Meet the Watch Brands Who Don’t Want to Tell You the Time
And where the Rolex Submariner is made for divers and the Yacht-Master for…yacht masters, Ressence’s watches are made for the professionally mindful. To understand Ressence’s philosophy, you first have to understand the brand’s watch itself, which features a completely flat dial that rotates completely, taking the etched-on hands along for the ride. The effect is of animation, of a sketch of a watch come to life. Mintiens, an industrial designer, fills the piece with oil to make the look possible.
The idea behind Ressence was to make a watch more natural-looking and legible, inspired by Mintiens’s belief that 2D objects are easier to read than 3D ones. (Imagine if words in a book levitated off the page). In pursuit of that goal, Mintiens wanted to make a watch that felt more “organic.” But the hard lines, 90-degree angles, and the flat dial seen on traditional dials don’t reflect what we see in the natural world. “There’s nothing flat in nature,” Mintiens says. So Mintiens split his watch case in two parts, filling the top half with 35 milliliters of oil. The oil swelling up against the glass crystal creates an optical illusion that makes it appear as if the numerals and indices are projected onto a screen. No matter how you feel about Ressence’s watches, they are a marvel to see in action.
That innovation came with an added benefit, though. “I cannot say when I did the first drawing I thought, ‘I want to do something that makes me more conscious about time,’” he adds. The philosophy was baked in later, a sprinkle of sugar on top of a finished cake, Mintiens admits. The seed of the design naturally sprouted into something with a more philosophical edge: “If you have the idea you can spend time as you can spend money,” Mintiens starts, “then time is an asset.” (Later, he’ll tell me that consuming time is actually like consuming food.) But, he argues, the way we spend those minutes and hours is no longer a conscious act. Making the Ressence watch display time efficiently and smoothly is Mintiens’ way of encouraging us to spend our time in similar fashion.
“You cannot sell that,” he says, referring to his organic-first philosophy. “So you have to wrap it in something more beautiful.”
Urwerk makes science-fiction inspired watches so futuristic that Robert Downey Jr. wore one while playing Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame. While most Iron Man technology is strictly movie magic, the watch is one you or I could buy from Urwerk, assuming you or I have $69,000 laying around. And the brand behind it comes with a sci-fi pedigree. The brand’s very first piece made in 1997, the UR-101, was inspired in part by the Millennium Falcon. The pieces look strange on purpose, an intentional hard right turn away from what tradition-bound watchmakers have been doing for generations. “A lot of watchmakers, they just repeat the old history of watchmaking,” says Felix Baumgartner, Urwerk’s co-founder. Rather than repeat the tried-and-tested, Baumgartner wants to imagine where watchmaking is going.
Source : Cam Wolf Link