The Founder of Ressence, Benoit Mintiens, granted us an exclusive interview during the SIHH 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Born in Belgium, Benoît Mintiens, our founder and creative mind, dreamed as a child to be a naval engineer but decided on a career as an industrial designer. He graduated in Industrial Design in Antwerp in 1998 and took up the position of Senior Consultant at Antwerp design firm Enthoven & Associates.

While he was working there, he also gained his MBA at Vlerick Business School in 2003. He had a portfolio of designs to his credit – high-speed trains, aircraft cabins, medical devices, leather goods and even hunting guns before he ever designed a watch. Benoît had always been attracted to the idea of creating a new kind of watch. Around 2004, a friend presented him with an opportunity to do just that when he asked him to create an original design for a men’s watch featuring as many diamonds as possible.

Benoît chose to use diamonds for their functional attributes and in particular their refractive qualities. But while he was working on a prototype, another brand launched a model based on a similar idea to his own, and Benoît’s design was put on hold. His appetite for watch design had been whetted and in 2009 Benoît finished designing his first watch, which included RESSENCE’s now iconic patented rotating discs. Benoît’s approach to fine-watchmaking is entirely fresh and undeniably contemporary.

Interviewed by Alberic Virchaux