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.

Key dates

Benoît Mintiens, founder of Ressence, introduces three functional prototypes at Baselworld. His new concept of revolving discs and intuitive time read-off receives ecstatic reviews from the press and collectors.

The Zero Series, a limited run of 50 pieces, is launched to meet demand from connoisseurs around the globe. It sells out within a year.

Ressence reveals the Series One, a 150-piece edition based on the Zero Series. The brand opens key markets for its international development, including Japan and the USA.

The Type 3, the first ever oil-filled mechanical watch, takes the industry by storm. It is applauded as one of the most innovative watches of the year. Thanks to its freedom to think differently, Ressence wins the Horological Revelation prize at the GPHG.

Ressence releases the Type 1, the brand's most stripped-back watch to date.

Mr Porter, the global online retail destination for men's style, introduces Ressence to its fine watch offering.

Launch of Type 5, the first mechanical diver watch to be perfectly readable underwater, regardless of the viewing angle.

The Cultural Council of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie certifies that Ressence meets Haute Horlogerie standards of excellence, which are the techniques of watchmaking in symbiosis with the applied arts.

Ressence exhibits for the first time at the prestigious SIHH, and introduces the Type 1²R, its first cushion-shaped watch with a retractable lever.