De bethune triumvirate eng 1
Denis Flageollet, Pierre Jacques and Justin Reiss.

De Bethune leadership bolstered with Justin Reis becoming executive chairman

Justin Reis joins master watchmaker, Denis Flageollet, and CEO Pierre Jacques as a three-man team charged with taking De Bethune to a new level.

De Bethune was bought by WatchBox in 2021 and went on to acquire a majority stake in REUGE, an historic Swiss producer of mechanical music boxes last year.

They all fall under the umbrella of The 1916 Company, which was formed in 2023 with the merger of collectible watch specialist Watchbox and American primary retailers Govberg, Radcliffe and Hyde Park Jewelers.

Now De Bethune has had its leadership team strengthened with the appointment of Justin Reis, a co-founder of WatchBox, as executive chairman.

He will work with co-founder and master watchmaker, Denis Flageollet, and CEO Pierre Jacques.

“In just over 20 years, De Bethune has established an everlasting heritage of creativity, intriguing material science, and true horological innovation, with many ‘world’s firsts’ to its credit. It has also cultivated an impassioned collector community. Our mission is to introduce the talent and ingenuity of Denis – and the energy that fuels this brand – to a broader community of collectors. I am honored to work alongside both Denis and Pierre in this new role as we lead in the brand’s next chapter,” says Mr Reiss.

The three-person leadership team has complementary expertise, experience, and skills.

Mr Flageollet, De Bethune’s founder in 2002, brings vision, creativity, design and technical expertise, Mr Jacques, CEO since 2011, brings his market knowledge and experience, while Mr Reiss brings his financial expertise having spent quarter of a century as an investor and operator of diverse global businesses.

With independent artisan watchmakers living through a period of rising demand and attention from collectors, De Bethune believes it can join the top tier of indies alongside the likes of F.P. Journe.

“We are experiencing profound growth. I’m extremely pleased that Justin has joined us, bringing his international business experience and entrepreneurial energy to propel the company’s development. Together, the three of us will be even stronger, ensuring a bright and promising future for De Bethune,” says Mr Jacques.

Mr Flageollet adds: “I’m delighted to have Justin with us, as he will ensure the continuity and stability of De Bethune. Strengthening our team is a sign of trust and confidence on the part of our shareholders, who see in De Bethune an important potential for growth and development.”

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