Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S04 ep17 : Benoit Mintiens, Ressence Watches, [Belgium]

Interview with Benoit Mintiens

Ressence is a Swiss-made independent watch manufacturer founded in 2009. It is owned and managed by Benoît Mintiens, an industrial designer located in Antwerpen, Belgium, who is responsible for the conceptualisation and design of the watches and associated marketing. The brand name is a neologism based on the words Renaissance and Essence


The name comes from Renaissance D'essential, the rebirth of what is essential. For me, as an
industrial designer, the essential of a product in general and for a watch in particular, is the
experience you get from the product. 15:17
I would compare it with the car industry. For example, a watchmaker design a car, he would
have thought very well of the engine, think of all the mechanics, show the engine, so, preferably
car without a bonnet, for an industrial designer, it's not about the engine, it's about the feeling
when you drive it.15:47

I'm an industrial designer, since 98, in Belgium, Artwork. Artwork and the agency I work for a
few days a week is also present in Paris. So I do quite a lot of projects in France, it goes from
first box, going all the way to high speed trains. Air France first class cabins, buses, shot guns.

From the designer point of view, I like watches because it is so complimentary, it' so, the
dimensions of the product is very wide to create a brand with the product or the product with the
brand. It's clearly a whole that would be impossible, for example, if I take again, the example of
the car, I couldn't design a car completely.16:52


Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

I had a friend here, Diamond trader who asked me, please design a watch with maximum of
diamonds for my hand. I took it as a challenge and I tried to invent something new to do with
the diamonds and so it brought be to Bazzle,for two years in a row, for me, it was so
disappointing and I thought, is this it? You know, you can do a lot more with watches than

The third year I came, I wanted to see the watch. They sent me to the palace, then my eyes
opened,because I discovered all the guys like me,M Citi, Kodak, they were all starting up,
Coniston and it was magical and for the first time I saw it was possible to do that. 17:51

My mother told me once, when I was already making the watches, she said but, do you know
your grandfather was a watchmaker and his father was a watchmaker and back until 1700's,
something, it was all watchmakers. The father of my grandfather, he was a trader in watches in
Amsterdam. So my mother is from Holland. He was also a Mathematician, so he and he had a
magazines for watchmakers, where they had all the drawings he made to, how the gears should
be shaped.18:31


Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

For the brand I have a philosophy where a keyword is dematerialization. Where I like you take
away, in fact, the mechanical aspect of the watch and make it a lot more a kind of creature that
is with you, that is sending you information to take out the activeness of a watch. 19:03

The liquid is my newest model. Before I did not have the liquid of course. The first watch that I
still sell, is, has no liquid. 19:18

The basic idea of the fluid is just going one step further in bringing out the time and hiding
again, going evenfurther in the dematerialization. The product becomes an abstract
representation. You don't see the technicity anymore.You cannot even see the difference
between the parts. One visitor said, it looks like the newest technology thatare used in fighter
jets. The screens they use, they have the same, depth and contrast effect. 19:58


Jewellery Theatre Elements

The patent of Ressence is an individual and independent module that is giving the time,
powered by one source of energy, that is obviously, a mechanical, automatic movement and so I
could physically draw a wall between movement and the time indication and it is really like
that in this watch. 20:29

I can show you the case, it's completely close. There is no link at all, physical link between the
top parts that you see and the bottom where you have the movement. So I use a magnetic
connection between the movement part and the liquid part. This allows me, yea, not to have any
opening and so to guarantee that there will be no leakage.21:02


Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

The new product is in Europe, 27000,900 Euro. It's a lot of money, but it's very cheap. I'll
explain to you.Try to find me a watch with more than four hundred parts at that price level.

I introduced the brand in 2010, with three functional prototypes I made myself, in Belgium and
Holland. I made the parts because I wanted to file the patents just before the show. I am about
two hundred now.Yes, because Bazzle didn't want to give me one.They didn't, they didn't want
to give me one.22:00


OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Benoit Mintiens, Ressence Watches, Belgium