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