In 2017 Manufacture De Bethune announced that it was selling a majority of its capital to an investment consortium lead by former CEO Pierre Jacques and private equity investor Giovanni Perin.
Co-founder and COO Denis Flageollet retained a substantial stake in the company but his co-founding partner, the inimitable David Zanetta, left, divested of his shares and left his watch brand.
Now, in another major upheaval, pre-owned luxury watch selling platform WatchBox, founded by Danny Govberg, Justin Reis and Tay Liam Wee, has acquired a majority stake in De Bethune.
WatchBox has offices and showrooms in Philadelphia, Neuchâtel, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai (a joint venture with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons).
“The investment will provide capital to allow De Bethune to continue investing in research and development, production, watchmaking talent, global marketing and more,” says Patrik Hoffmann, executive vice-president for WatchBox Switzerland. “It will allow Denis Flageollet and his team to further drive the development of the brand and the creation of extraordinary timepieces.”
The investment by Watchbox is an unprecedented one and raises many questions about what it might mean for both the brand and on a broader level for the industry and other brands. But as is the case with what happened in 2017, this latest announcement is clearly about financial stability and longevity for De Bethune, so it will be interesting to see how this develops.
CEO Pierre Jacques and COO Denis Flageollet will remain on De Bethune’s board of directors.