Wednesday I met my friend Benoît Mintiens. His new oil-filled Ressence Type 3 watch brings time to the surface. Stunning! How could he fill the watch with oil? What´s the secret behind? I asked the questions, Benoît gave me the answers …
You know the watch already since I presented the Type 3 already several times on the blog. In Basel now I finally got the chance to talk to Benoît Mintiens, the Mastermind behind Ressence and I asked him to explain me his new watch.
Please take some time and listen to our conversation …
The Type 3 has no hands and no crown. Since the case is liquid filled the readability of time and date is just perfect
How does the watch work?
Traditional hands are replaced by convex discs set in a convex dial, providing an abstract representation of pared-down and poetic time. Lines painted on the hours, minutes and seconds discs indicate the time just like traditional hands, but unlike traditional hands, they do not overlap so less space is required between the dial and the crystal.
The Type 3 is a mechanical watch; however the illusion of seeing indications appear on the sapphire crystal as if they were on a computer screen is reinforced by the pronounced curve of the glass and a “water drop” effect that accentuates the black/white contrast of the dial.
A bubble …
The indications and their mechanisms are mounted inside a bubble crafted from extremely tough, anti-reflective sapphire crystal. The complication and indications follow the shape of the crystal. The mechanism (28 gears, 57 jewels) is enclosed in an upper compartment filled with a naphtha-type liquid that has a more similar index of refraction to the sapphire crystal than air does.
A soft-iron Faraday cage protects the movement.
An unbroken hermetic titanium membrane between the upper section housing the complication module and indications and the movement prevents any physical connection, so the information is transmitted magnetically. The automatic winding movement is protected by a soft-iron Faraday cage to minimise the effects of magnetic fields on timing.
The complete sapphire case back rotates and takes the role of the crown. A gravitational gearing system allows the indications to be adjusted separately: with the dials facing up, it is possible to change the time and date; with the back up, the watch can be wound.
And looks good on the wrist!
It is certainly a stunning piece and stands out from the “standard” watch making industry. I am curious if it will finally hit the markets…
One thing I do not fully understand: If the whole movement is protected by a soft-iron (or similar) material to protect against magnetic fields, how can micro magnets create the magnetic contact to the dial? How can the magnets overcome the magnetic shield of the movement? This does not really make sense to me…
I’ll forward Benoit your question
Maybe you get the chance to ask Mr. Mintiens during Baselworld this year?
Beautiful, but at what cost? Is it true they will retail at £34k?
Benoit mentions the price during my interview …
Quite impressive compass watch! Very innovate use of oil, beauty& ingenuity
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