In its first association with tennis, De Bethune has announced a three-year partnership with former French No. 1 player Gaël Monfils. The 27 year-old tennis professional is a watch collector himself, and owns around 30 watches.
As a young company which was only founded in 2002, De Bethune remains small scale and has positioned itself as a “confidential” brand familiar only to connoisseurs, with an annual out of only 300 to 400 watches. Its watches retail for an average price of CHF 90,000, and come with unique features such as titanium floating lugs that come with integrated drawback springs to move the watch towards an optimal position on the owner’s wrist. De Bethune’s CEO Pierre Jacques opined that the partnership reflects shared values and a similar taste for excellence and independence, citing Monfils’s “atypical personality” and penchant for “never [doing] anything the way other people do”.
Indeed, Monfils is an interesting sight on the court. His unusual sliding technique, especially on clay courts, has earned him the nickname “Sliderman”. Originally considered an athletics prodigy when young, Monfils had won the French under-13 and under-14 100m championships and was predicted to make Olympic finals in this event. His love for tennis, however, had him concentrating on the sport instead of competing in athletics at higher levels, and earned him a highest ATP ranking of 7th to date.
At this year’s Wimbledon tournament, Monfils will be wearing his new customised DB28 Black matt model with a blued titanium ring reflecting De Bethune’s signature colour. He will contribute to the testing of De Bethune watches as well, thereby providing additional performance measurements, including that of the brand’s triple pare-chute shock-absorption system. The patented system uses a titanium bridge secured by a spring based structure, and has jewels connecting the various elements, to absorb any shocks and reposition the bridge after a displacement. That will be very necessary, we believe, for the player with one of the strongest forehand strokes on the circuit today.