The Ressence Type 3 transports time from the dial to the crystal. The orbiting indications are bathed in a fluid that refracts light like air, so that the indications appear to be displayed directly onto the sapphire crystal – closer to the eye of the beholder. The high-contrast white indicators against the black dial appear to be projected onto the top crystal as if onto a screen. Type 3 offers a tangible feeling of being able to touch time itself.
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. Refraction bends light when it passes from one material to another, e.g. air-to-glass or glass-to-air. With the fluid-filled dial indications, refraction is greatly minimised, which tricks the brain into seeing the dial in two-dimensions rather than three. A thermal valve automatically adjusts for any expansion or contraction of the fluid.
Discs displaying hours, minutes, seconds and days revolve under the domed sapphire crystal, while the date is read from the perimeter of the dial at 6 o’clock. The indications discs continually revolve, as does the whole dial itself. The face of the watch is constantly changing in the same way that a human face is transformed by each passing emotion.
The dial and indications are curved (radius 125mm) and treated with DLC (diamond-like carbon). All the components are titanium with the exception of the gears. The indications, engraved in the discs are filled with Super-LumiNova (white, grey and orange). The display system has been invented developed and patented by Ressence and comprises 28 gears and 57 jewels (out of 82 jewels in total), three offset bi-axial satellites and an exterior date ring. The upper module also includes a water-resistant seal, a shock absorption system and is totally filled with fluid. A thermostatic valve system allows for any expansion or contraction of the liquid due to the ambient temperature. By virtue of the convex curve of the dial, the angle of the satellite indications is approximately 3° for the hours and 4.75° for the seconds.
No Hands, No Crown
Ressence design is characterised by purity and minimalism. This quest for pared-down design includes the process of dematerialising the timepiece; a process illustrated by the elimination of traditional hands and by the invisible fluid technology used to project the indications. And by removing the crown, the TYPE 3 opens up a whole new chapter in this quest for simplicity. The sapphire case back fulfils the functions of the crown with quadrants on the case back replacing different crown positions. The Type 3 is wound up by turning the case back. To change the date, it is simply necessary to make a longer rotation through 200° in order to arrive at the date quadrant. The hour is set by starting from the neutral position and turning in the direction indicated. A gravitational gearing system allows time setting to be disconnected by simply inverting the watch.