Plaza Watch International - - Baselworld Roundup -

The Type 3 trans­ports the hand­less dis­play of the hours, min­utes, sec­onds, and days from the move­ment “through” the dial to end at the sap­phire crys­tal, where it ap­pears to be pro­jected onto the crys­tal like a black screen. Trav­el­ing through the space be­tween the dial and the crys­tal – it “passes” through a fluid that re­fracts light like air, so the in­di­ca­tions look as if they’re dis­played di­rectly on the sap­phire. Run­ning your fin­ger over the sap­phire crys­tal, you know this is not true, as the min­eral’s sur­face re­mains smooth and glossy. Part of the suc­cess of the illusion is that the dis­play is much closer to the ob­server’s eye as when shown on a con­ven­tional dial. The high-con­trast white in­di­ca­tions against the “black” dial seem to be pro­jected, an illusion re­in­forced by the pro­nounced curve of the sap­phire crys­tal. “Sim­plic­ity is the ul­ti­mate so­phis­ti­ca­tion,” said Leonardo Da Vinci, and Ressence founder Benoît Min­tiens seems to have taken this ideal to heart, even though what he has cre­ated seems very com­plex in­deed.

Min­tiens’ orig­i­nal tech­ni­cal so­lu­tions see the time­piece’s in­di­ca­tions and mech­a­nisms mounted in­side the “bub­ble” of sap­phire crys­tal. This pro­pri­etary mod­ule con­tain­ing 28 gears and 57 jew­els is en­closed in an up­per com­part­ment filled with a naph­tha-type liq­uid, which tricks the brain into elim­i­nat­ing the im­pres­sion of depth. 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 con­ven­tion­ally fit­ted into the 44 mm ti­ta­nium case is pro­tected by a Fara­day cage to cancel any ef­fect the mag­netic fields would have on the watch’s tim­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. A true wow-watch. ED

Type 3

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