The Answers With… Nick Boulle, second-generation jeweller and president of De Boulle Diamond & Jewelry, and a professional race car driver
As a second-generation jeweller, 33-year-old Nick Boulle, president of De Boulle Diamond & Jewelry, splits his time between his family’s sprawling 1,263-square-metre retail empire in Dallas, just off the city’s prestigious Preston Road, and its recently opened second, 325-square-metre store in Houston’s posh River Oaks District. The retailer is known for exceptional diamonds and watches—Patek Philippe and Rolex have dedicated showrooms in the Houston location—and both boutiques have become go-to destinations.
When he’s not working the floor and acting as gatekeeper to De Boulle’s coveted inventory, Boulle can be found strapping in behind the wheel at professional race car competitions such as the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. Not surprisingly, both his vault and his garage keep pace with his life in the fast lane. Here’s how he rolls.
What have you done recently for the first time?
A good friend of mine who was in the Marines started a charity called Ride for Your Flag. It’s a 3,582-kilometre motorcycle ride, attended primarily by military veterans, from Texas to Montana. He lent me a Ducati 1200 Hypermotard, and I went along with the crew and helped raise money.
What, apart from more time, would make the biggest difference to your life?
The ability to be in two places at once… or maybe three or four places.
What do you do that’s still analog?
My dad and I love old cars. Most cars nowadays have an electric fuel pump. On vintage cars, you have to prime the fuel pump: Pull the choke, pump the throttle five or six times, let it turn over. The engine runs and runs and runs, and then it comes to life.
What in your wardrobe do you wear most often?
I’m not much of a shopper. I do have a pair of pants from Brunello Cucinelli that have lasted five or six years. And I run six to eight kilometres a day, so I’m always buying new running shoes. I like a lot of what [Zurich-based brand] On has done.
When was the last time you completely unplugged?
When I’m in a race car, that’s when nothing else is coming in. And another time was when my fiancée and I went to Aspen. I love horses, so I booked us for a four-hour horseback ride. When we got on the trail, we had no cell service. We ended up out there for six hours.
What’s your favourite hotel?
Cap Juluca in Anguilla. That was probably the best experience I’ve ever had at a hotel.
What’s the most recent thing you’ve added to your collection?
I bought myself a stainless-steel Rolex Sky-Dweller for my 30th birthday.
How many watches do you own?
I think I have seven. I have a couple of Rolexes. I have a Tudor that was a limited edition of 25 that we did for sponsors when we went to Le Mans. I have a Girard-Perregaux. It’s one of the OG Laureatos made in cooperation with Ferrari, so it has the outline of the F40 on the back. I’m working towards a Patek. My dad and I share his Patek Philippe Ref. 5204 in rose gold and a Ref. 5712/1A. Those are two of my favourites, especially the movement on the 5204.
What watch are you wearing right now?
My steel-and-gold Daytona that I won at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
How do you get to sleep?
I like to read before going to bed. It helps me switch off. I just finished Billion Dollar Whale. Earlier this year, I read Extreme Ownership. That was an interesting book.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
I’d love to learn how to juggle better, figuratively and literally. I also want to learn how to do a wheelie on a motorcycle this year.
Drive or be driven?
What are your regular tables in London, New York and LA? And let’s throw Dallas and Houston in there.
Can I throw Paris in there, too? My favourite restaurant in Paris is L’Avenue. In New York, I like the small Cipriani [on West Broadway]. In London, Chiltern Firehouse. In Houston, I love the food at Le Colonial and Bludorn. And in both Dallas and New York, I like Le Bilboquet.
What is the car you’re most attached to?
Our Porsche 911 Speedster—a 2019 GT3. You’re never going to take it to the race track, but it’s just fun everywhere.
Do you still write letters?
I write thank-you notes by hand, and I save all of the notes that people give me. When is an appropriate time to throw away a note that someone gave you for a special occasion?
What was your last streaming binge?
The Lost Leonardo.
What’s your wine of choice?
I don’t drink a lot of wine. I drink Clase Azul Reposado and Reserva de la Familia tequilas.
What’s your most treasured possession?
My racing helmets. When you’re in a car, that’s your identity. Yellow is our corporate colour, so one of my helmets has a pearl-white ring and it’s in De Boulle yellow. I spent, and I’m not exaggerating, seven months determining exactly how I wanted it to be.
What was your favourite children’s book growing up?
Dr. Seuss or Winnie-the-Pooh. I still like Winnie-the-Pooh. He’s very positive.
What are you afraid of?
I’m always scared of standing still.
What music makes you smile?
I’m a big fan of Maroon 5 and things like Kygo and chill house music.