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Introducing the new Ressence Type3 BBB Timepiece

Ressence Enhances the Visual Purity of its New Type3 BBB

Ressence Watch Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry

By selectively draining the color from the dial, Ressence has turned its Type3 BBB into an even more striking piece of design—a large drop of black ink that sits on your wrist and intrigues you as you stare into its depths. That effect was exactly what made the Type 3 such a groundbreaking (and award-winning) watch when it was first introduced. The genius of the design is that by enclosing the brand’s patented, hands-free display in an oil-filled capsule, the watch eliminated the visual distinction between dial and crystal. The watch seems at once limitlessly deep with indications you can almost touch on the surface. The effect is even more readily apparent in the monochrome design of the type3 BBB.

For maximum impact, Ressence made some important alterations to the Type 3. The brand used only white and light grey on the dial to contrast with the black background. For a more minimalist approach, the running seconds indicator has been removed, and in a departure from existing Type 3 models, the SuperLuminova has been changed from blue to green. On the caseback, the interior of the sapphire has been DLC coated, then engraved with the necessary text, which is painted in high-contrast white. For the first time in the Type 3 range, the Type3 BBB features a polished black DLC-coated titanium case, to match the glossy sapphire. The watch is mounted on an anthracite ‘honeycomb’ strap, previously found on Ressence’s Type 2A.

The Type3 BBB will be produced for just one year, ending on December 31st, 2022. The shiny, pebble-like appearance of the Type3 BBB is a natural complement for the watch’s unique approach to timekeeping. Ressence’s Orbital Convex System (ROCS) sees the various elements of the dial swirl around each other, given unmatched legibility by the oil-filled chamber between the sapphire crystal and the dial; a certain fluidity is at the heart of both the watch’s design and its mechanics.

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The patented ROCS unit, developed in-house by Ressence, is fundamental to the Type 3’s creation. Featuring an ever-changing dial with elements that continually orbit each other, its original purpose is to provide a more efficient way of telling time. All information is displayed in a single flat plane. This differs from the approach taken by a traditional watch, where the hands and dial are layered on one another producing uneven viewing. 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 “waterdrop” 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 the glass at all.

The creation of the Type 3 was not without its challenges - demanding a flexible and creative approach from the team at Ressence. 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 ingeniously 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.

But this brings its own issues: 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.

Beguilingly simple to behold on the wrist, unexpectedly complex and innovative within: the Type3 BBB is a perfect example of Ressence’s philosophy of 21st-century watchmaking. This new edition retains all the practical and mechanical improvements honed over the last nine years while adding a bold new aesthetic that emphasizes simplicity, legibility, and modernity. The result is a truly contemporary watch that draws on decades of watchmaking and design expertise to create something unparalleled in the world of watchmaking.

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