Ressence was founded in 2010 by Benoît Mintiens, who is an industrial designer not a watchmaker. Prior to starting Ressence, he had worked on things as varied as aircraft cabins, medical devices, leather goods, hunting guns, and even high-speed trains. As you might expect from an industrial designer, the watches are designed around a great user experience, and that is reflected in their appeal. One of the best pieces of praise was from a HODINKEE article in 2014, “This year at BaselWorld, we had four contributors running all over the show covering everyone from Eberhard to Omega to HYT to Patek. There was but one single appointment where each member of HODINKEE team made sure to be there to see the latest pieces – that appointment was with RESSENCE.”
As mentioned, the user experience is at the heart of the brand. Every part of the watch is seemingly designed with the thought, “what would be best for the user.” As such, Ressence watches don’t have crown, so it won’t dig into your wrist, instead the watch is set and wound using the case back. The cases of the watches have nice organic shapes, and lightness and legibility are emphasized.
The signature design of Ressence watches is their lack of hands…well, traditional hands at least. The hands are on disks, and those disks rotate around, just as hands do, while also simultaneously orbiting around the dial. It’s hard to describe, so watching it in action is probably the best way to understand it:
It may seem a bit quirky, but once you understand it, it becomes quick and easy to read, and it’s a fun way to tell the time. It’s actually a regulator layout if you think about it, so it has functional benefits too.
I think most people see a Ressence watch and find it indescribably appealing. They can’t quite put their finger on why, but they know they like it. Check it out for yourself…when you see one in person, you will be hooked!