In a brand catalog defined by sleek, otherworldly orbital designs, the Ressence Type 3 series stands as one of the most minimal and dramatic of them all. This oil-filled take on the brand’s signature planetary dial formula gives a crisp, depthless look to the classic Ressence layout, while its pared-back case design keeps the overall profile as simplified as possible. For 2022, Ressence takes this minimalist concept to its logical extreme, introducing a fully monochrome colorway to this already striking design. The new Ressence Type 3BBB (short for Black Black Black) brings a bold new personality to the brand’s cornerstone design, with a clean and futuristic spirit.
Measuring 44mm-wide and 15mm-thick, the Grade 5 titanium case of the Ressence Type 3BBB should be far from a shrinking violet on the wrist. This bold sizing is tempered in images by the fully polished jet black DLC finish, however. The main body of the case is smoothly rounded, with a flowing pebble-like curve from the crystal to the caseback interrupted only by a narrow vertical mid-case. Thanks to Ressence’s caseback crown design, there is no crown at 3 o’clock to disrupt case symmetry, and the only real protrusions from the rounded main body are a set of slim hooked lugs. Although the smooth, polished black form of the Type 3BBB is impressive from an aesthetic standpoint, it falls flat somewhat when it comes to durability. This is an oil-filled design, and while oil-filled cases have historically been capable of immense water resistance, Ressence rates this case for a miniscule 30 meters.
At first glance, the dramatic curvature of the Ressence Type 3BBB’s dial gives it an almost smartwatch screen-like appearance. This dramatic high-tech look comes courtesy of a convex dial surface and a domed crystal filled entirely with oil. Although the general layout follows Ressence’s signature planetary dial concept, with each function orbiting around a central point, the brand distills this familiar look down to its essence in images with a purely monochrome colorway in black, white, and gray. By stripping away color, Ressence keeps visual attention squarely on the layout itself, which brings together a traditional suite of complications with a few novel additions. The largest of the tapering white hands indicates the minutes, while the rotating outer ring works in tandem with the triangular printed 30-minute index as a pointer date display. The hours subdial keeps the classic Ressence look with streamlined round Arabic numerals and the brand’s hand emblem at 12 o’clock. The Type 3BBB’s commitment to minimalism shines through most in the pointer day subdial, which condenses both Saturday and Sunday down to a single silhouetted “weekend” mark, but the final subdial on display is the design’s most exotic addition. Due to the fully oil-filled crystal and dial assembly, temperature can have an outsize effect on the watch as the oil expands and contracts with changes in ambient heat. To combat this, the dial assembly connects to a set of seven miniature mechanical bellows, which alter the volume of the assembly on the fly in response to changes in temperature. With this in mind, the temperature gauge subdial not only works as an impromptu thermometer, it also gives the wearer an accurate picture of the current status of these bellows.
Ressence powers the Type 3BBB with its ROCS 3 (short for Ressence Orbital Convex System) module, paired with a heavily modified ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. The base movement itself offers little in the way of upgrades to the standard 2824-2’s performance. In this specification, it actually provides a smaller 36 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate due to the torque requirements of the ROCS 3 module. Due to the oil-filled crystal and dial assembly, however, the inner case of the Type 3BBB is made up of two independent chambers that separate the base movement from the oil-filled rest of the watch. Because of this, there is no mechanical linkage between the base movement and the module to prevent potential oil leaks and preserve the normal action of the balance wheel. Instead, Ressence uses an exotic magnetic transmission system, utilizing a series of micro-magnets to convey torque from the mainspring to the orbital gear assembly that powers the dial. While this obviously comes with the risk of magnetizing the movement itself, Ressence claims to compensate for the system and uses a bare minimum of magnetism to tie the two halves together. Ressence completes this minimal monochrome design with a matching honeycomb-textured strap in anthracite gray.
With a futuristically exotic monochrome look and equally exotic internals, the Ressence Type 3BBB offers one of the boldest and most focused interpretations of the brand’s vision to date. While not strictly limited in production, the Ressence Type 3BBB will only be produced during 2022. The watch is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for the Ressence Type 3BBB stands at 36,500 CHF as of press time. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.