There is something primal that attracts people to Ressence watches. The form factor, the lack of usual watchmaking tropes, like hands, tell people these watches are different. And indeed, founder Benoit Mintiens does not come from inside the watch industry like so many of his independent peers. He is a industrial designer by trade, and Belgian to boot. His watches are informed by notions of efficiency, functionalism and ergonomics. The very name of Ressence refers to the fundamental essence of timekeeping.
Therefore, the first things Mintiens eliminated were the crown and the hands. In their place came adjustment through the case back and a display made up of discs. His first pieces were made from purchased movements, augmented by posts he sourced or modified in his Antwerp base. Today all assembly is done in Switzerland.
To date his most recognizable work is the liquid-filled Type 3 and its sportier derivative, the Type 5. These take the flush display to the extreme thanks to the smoothing optical qualities of the oil-based filler. The encapsulated fluid is sealed from the movement and the display is driven by a magnetic connection. The more basic Type 1 retains a slightly more industrial look, which is enhanced by colors and a slim form factor. In seasons to come the new Type 2, with a sophisticated electronic setting control and power management system is widely anticipated.