If you live in Texas, the de Boulle name is no stranger to you. Located in the heart of the Park Cities in Dallas and with a newly opened boutique in the River Oaks District in Houston with a fascinating Patek Philippe salon —as we featured it here—, de Boulle is one of those authorized dealers worth paying a visit and talking about. Founded almost 32 years ago in 1983 by Denis and Karen Boulle, de Boulle not only maintains the largest inventory of Patek Philippe and Rolex timepieces in the South, but it is one of those mystical authorized dealers everyone has heard about. As you drive down Dallas' upscale Preston Road, there's no way you can miss their iconic colonial cream color mansion —just a block shy of the ultra affluent Highland Park High School and Lovers Lane.
Once you pull up, the first thing you'll notice is that there's either a supercar or a legendary vintage automobile parked on the side of their boutique. That is because de Boulle is heavily involved in collecting automobiles and also quite active in the motorsports arena with their own de Boulle racing team. Once you've parked and spent a few minutes admiring one of their cars, as soon as you walk into their boutique, you'll be greeted by a majestic forged iron gate that not only guards a great selection of watches and jewelry, but also a very special watch shopping experience.
Once inside, get prepared to be surprised by some of the watch brands that their showcases hold. With an inviting living room and a very well stocked bar, Denis Boulle and his staff will treat you just like family. We still recall the first time we walked into this authorized dealer and noticed the lack of attitude or snobbishness. This is a true family owned business where every person that walks through their doors is considered important, regardless of how much they're planning on spending. As you probably know, we've only walked into hundreds of authorized dealers in our watch collecting life; nevertheless, there are very few authorized dealers throughout the world where one can feel so welcomed.
As you make yourself at home, be prepared to start walking around their showroom to find all sorts surprises in their showcases and on their walls. As if knowing that de Boulle holds the most inventory of Patek in the South —only two other points of sale in all Texas with nowhere near the inventory— wasn't enough to get you through the door, just imagine walking in there and running into one of the largest selections we've seen of F.P. Journe —outside of their own boutique network— and even finding there timepieces from Greubel Forsey.
Just to put things into perspective, de Boulle is one of eight points of sale in the U.S.for Greubel Forsey and the only one located in the South; one out of ten authorized dealers carrying F.P. Journe in the U.S. and the only one in Dallas. Even the highly coveted F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu is there waiting for someone to give it a new home.
As you continue to walk around, you'll also notice the large selection of other brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre, Girard-Perregaux, Blancpain, Bell & Ross, Rolex and Tudor amongst others. When you visit de Boulle, make sure you also take a look at the Patek Philippe Worldtimer clock in the back by the elevator and the hundred dollar bill in a frame. That particular bill has a very nice story behind it and is now a special memento for our friends at this authorized dealer.
As you head to the back towards the stairs that take you to a very special room that we'll talk about in a little bit —perhaps our favorite area in this authorized dealer—, you'll notice a small section of pre-owned timepieces by the staircase with a little bit of everything for everyone.
Around the pre-owned section, something that really caught our eye —a piece that hopefully will still be there when you guys stop by—, was a watch that deserves its own dedicated post. Ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about an ultra rare and highly coveted Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar ref. 3974R. Yes, a 3974 in 18K rose gold is sitting there for anyone with the right money for it. This particular watch launched in 1989 for the 150th anniversary of Patek Philippe was in production only until 2000 and as far as we know, only six pieces were made in 18K rose gold making it ultra rare. You all know that this is a watch that will fetch crazy money at Christie's or Phillips. Hopefully, a lucky buyer will get their hands on it before it's sent to auction. A full review of this watch coming soon to our website, please stay tuned.
Once you've come back to reality after looking at such an amazing piece within their pre-owned inventory, we suggest heading upstairs to their Holland & Holland gallery. Whether you are into hunting/shooting or not, this gallery is a must. In case you didn't know, Holland & Holland is a London-based company established in 1835, holder of two Royal Warrants and makers of the finest handmade sporting rifles and shotguns in the world. Going into the upstairs gallery is like putting foot inside a cottage in the British countryside, and by the way, the bar in there is also very well stocked.
While The Dalmore Cigar Malt Whisky and the Macallans 12 are more of your every day type of whiskys, a very special bottle of The Dalmore Constellation Collection from 1980 is sitting in the Holland & Holland gallery. This particular bottle is part of the 21 vintage Single Cask Whiskys created by The Dalmore between 1964 and 1992 and priced in the $3,500-7,000 USD range.
Next to all the tweed jackets, ties and awesome British countryside looking apparel —a notch or two above our beloved Barbour stuff—, you will find a nice assortment of the coveted six figure priced shotguns from Holland & Holland. If you are into hunting or shooting, this is the best of the best and the detail on their hand engravings is simply above the rest.
If you like authorized dealers that make you feel at home and you are looking for a special experience while buying that next grail Patek Philippe or any other watch you fancy right now, a stop at de Boulle is definitely a must when in Dallas or Houston. Here are some pictures we took during the opening of the Patek Philippe Salon within the recently opened de Boulle in the River Oaks District in Houston.
Now, if you're not in Dallas or Houston, but you're serious about getting some of their stuff, I bet you can always give Denis and his team a call to do a purchase over the phone.
de Boulle Dallas, 6821 Preston Rd, Dallas, TX 75205, Phone (214) 522-2400, Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm.
de Boulle Houston's River Oaks District, 4444 Westheimer Rd A168, Houston, TX 77027, Phone (713) 621-2400, Open Mon-Wed 11am-7pm, Thu-Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 12-6pm.