Ressence Type 2 e-Crown

Can A Watch Be Smart And Mechanical? An Evaluation Of The Ressence Type 2 e-Crown

“The best way to envision the future of fine-watchmaking is by creating it.” Benoît Mintiens, Ressence founder and creative mind.

By Sophie Furley

Most mechanical watch lovers will still check the time on their phones if they need to know the exact time. Running for a train, meeting a client, or simply timing pasta, most of us look to our phones more than our mechanical watches.

But what if you could have a mechanical timepiece that you could rely on just like your phone? This is the question that Ressence’s Benôit Mintiens asked himself, and one for which he has found an ingenious solution.

The Birth Of The e-Crown

Ressence’s e-Crown® automatically sets and adjusts the time, so it is as precise as a smartphone. The user first manually sets the precise time using a clever lever positioned on the caseback. Then, a double-tap of the fingers on the sapphire crystal registers the time in the e-Crown as the reference time. At least once a day, the e-Crown will check if the mechanical movement is on time, and if not, it will adjust accordingly so the owner can absolutely trust the displayed time.

If the watch is taken off the wrist, the movement will go into sleep mode due to a mechanism that blocks the barrel and stops the e-Crown module. When the owner puts the watch back on, a simple double-tap on the crystal wakes up the e-Crown, restarts the barrel, and automatically adjusts the time. This works even after weeks of inactivity.

What Does The e-Crown Look Like?

The e-Crown is an electro-mechanical unit comprised of 87 components. It is extremely thin, at just 0.25mm thick, and sits between the brand’s famous ROCS display module (on the top) and the movement (on the bottom). It is also solar-powered thanks to photovoltaic cells hidden behind 10 micro-shutters on the dial.

The Ultimate Travel Watch

In addition to automatically setting and adjusting the time, the Ressence Type 2 e-Crown can be connected to an app via Bluetooth. This e-Crown app offers a scroll-down list of cities around the world, allowing the traveling user to choose their destination city. The e-Crown will then automatically set the new time. It’s an extremely practical function that is child’s play to operate.

Other Tech Specs Of The Ressence Type 2 E-Crown

The timepiece comes in a 45mm titanium case with a double-domed sapphire crystal. It is powered by the brand’s patented ROCS 2 Ressence Orbital Convex System that is driven by the minute axle of a specially customized 2892/A automatic caliber with a 36-hour power reserve. The convex dial displays three inclined bi-axial satellites, 10 micro-shutters to let the sunlight in, and indications enhanced with SuperLumiNova. It also includes a selector with four modes: time zone 1, time zone 2, app, and e-Crown off.

The Best Of Both Worlds

By combining a mechanical timepiece with smart-tech, the Ressence Type 2 E-Crown offers the best of both worlds. It was designed with the user experience at the heart of its development, making it a breeze to operate and a real asset for lovers of mechanical wristwatches.

This could well be the beginning of a new direction for the future of mechanical watchmaking, but only time will tell. The Ressence Type 2 e-Crown is priced at 42,500 CHF.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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