If St. Valentine's Day were not such a commercial event and you had all the money in the world, which timepiece would you give your companion in life?
I would definitely opt for a model by De Bethune. The DB 28 Skybridge mimicking the night sky at birth, if I wanted to give a romantic gift – or the Maxichrono Tourbillon DB29 if I had to choose a sporty, high-performance model. Why? Because they're such beautifully accomplished designs. There's no unnecessary information, the products are truthful to the brand's claims. And they're like nothing else on the market. First, there's the aesthetic and artistic research, sometimes a little indulgent, that goes into their making. Then there's the high-level research into watchmaking technologies. It's all contained to perfection in this consistent range of harmoniously balanced, legible watches, like in the case of this amazing chronograph. My Valentine would pore over every detail and refinement for hours on end, checking out the perfection of finish. Nothing is left to chance, and these pieces are being discovered more and more. Finally, he'd really appreciate the creative independence of De Bethune and the rarity of its creations. To be honest, I think he might have already mentioned his love for the brand to me once or twice!
How would you present the gift?
In a place a bit closer to the stars: like on a mountain peak overlooking a beautiful snowy vista… How amazing would that be just after a wonderful ski climb and before an equally magical descent?!
And if your companion were to offer you a watch for St. Valentine's Day without asking you first, which model should he choose?
He's already got the list! Having said that, you're right, it's best to keep a note of these things (laughs). I've long been an admirer of the Zenith Elite Ultra-thin, blue or white dial. But at the last SIHH, I fell for the Altiplano 38mm blue dial. I prefer the more elegant masculine models, or unisex depending on how you look at it. The sizes of men's watches don't necessarily suit my wrist, but the extra-flat models look very good on me. And it's important to feel comfortable at all times with your watch, if you want to wear it with pride and pleasure. Finally, speaking as a female watch lover, what's not to like about the technical achievement of an extra-flat movement?.
And what is your ideal context or situation for receiving such a gift?
Over a warming fondue by the fireside, after a day's ski tour, after I've given my husband his own De Bethune...
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