Ressence was founded in 2009 to realise the design vision of his founder, the Belgian industrial designer Benoit Mintiens, and develop a new watch concept characterised by a bold interpretation of what has always been considered as a dogma is watchmaking, the hands of the dial. A watch without real hands.
In the Ressence timepieces, what appear at first glance to be "hands" are in fact markings on orbiting discs, or, more accurately, rotating discs within discs. Each of the hour, second and day indication discs rotates on their own axis, while simultaneously rotating 360° every 60 minutes inside the complete dial which rotates to display the minutes. A complex module of gears whose mechanism was awarded a patent. The indications are engraved and filled with white Super-LumiNova, glowing green in the dark.
The Type 3 model, presented at BaselWorld 2013, was awarded with the Revelation Watch Prize at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix of last year.
This year, for BaselWorld 2014, Ressence - whose name is the blend of the words renaissance and essence and whose "hand" icon the symbol of Antwerp, where the company is headquartered - will showcase the new Type 1 whose design has been significantly improved compared to the Type 3. It's now more sophisticated and even more minimalist.
No bezel, no crown, no flat surfaces but soft, curved ones. The 42 mm wide and 13 mm thick titanium case is further highlighted by its lugs, which appear to have grown out of the caseband, an effect that was achieved by machining them from the same Grade 5 titanium block as the case, rather than screwing or soldering them to the case.
The Type 1 features an organically curved sapphire crystal flowing right down to the case rather than sitting on top of a bezel. The dial itself is also curved, as are the indication discs within, requiring inclined axes for each disc.
The top sapphire crystal actually follows the curve of the dial and these curves are both complemented and reinforced by a symmetrically curved sapphire crystal on the back. As a result, 80% of the case is made of sapphire crystal making the Type 1 extremely resistant to scratches.
The whole sapphire caseback rotates within a ball-bearing cage and fulfills the functions of the crown. The Type 1 is wound up by turning the case back. Turning the back case in both directions sets the time. The balance of the movement beats at 28,800 vph while the power reserve is 38 hours.
The convex back of the Type 1 is designed so that its centre touches the wrist between the bones. Thanks to the ergonomic design and the light weight (just 75 grams), the Type 1 is a very comfortable watch.
At BaselWorld 2014, the Ressence Type 1 will be available in three different finishes. The Type 1B (B for Black) has a matt black dial with Super Luminova grade A graphs that glow green in the dark. The Type 1W (W for White) has a matt white dial ( sandblasted silver ) with dark grey Super Luminova graphs. The Type 1Ch (Ch for Champagne) has a metallic sandblasted champagne coloured dial. The index rings are in rhodium and soft polished. The graphs are white and black all in Super Luminova grade A. In Summer 2014 two more versions will enrich the collection, one with a metallic sunray dark grey dial and the other with a silver metallic dial with a classic three dimensional guilloche finish with blued hands.
You can play with the Ressence Type 1 dial and discover its functions at this link.