A fluid-filled display of the Ressence Type 3 watch

On a regular analog watch, there’s a small pocket of air between the face of the watch and the inside surface of the crystal. On this Ressence Type 3 watch, however, Belgian designer Benoit Mintiens has filled that space with a clear refractive fluid. As a result, its revolving indications appear to be projected right onto its domed crystal.

The main components of the 57-jewel watch are made almost entirely of titanium, with the exceptions of its sapphire crystal and 28 gears. The fluid is a type of naphtha, which is composed of a flammable mixture of hydrocarbons. A thermal valve compensates for the expansion and contraction of that fluid, as caused by fluctuations in the ambient temperature.

Along with lacking regular hands, the Type 3 also has no crown. Instead, users wind it and set the time by twisting one of the nested rings built into the back of the watch.


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