Let’s start with who is Ressence and what is the Type 3. Well in the words of the founder and creative mind of the brand Benoît Mintiens, Ressence watches are built on the expertise of yesterday, crafted with today’s technology and are designed for tomorrow. Founded in 2010 Ressence takes a distinctive approach to the craft of contemporary Fine Watchmaking, combining Swiss-made calibres with unmatched self-engineered innovation to reimagining how mechanical watches can function and interact with its user in the modern age.
With its uncluttered dial and interactive time simulator, these unique wrist machines express time in the purest possible way by replacing the conventional hands with rotating discs and further suspending them in fluids to enhance this original concept as the whole watch becomes the Time itself.
Let’s break it down with their newest monochromatic edition – the Ressence Type 3BBB (Black Black Black). Every type 3 Ressence is powered by the brands in-house patent -the ROCS system (Ressence’s Orbital Convex System) that features an ever-changing dial with elements that continually orbit each other, its purpose is a more efficient way of telling time. All information is displayed in a single flat plane, much like words on a piece of paper, making for improved readability unlike the traditional approach of watches where the hands and dial are layered on one another producing an uneven viewing plane. Composed of 215 parts, the gears in the ROCS calculate the hours, day and date, taking only the minute as a reference from the automatic movement.
The other revolutionary element of the Type 3 is its oil-filled dial. A true achievement in fine watchmaking, the Type 3 is designed with a “water drop” effect in order to achieve crystal-clear dial legibility for the wearer, achieved by applying basic scientific principles. Because oil and glass share very similar responses to light refraction, when the space between dial and glass is filled with oil, the eye is tricked into momentarily losing its depth perception. The result is that the watch’s dial seems ever closer, one’s vision of it apparently unimpeded by glass at all.
The Type 3 however did come with its fair share of challenges. One such example was the consideration of immersing the automatic movement itself in oil – an obvious problem given the escapement’s inability to oscillate properly in a viscous fluid. Ressence, therefore, designed a two-chamber system inside the Type 3 to keep the mechanical movement and oil separate. The lower chamber contains the customized automatic movement and the upper chamber is hermetically sealed with the ROCS display module immersed in oil. This then lead to another situation. With the two-chamber system, there is no direct mechanical link between the watch’s movement and the ROCS. To accommodate this, the Type 3 uses a magnetic transmission to tie the modules together. This is done by connecting several micro-magnets to each other and positioning them in both the oil-filled upper chamber and the dry lower chamber; all the while being careful not to let the magnets interfere with the running of the movement. And, in order to compensate for fluctuations in the volume of the oil (depending on temperature), the watch is fitted with a system of seven small bellows that expand and contract depending on the increase and decrease of the oil’s volume. In a charming visual cue, the system is indirectly connected to the temperature gauge on the dial so the user can see a representation of the bellows capacity in action.
Now coming to the aesthetics, with the inherent Ressence crown-free case design and the edge-to-edge sapphire crystal found on both front and back of the watch, the Type 3BBB is 44mm large and 15mm thick. For the first time in the Type 3 range, the Type 3BBB features a polished black DLC-coated titanium case, to match the glossy sapphire, hence the BBB (Black Black Black).
Unlike the previous Type 3’s, for maximum impact, all the colour has been removed from the indicators, leaving only white and light grey to contrast with the black background. For a more minimalist approach, the running seconds indicator has been removed and the SuperLuminova has been changed from blue to green. On the caseback, a similar procedure: the interior of the sapphire has been DLC coated, then engraved with the necessary text, which is painted in high-contrast white.
This shiny, pebble-like Type 3BBB comes on an anthracite ‘honeycomb’ strap and will be produced for just one year, ending on December 31st 2022. A 21st-century timepiece that truly balances simplicity with complexity.
Approximate Price : INR 29,24,904 + taxes (CHF 36’500 + taxes)