In what can be called a first for the Swiss watch industry, WatchBox, a global leader in collectible luxury timepieces has announced a major investment in the independent Swiss watch manufacture De Bethune.
With the investment already signed and ready to take place within the next few days, the organisational structure of De Bethune will remain unchanged. Pierre Jacques (CEO) and Denis Flageollet (COO and Master Watchmaker) will continue as the board of directors for the independent watchmaker to ensure stability. They will lead the teams in Geneva and L’Auberson and work towards consistent product, distribution and communication strategies for the brand.
An independent watch manufacturer from the Swiss Jura mountains, De Bethune is laser-focused on research, development and innovation of classic watchmaking skills and craftsmanship with contemporary technical strengths. The investment by WatchBox will enable DeBethune to allocate greater resources towards a strong and stable trajectory while still maintaining its creative principles and quality standards. The collective vision of the two partners is simple – to take Swiss watchmaking to its next level while honoring the traditions of 18th century watchmaking.
The collaboration will also allow De Bethune to expand its reach with additional resources from WatchBox dedicated to distribution. “WatchBox will leave its independence to De Bethune in terms of products. Our business is sales,”said Patrik Hoffmann, vice-president of WatchBox Switzerland, in an interview with leading Swiss French-language daily newspaper Le Temps.
Founded in 2017, WatchBox has consistently championed the work of contemporary watchmakers and independent brands. The headquarters for WatchBox is in Philadelphia but over the years, the retailer has expanded its reach with operations in Dubai and Hong Kong. With a reported annual revenue of around USD 300 million, the company has been supporting Indies ever since its foray into the pre-owned market. This investment further highlights their commitment to the independent watchmaking segment. “WatchBox has been a trusted partner of ours and a dynamic supporter of De Bethune for years,” said Denis Flageollet and Pierre Jacques. “We have long admired their desire and commitment to educate the global watch community on the art of watchmaking and are delighted to now join together.”
An American retailer of pre-owned timepieces joining hands with one of the most daring and innovative independent Swiss watch brands – exciting times ahead!