About Us

About Us

De Bethune is an independent Swiss watch manufacturer located at L’Auberson, in the Jura mountain pastures of the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Here, some 30 employees, including watchmakers, engineers, developer-designers, micromechanical engineers, polishers and decorators focus firmly on the research and development of technical and aesthetic innovations in the spirit of the great 18th century master watchmakers.
Tourbillons, perpetual calendars, chronometers, deadbeat seconds, spherical moons, bridges, wheels, pallet-levers, balance wheels, pinions, balance springs and screws as well as cases, dials, floating lugs and hands... Each component is individually designed and crafted with meticulous attention to the slightest detail, including the traditional “Côtes De Bethune” and Microlight engraving.
The brand designs, develops and produces all its timepieces within its own Manufacture. Since its foundation,

De Bethune has developed no fewer than 27 calibres, presented some 30 world premieres and registered a large number of patents as well as producing 150 one-off pieces to meet the expectations of the most discerning collectors.
De Bethune has received the highest distinctions awarded by the watch industry all over the world, including the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix for the best watch of the year.
Today, Denis Flageollet, co-founder of the brand and master watchmaker, together with CEO Pierre Jacques, are spearheading the future of the company. The pure style, clean lines and delicacy of the cases represent the inimitable hallmark of De Bethune creations.
De Bethune’s timepieces can be seen worldwide in our 25 exclusive points of sale and in our showroom in the heart of Geneva’s old city, in a refined, yet welcoming, contemporary setting that wholly embodies the spirit of De Bethune.

PIERRE BENSON

Pierre Jacques

Chief Executive Officer

Swiss but Born in Brussels on December 8th, 1967, Pierre Jacques holds a Master¹s Degree in “International Relations”.  In the year 2000 he founded the quaterly magazine GMT, together with Brice Lechevalier, that has since become an international reference publication in the field of fine watchmaking. In 2005, he was in charge of the "Cowparade", an open-air exhibition of 80 real-size cows, each decorated by an artist. In January 2010, he joined Les Ambassadeurs Geneve as Branch Manager, and also headed the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix as director of the organising company. Since January 2011, Pierre Jacques is the CEO of De Bethune, with a two years break at the Head of MCT Watches. He came back in December 2017 as a new President and shareholder of the Manufacture De Bethune. Together with Denis Flageollet, they form an effective team that is propelling De Bethune and its consistently modern creations towards an even brighter future.

DENIS MCGUIRE

Denis Flageollet

Master Watchmaker & Creative Talent

Denis is the son, grandson and great-grandson of watchmakers. Having majored in science at secondary school in France, he went to Switzerland to study watchmaking and micro-engineering. He then completed his training by joining the “Musée du Locle” as a technician in antique watchmaking. In 1989 he co-founded the THA society with François-Paul Journe. During these twelve years developing THA, he set up the production workshops, handled technical management, and headed the R&D department. In 2002 he co-founded De Bethune. He has fully embodied De Bethune’s deeply rooted philosophy of combining classic watchmaking skill and craftsmanship with a contemporary technical process, enabling him to leverage modern CAD and CNC technologies. His work with De Bethune has been rewarded by two national prizes, 15 international prizes, and is research has resulted in eight patents and two registered designs. Today, in building a training course on “Mécanique d’Art,” his aims is to pass on his experience and knowledge to watch enthusiasts and the up-and-coming generation of watchmakers.

" A watch is a fragment of culture on the wrist"

Denis Flageollet
  • De Bethune

    De Bethune Foundation

    David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet found De Bethune in La Chaux, a village near Sainte-Croix in the Swiss Jura. They create an R&D department which will become one of the most innovative in the entire Swiss watch industry.
  • De Bethune

    Patent filed for the balance-wheel and hairspring

    Stemming from research undertaken on the balance-and-spring assembly, the balance is composed of four arms made of light metal (titanium) in the centre, complemented by four inertia weights made of a heavy metal (platinum). The balance-spring with its flat terminal curve serves to maintain a perfect centre of gravity – a major innovation in watchmaking since the invention of the Breguet hairspring.
  • De Bethune

    Patent filed for the spherical moon-phase display

    De Bethune is the first watch manufacturer to adapt a spherical moon phase to a wristwatch format.
  • De Bethune

    Blueing titanium

    A new innovation for De Bethune, which becomes the first to use the natural oxidation of titanium, on a star-studded sky dial that is a signature of the Maison.
  • De Bethune

    Triple pare-chute shock absorbing system

    De Bethune is not only the first to create a bridge symmetrically held on both sides, serving to maintain the balance-wheel perfectly in place, but also adds two shock-absorbers on either end, along with that of the balance-wheel itself. Hence the name triple pare-chute which, with its springs (instead of screws) mounted on perfectly polished arbors, effectively absorb and dampen violent impacts.
  • De Bethune

    “Côtes De Bethune”

    These are a De Bethune signature. Rarely copied and a byword for quality because they require a very special touch, “Côtes De Bethune” ensure an original vision of the movement, drawing the gaze towards the centre. Although the work is more meticulous, the result is a visual miracle, since “Côtes de Bethune” are symmetrically arranged from the centre and serve to concentrate the light at the heart of the watch.
  • De Bethune

    New balance-wheel

    A new shape design for this titanium-platinum balance-wheel. Shaped like an X, it introduces new subtle adjustment features thanks to two dedicated screws connecting its two closest tips. The platinum inertia blocks are also improved by adopting a conical shape.
  • De Bethune

    De Bethune receives the “Best of the Best” award

    The DB15 model, equipped with the first Manufacture De Bethune calibre, is honoured with the “Best of the Best” award by the prestigious Robb Report magazine.
  • De Bethune

    Only Watch auction

    Creation of the DBS No 1 for the first edition of Only Watch, the charity auction organised under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco on behalf of research into muscular dystrophy.
  • De Bethune

    New balance-spring in thermocompensated silicon

    De Bethune is the first watch Maison to equip its timepieces with a silicon balance-spring. Using a structure similar to the titanium-platinum balance-wheel created in 2005, the latter is replaced by silicon and coupled with a bimetallic brass and invar blade compensating for this innovative material’s sensitivity to temperature variations.
  • De Bethune

    De Bethune balance-spring

    First use of a silicon balance-spring with an integrated flat terminal curve.
  • De Bethune

    Floating lugs

    A patent is filed for the floating lugs that pivot from the case enabling them to adapt perfectly to all wrists and their various gestures.
  • De Bethune

    Shock-absorbing system for the oscillating weight

    This is a traditionally heavy movement component, secured in the centre and which, if subjected to an impact, will have a brutal lever effect on the extremely fragile bearings. To avoid this, driven as ever by a pragmatic physical and mechanical approach, De Bethune has devised an innovative system of tiny spring-feet arranged in a four-spoke rosette around the bearings, which dampens impacts and thus avoids any damage. The oscillating weight is no longer in danger and the bearings are also protected.
  • De Bethune

    “Best Men’s Watch” Prize

    Revolution Magazine awards the “Best Men’s Watch” prize for the DB21 Maxichrono.
  • De Bethune

    Winding-speed regulating mechanism

    A system unique in the watch industry, enabling the wearer of the watch to adjust the winding to the quantity and the speed of his own movements.
  • De Bethune

    Only Watch auction

    The Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy organises its second auction in Monaco. To continue showing its support for this cause, De Bethune creates the DB24 equipped with a platinum bezel.
  • De Bethune

    New balance-wheel

    This new titanium-platinum balance-wheel features the same X-shaped arms, but the two screws are replaced by two gold inertia weights further enhancing the thermodynamic properties without impairing adjustment.
  • De Bethune

    Chronometric setting mechanism

    This world-first invention enables each owner to adjust the rate of his watch by simply pressing one of the two pushers on the back of the watch.
  • De Bethune

    First use of sapphire hands

    By introducing sapphire hands rimmed with flame-blued steel, De Bethune offers – for the very first time – a daring date read-off solution.
  • De Bethune

    New balance-wheel

    On this balance-wheel, platinum is replaced by palladium to optimise its operation, notably in terms of thermocompensation.
  • De Bethune

    Microlight decoration

    Among the various decorations characterising De Bethune movements, one offers a resolutely updated interpretation of the traditional guilloché technique: Microlight engraving. Applied to the dial, on a movement, to flat surfaces or raised edges, this technique effectively accentuates or reinforces a given structure or motif. By playing with light and shade effects, it adds a sense of depth and creates a more dynamic, architectural result, thereby ensuring a more contemporary overall effect.
  • De Bethune

    The world’s lightest tourbillon

    To be more effective on a wrist with its fast, random movements, the tourbillon must have the highest possible frequency and rotation speed. After two and a half years of research, De Bethune releases the first tourbillon truly designed to be worn on the wrist. Comprising 63 parts and weighing just 0.18 grams, this silicon/titanium tourbillon is the lightest and fastest on the market, performing a full rotation every 30 seconds and beating at a frequency of 36,000 vibrations/hour. Simply put, this small, light and fast De Bethune tourbillon better fulfils its function for today’s watches.
  • De Bethune

    The Dream Watch 1 is “Best of the Best”

    The Dream Watch 1 wins the “Best of the Best” prize awarded by the prestigious American magazine Robb Report.
  • De Bethune

    Only Watch auction

    On the occasion of the third auction organized by Monaco, De Bethune presents the DBS, a unique watch convertible into a pocket watch or a wristwatch.
  • De Bethune

    New balance-wheel

    The balance-wheel is the object of continuous research at De Bethune and this new iteration has been successfully tested. Openworking the disc makes it lighter than ever and its palladium rim is replaced by white rim which is even simpler to machine and thus further enhances its aerodynamics.
  • De Bethune

    Jumping seconds

    Jumping seconds traditionally operate with their own gear train which implies more components and an additional concern for adjusting the parts to each other. Based on this observation, De Bethune sought to simplify this mechanism by starting directly with the fourth wheel, and by adding an additional wheel driven by a balance-spring. Thanks to a twin lever, the hand of this jumping small seconds is “released” every second and can “jump” thanks to the stored energy.
  • De Bethune

    Only Watch auction

    A DB25L depicting the star-studded sky commemorating the founding of Monaco by François Grimaldi on January 8th 1297 is De Bethune contribution to this new edition of the famous charity auction organised under the patronage of the HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco on behalf of research on muscular dystrophy.
  • De Bethune

    “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix

    The DB28 won the highest distinction of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix that honours the best timepiece of the year, awarded by a jury composed of watchmaking professionals.
  • De Bethune

    New CEO at De Bethune

    To enhance De Bethune’s international renown, Pierre Jacques joins the team as CEO of the company.
  • De Bethune

    Fundamental research: “résonique”

    Breaking free from the balance and hairspring principle invented by Hugyens in 1675, Denis Flageollet began exploring new paths from 2011 onwards, particularly in the field of horological résonique. The principle is based on oscillators with mechanically driven high frequencies – up to 100 times faster than the frequencies currently reached – by means of vibrations and without friction or wear. The scope of research in this field was so vast – and as yet largely unexplored – that it is simply unpatentable. Denis Flageollet published and continues regularly publishing the progress of his work on this topic so as to contribute to the advancement of such research.
  • De Bethune

    The first De Bethune boutique

    De Bethune opens its first boutique at the heart of Geneva, on the Place de Longemalle.
  • De Bethune

    Hand-fitting mechanism with rotating disc

    In order to free up the dial centre and leave plenty of place for the décor, a new calibre has been developed to enable a peripheral display of the hours and minutes. The latter, thanks to the technical mastery and precision of the machining, sends the hands sweeping through the various decors as if by magic.
  • De Bethune

    Black oxidation of zirconium

    De Bethune unveils the first versions of the DB28 with cases and floating lugs in black zirconium. It’s the only metal that has natural black oxidation colour, and which does not deteriorate. Assets that guarantee the resistance and durability of the watch.
  • De Bethune

    “Best of the best” prize

    The DB25 IX Mayan Underworld, the limited edition created on the occasion of humankind’s passage into the new underworld of the Maya calendar, receives the “Best of the Best” award from prestigious American magazine Robb Report.
  • De Bethune

    Only Watch auction

    The DB28 Skybridge MC, depicting the night sky as seen from Monaco on November 19th 1857, the Monaco National Day, is sold at auction on behalf of the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy.
  • De Bethune

    “Marca en Ascenso” award

    The DB28 Tourbillon Black Gold wins the “Marca en Ascensco” prize at the Salón Internacional Alta Relojería in Mexico.
  • De Bethune

    Introduction of the absolute clutch

    After seven years of research, the release of the Maxichrono marks the first use of De Bethune’s patented absolute clutch system. Challenging, exploring, inventing… With the absolute clutch system, De Bethune has created a significant technological breakthrough in the history of chronographs. One might sum up the issues in terms of excessive friction which disturbs the running of the movement in chronograph mode, as well as when operating normally, all of which leads to a recurrent loss of precision and reliability. It was thus essential to find an efficient, carefully guided clutch, mounted on a single arbor, requiring little energy as well as simple to assemble and set into operation.
  • De Bethune

    “Reloj Cronografo” prize at the SIAR

    After the success of the “Marca en ascenso” in 2013 at the SIAR, the DB29 Maxichrono won the “Reloj Cronografo” prize celebrating at the Best Chronograph of the Year.
  • De Bethune

    Best Chronograph prize

    De Bethune won the “Chronograph Prize” at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for its DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon.
  • De Bethune

    “Best Design & Concept Watch”

    The Dream Watch 5 and its unique case construction makes it a veritable wrist sculpture. The timepiece wins the “Best Design & Concept Watch” prize awarded by Spiral magazine.
  • De Bethune

    The DB28 Maxichrono wins the "Best Chronograph Watch" prize

    In its turn the DB28 Maxichrono wins the “Best Chronograph Prize” from Middle East magazine MPP.
  • De Bethune

    The DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon crowned “Best of the Best”

    The DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon is awarded the “Best of the Best” prize by the prestigious American magazine Robb Report.
  • De Bethune

    De Bethune Princely Polo Cub

    On the occasion of the De Bethune Princely Polo Cup held in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, De Bethune unveils the DB27 Polo and its exclusive use of blackened polished hardened steel as well as its dial protection ensuring optimal user-friendliness for polo players.
  • De Bethune

    Only Watch auction

    De Bethune celebrates ten years of commitment and support for the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy, by revisiting the DBS model of which the first version had been created in 2005 for the first edition of Only Watch.
  • De Bethune

    New balance-wheel

    The balance-wheel remains the object of ongoing research for De Bethune, which unveils a new titanium balance-wheel with white gold inlays. This construction serves to counteract the effects of temperature variations and ensures optimised aerodynamics to reduce air friction, a significant source of disturbance.
  • De Bethune

    Prize at the Luxemburg Watch Fair

    The DB28 Maxichrono wins the “Best Chronograph” prize at the Luxemburg Watch Fair.
  • De Bethune

    Showroom opening in Geneva

    De Bethune opens a new showroom at the foot of the cathedral in Geneva’s old town, an even more exclusive new location.
  • De Bethune

    “Best Tourbillon Watch” award

    The DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon wins the “Best Tourbillon Watch” prize awarded by the Middle East MPP magazine.
  • De Bethune

    “Best Design” prize

    The DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon wins another prize, this time in the “Best Design” category awarded by the international magazine Revolution.
  • De Bethune

    Milky Way

    The star-studded sky is one of the iconic De Bethune signatures. By enriching it with the fascinating Milky Way, the Maison offers an enchanting vision of the latter’s nebulae, hand-crafted with meticulous patience exemplified in applying the 24K gold leaf.
  • De Bethune

    Only Watch auction

    For Only Watch 2017, De Bethune has taken aesthetic cues from the iconic architecture of the new Monaco Yacht Club designed by Foster & Partners in creating a titanium table clock combining mechanics, architecture and technology.
  • De Bethune

    A 26th calibre from the Maison

    De Bethune releases its 26th self-winding calibre, equipping the new DB27 Titan Hawk V2 model.
  • De Bethune

    Maestri Art I

    De Bethune draws inspiration from Japanese Tsubas in creating an entirely engraved and resolutely contemporary timepiece paying tribute to the shared heritage of goldsmiths and watchmakers. A Tsuba is a small circular piece placed on Japanese swords as a guard, serving to protect the samurai's hand when the opponent's blade slipped on his sword. Today, De Bethune reinterprets it with inlaid and engraved gold animal motifs that transcend matter by infusing it with strength and light.
  • De Bethune

    Maestri Art II

    De Bethune creates a timepiece paying tribute to the finesse and extreme delicacy of the Asian engravings generally adorning bronze vases. Faithful to the spirit of Chinese engravers and poets, the delicately engraved titanium dial is hand blued and embellished with gold particles depicting a ‘choreography’ performed by the carp and dragon. The effect is further enhanced by 12 diamonds serving as hours and minutes markers, while adding a unique and precious radiance.
  • De Bethune

    Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève

    In November 2018, De Bethune receives the prize for the best watch of the year in the prestigious “Chronometry” category, for the DB25 Starry Varius Chronomètre Tourbillon.

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