Sunday, December 20, 2015

De Bethune Debate – Are six figure watches necessary?

As a watch collector with somewhat of a rose colored perspective in relation to anything horological, being invited to a watch event ‘Are Six Figure watches necessary?' proved to be possibly confronting.
Ironically the event was held at the State Library of NSW, another potentially archaic institution.
Maybe I’m quixotic but the idea of reading an actual book within a library such as this, is enriching on so many levels that you just cannot compare it with an e-book.
What was of greater interest was that the watch company hosting the event together with the Hourglass was no other than De Bethune. If there is one current brand that has a strong independence aura it is definitely De Bethune.
This is even apparent on the watches which speak for themselves by having no brand signature or logo.
The brand has its own unique design DNA not only from an aesthetic but more importantly in terms of movement architecture and a passion for genuine innovation.
De Bethune almost operates in a different universe to the rest of the industry. It has taken just eleven short years for two watchmaking devotees to build what history will doubtless view as the foundations of 21st century horology.  In 2002, when David Zanetta, a collector with a passion for art, history and timepieces, decided to join forces in founding De Bethune with Denis Flageollet, the son, grandson and great-grandson of watchmakers, they were both keenly aware of sharing the same vision of tomorrow's watchmaking. Their no compromise approach is finally receiving well deserved accolades amongst the industry and collectors.
In a tech driven, globalised world, the rational mind would certainly paint traditional watchmaking as on a path of eventual obsolescence. Luckily the human race is not entirely rational and there will always be a lure to own objects of irrational desire that spark inexpressible feelings deep inside of us.
Are these watches necessary? No! Are they an investment? No, as we will find out in due course! These questions are not just about watches but all things of human passion. To the crazy collector these creative works that symbolize beauty, romance, and exclusivity are not a desire but a necessity.