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Brussels expo 2018 : Up close and personal

brussels expo

I have so much to write about but so little time. I guess most of us face such dilemmas. If only we could buy more time instead of more watches. Actually scratch that.

I compare it to those among us that for the last year have promised on numerous occasions that next week they will start their diet, go to the gym or do ten push-ups which never happened.

But just once in a while, you get that push, that moment where you say, okay, this is it. Some get it when their pants don’t close, others when they just saw this stunning gorgeous, perfectly curved…watch!! Guys, please focus! This is a watch blog!

Anyway, yes today was one of those fun days that made me decide, its time to step up to the plate and share all of the creations I got to see and stuff I got to do today.

Today I attended the Bi-yearly expo put together by , a small dedicated to about 30 high-end watch and jewelers there and while sipping your drink you got to meet the some amazing people face to face.

Hard to admit but the start-your-Sunday early concept is not really my way of spending my weekend, but this was definitely worth the exception.

Lara who was an amazing host, welcomed me a the crack of dawn (9.30am!) to meet my fellow workshop attendees at the stunning Club Van Lotharingen in Brussels.
Together we engaged on this FHH (hautehorlogerie) Academy watchmaking workshop where we tested our patience, our stability and skills in order to take apart an ETA movement (that’s easy, I’ve been breaking stuff since I’m a kid) and then to put humpty dumpty ETA back together again and get its heart ticking again.

About 3-4 hours later, we all succeeded, got our well deserved certificate and made new friends along the way. This is exactly how the watch enthusiast family just grows and remains so much fun.

What better way to celebrate this achievement then with raising a glass together and embarking on the new keen eye we now all posses to look at more tik-tocks.
Sometimes size doesn’t matter. The fact that there were ‘only’ thirty stands, did not take away from its beauty. Besides meeting awesome people and catching up with friends. There he was, standing just in front of his booth wearing and holding his very own creation was none other than the Belgian born, down to earth genius Benoit Mintiens aka
Benoit chats with everyone with passion and a great story to tell like a well oiled watch. He tells the tale of taking everything out of an ETA movement and using just the body to create his dream. Besides that, the rest is all made in Switzerland with exception of the strap. Though I personally would like to see a nicer strap and clasp for a watch of such high end but am happy and proud its Belgian. The buckle is a serious reminder of an applewatch, but I am not sure who came first.
I am the first to admit that Belgians do have better strap manufacturers. Benoit, hit me up if you need help with that, the rest of your creation you got down pat!
Harvard claims that Ressence has an innovative way of seeing time to the untrained eye which is faster than telling time on any other watch.
This seems to have partial reasoning due to the 3 dimensional architecture used. Benoit talks about this research done by Harvard and can be proud that his concept was chosen for their research.

I claim that Benoit has brought watchmaking to a new level. The various models possessing between 212 and 387 components each have this special design and as with each new model, he was able to push himself and the design forward to a new level.

Being a diver myself, I have a few watches that get to go down deep with me. However Ressence type 5 does claim to be the first mechanical watch to be perfectly readable underwater regardless of the viewing angle. I don’t know if Benoit really wants me to take it down for the test. Not because it won’t be readable, I am sure it will be, its design and domes anti reflective sapphire crystal filled with oil is perfect reason to make it legible.
But if you are so proud of being legible under water, then it should have catered more to the divers needs and marketed more as such.
We use our bezels for oxygen timing and we also don’t want to risk this little dude to get knocked around on a dive.
But all in all, it was still pretty awesome hearing all this from the creative mind himself.

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