High-end independent Swiss watch maker De Bethune Watches today announced the sale of a majority stake in the company to an investment consortium. This, however, does not appear to be another case of an independent brand gobbled up by some corporate conglomerate, but rather a musical chairs of management and ownership as the investors are led by none other than former De Bethune CEO Pierre Jacques along with private equity investor Giovanni Perin. While the news is noteworthy and a fun excuse to speculate on the brand’s future, the short announcement makes it yet unclear how De Bethune’s business, products, and marketing might be affected. For now, we can assume that a shot of fresh capital and energy might be good for the brand.
Mr. Jacques led the company for five years from 2011 to 2015, and is now back in charge as CEO once again as well as Chairman of the Board – see our interview with him for our My First Grail Watch series here. De Bethune World Traveller Watch co-founder and COO Denis Flageollet will retain an undisclosed “substantial stake” in the company as well as, it seems, his current position. Fellow co-founder David Zanetta had already stepped back from being operationally involved with the company after his 70th birthday in 2016 and will no longer be directly associated having ceded all his shares. So, while the departure of a co-founder might cause concern for brand fans about a change of direction, De Bethune is left in a familiar place with familiar management that oversaw some, frankly, fantastic products.
In this watch enthusiast’s opinion, De Bethune Watches Wiki is one of the most far-out but consistently exciting high-end brands. If one is paying absurd prices for watches, something like De Bethune’s utterly unique and genuinely artistic creations is what you should be getting. Personally, they are at the top of my favorite brands to follow from afar, and I’m not even into sci-fi or the Star Trek universe that inspires their products. For people who are, the brand’s watches must hold a whole other level of appeal, and even more so for the ultra rich watch collectors among them who might actually be able to consider purchasing one.
However, even with such a niche audience, extremely low production volumes, and often six-figure prices, perhaps Buy De Bethune Watches could be doing more to gain attention on a regular basis – not that that is what the brand’s core fan base necessarily wants to see, rarity undoubtedly being part of De Bethune’s charm. One conceivable direction for the brand would be stepping up production and putting more energy into marketing – like, for example, fellow high-end, ultra-avant-garde, sci-fi-inspired MB&F that is so often in the spotlight. Urwerk is another peer brand that has been successful in marketing an otherwise unorthodox, esoteric, and expensive product.
There is the principal time on the main dialup, in addition to a 24-hour (GMT) world-time indicator. Here is where De Bethune Mayan Watch Price has their new DNA involved. Instead of a traditional hand to indicate that the GMT time, there’s a little moving orb. De Bethune, quite humorously, refers to the little ball as a “microsphere.” Should you find that odd, then welcome to the Swiss watch industry in which slightly vague poetic descriptions always keep us on our toes when trying to ascertain exactly what the hell people are talking about. The ball is blued on one side and 18k pink gold on the other. It turns at 6am or 6pm to switch from indicating AM to PM occasions – a clever use of this sphere concept so that you know whether it is night or day where the local time is.At first, I thought the “microsphere” (it makes me laugh a little bit each time I say that) was free-floating and connected through magnetism such as the Christophe Claret X-Treme 1. Rather, it’s traditionally mounted through some type of arm hidden by the channel it is in. The ball moves along a 24-hour track which is how you indicate time from the next zone. Next to it is the world-time disk which shows reference instances. De Bethune created an interesting design choice here since they spread the zones out asymmetrically. It actually helps the viewer understand the relative differences between the occasions from the cities, rather than all of them are regular time zones, such as Mumbai which is GMT + 5.5. While I’m a fan of charm, I love the usefulness given in this unique and smart GMT-plus-world-time sign system.De Bethune also appears to imply that, unlike many world-time watches, so you can individually set the local and mention time zones. That is a plus or minus depending on how you use a world-traveler watch, but given that our day and age when you don’t need to worry about messing up time as a result of electronic time keeping anyplace, it’s probably more convenient for now mechanical watch wearers to set the neighborhood and reference time independently.
For now, we are told that the future holds “new investments designed to strengthen the brand.” Referring to a “new growth phase,” Mr. Jacques says he plans on “further enhancing the reputation” of De Bethune. So that is what we have to go on. De Bethune is only 15 years old and in that time has produced a lot of impressive watches, in-house movements, patents, and “world-firsts.” Hopefully, they will be making inspired, futuristic wrist-art for many more years. debethune.ch