Denis Flageollet, who co-founded De Bethune twenty years ago, was first indoctrinated into the art of watchmaking at his father’s bench, and then went on to pursue, at De Bethune, a form of watchmaking like no other. His creations at De Bethune are often technical tours de force, but they are also expressions of a vision of watch design in which both old and new materials express their inner character in often unique and unexpected ways.
Denis finds the natural beauty of the Jura Mountains an endless source of inspiration for De Bethune watches. He has said that to understand materials, you have to know them on a visceral, physical level – that there is a grain and structure within a watchmaker's materials which, ideally, is revealed and illuminated by the watchmaker's art. In Seeking Perfect, we see Denis create a unique watch case in steel, beginning with rough iron ore from the earth around his atelier. At his forge, Denis transforms this raw material into a case of spectacular beauty – an example of the essence of the watchmaker's art, in which simple substances like iron and brass become objects of both high precision, and high mechanical art.