Founded in 2010 by Benoît Mintiens, Ressence creates innovative mechanical watches. They represent an independent way of thinking about fine watchmaking - no less expertly hand-crafted, but with an industrial design philosophy that seeks to be progressive, and a clear, graphic aesthetic that is decidedly 21st century. Their pioneering concept is to replace the conventional hands with rotating discs for an intuitive reading of the Time. Subdials continually revolve, as does the main disc into which they are set - like moons in orbit around a planet. Ressence watches have so far capitalised on six never-before-seen technical innovations.
The brand’s mission statement is captured in its name: Ressence, short for the Renaissance of the Essential. When conceiving his first watch in 2010, industrial designer and founder Benoît Mintiens considered what the mechanical watch might look like if it were a 21st century invention, based on today's cognitive technologies and sciences.It was in 2011, on the Zero Series watches, that Ressence first unveiled the patented invention on which its new expression of Time rests: ROCS, which stands for Ressence Orbital Convex System. Fully designed and developed in-house, this unique horological complication module is composed of co-planar discs and rings of different sizes, which are curved to match the contour of the crystal that covers them. Type 3, the first ever oil-filled mechanical watch, took the industry by surprise in 2013. Invisible to the eye, the fluid eliminates refraction between the crystal and the dial. Type 3 was applauded as one of the most innovative watches of the year, and won the Horological Revelation prize at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève for introducing a liquid into a mechanical watch, and for replacing the crown by an ingeniously simple alternative, namely the rotating caseback. In 2015, Type 5 - the first mechanical watch to be perfectly readable underwater regardless of the viewing angle - was released. The oil under the crystal creates an unprecedented "water drop" effect. On Type 5, the oil also guarantees protection against overpressure equivalent to that of a tool watch, without the need to reinforce the case and use thicker crystal. In 2016, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie identified Ressence as one of the 64 brands worldwide that belong within the Fine Watchmaking perimeter. Although strikingly innovative, the technologies implemented by the small Belgian company are relegated behind the scenes; what matters most is the user's experience when looking at a mechanical watch that appears to project the temporal indications onto the crystal.