who last year captivated the world (and me) with their award winning H1, an amazing watch that amazed show goers with its innovative use of liquids and a bellows system to display time .
But I digress…that was last year’s flame…this year’s is the Type 3. Limited to 50 pieces total production, the 44mm titanium cased watch has combined the best of minimalism with some very creative engineering. The watch is made up of three elements, or chambers, which each performing a distinctive function in making the idea come to reality…the first section is an upper chamber, which contains the dial and is then filled with a naptha-type liquid – chosen for its unique refractive properties. The refractive index of the liquid is similar to that of sapphire crystal as opposed to air, and results in the dial appearing as two-dimensional, not three…an optical illusion! Also contained in this chamber is a thermostatic valve system to effectively negate the effects of expansion and contraction of the liquid due to fluctuations in temperature. The central chamber, or section, is a 2mm titanium plate which integrates the lugs for the strap. The lower chamber houses the movement, and is sealed and completely separated from the upper chamber/dials. The watch relies on magnetism to transmit the information from the movement to the display! The watch is also notably without crown – in keeping with the pure lines, the winding system in integrated into the caseback – which is also made of sapphire crystal. The “sandwich” construction of the Ressence Type 3 is like a big liquid filled compass, that’s slightly flattened, and just breathtaking – with only 50 examples of this piece making its way from the Ressence factory, it should prove to be a worthy acquisition for the fan of micro-mech.
Here are some specs on the Ressence Type 3:
- FUNCTIONS: Date, Days, Hours, Minutes, Seconds ( 360’’ )
- SYSTEM: Information transmitted from movement to indications by micro-magnetic fields
- CASE: Sapphire crystal and grade 5 titanium
- DIMENSIONS: 44mm x 15mm
- CRYSTALS: Domed sapphire crystals top and bottom with anti-reflective coating on both sides
- MODULE: Patented system invented and developed by Ressence, independent module comprising 28 gears and 57 jewels, Grade 5 titanium plate integrating three eccentric biaxial satellites inclined at 3° and 4,75° with a date ring around the circumference, shock absorber system, module and indications are completely immersed in fluid, a thermal valve compensates for expansion/contraction of the fluid
- MOVEMENT: Automatic winding movement based on calibre 2824-2, 120 components, 25 jewels, power reserve 36 hours, balance frequency 28.800 A/h, visible ring-shape winding rotor
- COMPONENTS: Total: 407 components, module alone: 287 components.
- WEIGHT: 175 grams
- WEIGHT: 175 grams
Yes, I could go on about my Type 3 affair forever, but that would be unfair to my next watch love…which will probably be unveiled in Basel in just about 2 weeks – and then the Type 3 will be nothing but a fond memory, if not anything else.