Founded in 2002 by Denis Flageollet and David Zanetta, De Bethune has risen to become one of the most distinctive watchmakers of the third millennium, despite its quiet, low production of about 150-250 pieces a year. To mark its 20th anniversary, the brand reflects on its journey and documents its watchmaking story in a new, 220-page book, De Bethune: The Art of Watchmaking.
This book comes hot on the heels of Seeking Perfect, a documentary about the brand. it has been written by Arthur Touchot, a seasoned watch journalist who currently works at Phillips, the book includes contributions from industry leaders such as Jean-Claude Biver, Aurel Bacs, and Kari Voutilainen. The foreword has been penned by our very own founder, Wei Koh.
“In this realm, Denis Flageollet is an unrivalled master,” says Mr Koh about De Bethune’s visionary co-founder. “When it comes to running faster or stretching farther,” Wei continues, “few can rival the achievements of Denis Flageollet and De Bethune in over the last two decades.”
The avant-garde design of De Bethune sets the brand apart as there’s nothing quite like that on the market. Though rooted in classical watchmaking – think Roman numerals and Breguet hands – De Bethune’s watches manage to include a futuristic twist that results in original, appealing designs, like the signature case that evokes spaceships along with the sleek, delta-shaped bridge.
Then there are innovations in terms of material, thanks to the brand’s self-taught metallurgist Mr Flageollet. Almost a synonym for the brand, the coloured, high-polished titanium is important as it gives the watches a sci-fi touch that traditional materials can’t, so important that there’s a technical book dedicated to metalworking and written by Mr Flageollet no less.
Bethune’s watches are equipped with a series of innovations to improve precision, which includes a novel balance spring, the triple para-chute shock absorber and many, many balance wheels.
De Bethune: The Art of Watchmaking is Produced by Assouline, a high-end publisher of luxury coffee-table books, and this new tome is naturally top quality with a silk hardcover with hand-painted edges, but more importantly, it gathers comprehensive historical information including over 100 illustrations, which are a treat for the eyes. It is available directly from Assouline for €195. Pre-orders start now, and the official release will be in January 2023.