Benoît Mintiens, the Mastermind behind Ressence, fulfilled his dream with this new watch. The “Type 3” has no hands and no crown. Since the case is liquid filled the readability is just perfect …
“Alexander, my Ressence ‘Type 3’ brings time to the surface”, Benoît just told me. “My ‘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. My ‘Type 3’ offers a tangible feeling of being able to touch time itself. 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.”
How does the watch work?
Traditional hands are replaced by convex discs set in a convex dial, providing an abstract representation of pared-down and poetic time. Lines painted on the hours, minutes and seconds discs indicate the time just like traditional hands, but unlike traditional hands, they do not overlap so less space is required between the dial and the crystal.
The “Type 3” is a mechanical watch; however the illusion of seeing indications appear on the sapphire crystal as if they were on a computer screen is reinforced by the pronounced curve of the glass and a “water drop” effect that accentuates the black/white contrast of the dial.
A bubble …
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.
A soft-iron Faraday cage protects the movement.
An unbroken hermetic titanium membrane between the upper section housing the complication module and indications and the movement prevents any physical connection, so the information is transmitted magnetically. The automatic winding movement is protected by a soft-iron Faraday cage to minimise the effects of magnetic fields on timing.
The complete sapphire case back rotates and takes the role of the crown. A gravitational gearing system allows the indications to be adjusted separately: with the dials facing up, it is possible to change the time and date; with the back up, the watch can be wound.
Please click on the picture to see all details …
Not the way to introduce a project of this depth. Not photogenic. Still pics make it look about as exciting as a liquid filled compass. With all the time, engineering, money and inventive imagination that went into this timepiece, thinking outside the marketing box is de rigueur. The vision suggests whirling dervish. Maybe in hand it breathes the life the copy speaks of.
Interesting, as Mr. Spock would say.
I’m sure it costs far more than what I would choose to afford but that aside, I do have to wonder if this is a case of yes it can be done, but why?
OK, OK, I know it is aimed at collectors with gazillion dollar budgets of disposable income who are looking for a new novelty and at that, it is rather unique, but it doesn’t look that different from a regular regulator, imho.
I asked Benoit to communicate me the price… Here is what he wrote me:
It will be around 23000 euro ex-VAT.
It will depend per country but that’s about the price range.
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