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De Bethune - Ten Minutes With Pierre Jacques: Discover The Man Behind De Bethune

De Bethune Ten Minutes With Pierre Jacques: Discover The Man Behind De Bethune

Pierre Jacques, CEO of De Bethune, shares a few revelations about himself and the brand he leads

Pierre Jacques has had an active career in the watch industry for over two decades — first co-founding our sister media GMT Magazine (celebrating its 20th anniversary this year), he then went on to serve as director as the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) as well as leading the Geneva branch of watch and jewellery retailer Les Ambassadeurs. He was CEO of De Bethune from 2011 to 2015, before taking a two-year hiatus to helm MCT, another avant-garde independent watchmaking brand. In 2017, he made his return to De Bethune. Here is his story, in his own words.

Ten Minutes With Pierre Jacques: Discover The Man Behind De Bethune

Pierre Jacques © De Bethune

What first made you interested in the watchmaking business?

I've owned watches ever since I was very young. I first received a Kelton when I was five, followed by a Zenith when I turned 14. I've always loved watches. A watch is an object that conveys emotion, that is intimately personal — this is true luxury.

What unique quality do you think you bring to your brand?

Freedom; independence. Creation without constraints, working with our clients by listening to them and respecting them.

Ten Minutes With Pierre Jacques: Discover The Man Behind De Bethune

DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

Tell us about an experience that defines your leadership style.

I can't point to any one experience; this is something that is cultivated and comes naturally on a day-to-day basis. It's all about knowing how to take decisions, so that your team can follow them — and follow you. I believe in succeeding due to an empathetic and benevolent leadership. Setting relevant objectives. That's my definition of leadership. 

Which watch do you wear most often, and why?

It's the DB28 Yellow Tones. The DB28 has become an icon. Its unique fiery colour is a demonstration of our savoir-faire in heat-oxidising titanium by hand. 

Ten Minutes With Pierre Jacques: Discover The Man Behind De Bethune

DB28 Yellow Tones © De Bethune

What have you achieved as CEO that you are most proud of?

To have succeeded in putting together a true group of friends around De Bethune, to perpetuate it and give it the means to develop further.  

What is the biggest misconception that people have about De Bethune?

That the brand is only about design, when in fact De Bethune has perfectly mastered technique in service of aesthetics. 

Ten Minutes With Pierre Jacques: Discover The Man Behind De Bethune

DB28XP Starry Varius © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

On the other hand, what is one thing about De Bethune that is not well known, but super important, in your view?

We are a team of over 40 people at the manufacture, who work behind the scenes to hand-make rare and exclusive watches. We produce a little less than 200 pieces per year. 

Give us a one-word (or one-phrase) hint about your future plans for the brand.

Less is more. "Ding ding."

 

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De Bethune embraces the wealth of the watchmaking knowhow of the past in order to design the watches of the future. This combination results in timepieces with all the attributes and technical expertise of Fine Watchmaking, whilst at the same time remaining free from traditional constraints.

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