Breakdown: Ressence Type 3

Style By Photo by Ressence VIA
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The Ressence Type 3 ($34,600) is a totally modernistic design, unique in every sense of the word — something very refreshing in today’s horological world of “my watch has more tourbillons than your watch”. The Type 3 indicates time with an interesting take on a regulateur style. The main dial rotates once an hour, with its white Super-LumiNova “hand” indicating minutes. This dial also contains three additional sub-dial indicators for hours, seconds, and day of the week, each rotating on their respective axes and at the same time revolving with the main dial. An additional outer ring rotates to indicate day of the month.

The convex dial is housed in a liquid-filled sapphire dome-shaped crystal containing the module which indicates time, day, and date (there are a whopping 28 gears and 57 jewels in this module alone). The liquid (naphtha) fills the thin gap between dial and crystal, and has a refractive index very close to that of sapphire; this means light hardly bends at all while it passes through, and makes all marks and indications — in white, grey, or orange Super-LumiNova — appear to be on the surface of the sapphire rather than under it.

A slice of titanium separates this hermetically sealed module from the modified ETA 2824 movement used to generate the time — the only connection between movement and display is via micro-magnetic fields. And the singularity of this watch doesn’t stop at its front side. There is no conventional crown. Instead, the winding mechanism is activated by inverting the watch, which engages the gravitational gearing and allows one to wind the watch by rotating the sapphire case back clockwise. Turning the case back through 200 degrees sets the date, and a counter-clockwise twist sets the time.

All of this comes together in a timepiece you need to touch and feel firsthand to truly appreciate. We give you the next best thing in our breakdown above.