De Bethune, the independent Swiss watchmaker, recently acquired a majority stake in Reuge manufacture, the renowned producer of music automaton. Together, the two Sainte-Croix-based companies have plans “expand their technical vocabulary, and develop synergies to accelerate the renewal of art mechanics.”
With more than 155 years of expertise, Reuge manufactures mechanical automations that are technically, acoustically, and aesthetically exceptional. Forward-thinking and innovative define Reuge just as much as its respect for traditional craftsmanship. The brand consistently explores new materials, themes and acoustics. Reuge has been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible World Heritage.
The music machines manufactured by Reuge are operated by comb-and-pin cylinders that are mechanically wound, and can play multiple tunes. While renditions of classical compositions are typical, the brand does not shy away from contemporary music. Reuge’s most high-profile partnership thus far has been with MB&F, resulting in numerous distinctive clock and music box combinations, such as the MusicMachines 1, 2 and 3.
De Bethune is an independent Swiss watch manufacturer located in L’Auberson. Denis Flageollet, the founder of the brand and its Master Watchmaker has assembled a team of nearly 50 people, comprising watchmakers, engineers, designers, micro-mechanics, polishers and decorators. As a result, the brand designs, develops and manufactures all of its timepieces in-house. Pierre Jacques is the current CEO.
Since its foundation, De Bethune has developed no fewer than 30 calibres, unveiled some thirty world premieres, registered numerous patents, and produced 150 one-offs for the most discerning collectors. De Bethune timepieces have won the highest distinctions, including the Aiguille d’Or of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for the Watch of the Year.
Both De Bethune and Reuge are both based in Sainte-Croix, in the Jura Mountains, one of Switzerland’s key watchmaking regions. Since both brands create high-end mechanical pieces in very limited numbers, we can expect co-branded creations to be unveiled sometime in the future.