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With this week’s debut, the DB28XP Meteorite, De Bethune has underscored its fascination – and expertise – at using material hewn from meteorites as watch dials.

The new De Bethune DB28XP Meteorite.

The independent watchmaker has placed the extraterrestrial material into several of its watches over the years, including as the dial material for the brand’s Dream Watch 5 Meteorite and on the DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon Meteorite. This latest example highlights the eye-catching dial by framing it with the well-known ‘floating lug’ De Bethune DB28 case, now dramatically finished in matte black zirconium.

De Bethune differentiates its meteorite dials from others by heating the space-borne slice, a process that results in a spectacular blue shade while also enhancing the material’s random geometrical crosshatched patterns.

Sky map

As the newest example of this technique, the dial on the new DB28XP Meteorite mimics its own celestial origins, complete with varying shades of blue, black and even purple. De Bethune takes full advantage of the scene by adding small white gold pins that appear as stars and planets amid the celestial void.

With this ‘sky map’ in mind, De Bethune will allow each DB28XP Meteorite owner to choose to have the brand customize their watch’s dial by specifying a constellation at a specific date, time and place.

Each customized dial will be placed within the DB28XP case, which here remains 43mm in diameter with its familiar round, ultra-thin crown at 12 o’clock, its hunter-type back and, of course, those dramatic architectural lugs.

The dial’s hour circle echoes the darkened case and is topped by an almost hidden De Bethune signature at 12 o’clock. The watch’s pink gold hands are identical to those on the De Bethune DB28XP Starry Sky dial.

With distinctively terrestrial origins, De Bethune’s own Caliber DB2115v7 represents its own mechanical universe. The manual-wind caliber, with its balance visible at the 6 o’clock position, is built with De Bethune’s well-known, award-winning technical proficiency.

Among those proprietary techniques: the use of a titanium balance with white gold weights placed around the rim, a silicon balance wheel, an in-house balance spring with a flat terminal curve and self-regulating twin barrels that ensure six days of power reserve.

Price: $138,000. De Bethune will make ten examples of the new DB28XP Meteorite.

 

 

De Bethune last week launched the DB Kind of Two Tourbillon, a two-sided watch with a contemporary tourbillon dial that the wearer can flip to show a classical time-only dial.

Like other two-sided watches, the new De Bethune watch means the wearer can choose to expose one of two different dials on his or her wrist.

The contemporary side of the De Bethune DB Kind of Two Tourbillon.

One side of the 42.8mm titanium watch displays the contemporary design with multi-level elements and delta-shaped bridge for which De Bethune is identified. This dial features the brand’s distinctive central hours and minutes hands and its high-speed tourbillon and a thirty-second indication. Here however, De Bethune altered its deltoid-shaped bridge just a bit to make it perfectly symmetrical, a design meant to create a stark sense of harmony.

The classic side of the De Bethune DB Kind of Two Tourbillon.

Classic side

On the other side of the DB Kind of Two De Bethune offers a more classical three-hand, time-only hand-guilloché dial, complete with Arabic numerals collectors might recognize from the brand’s DB8 and DB10. Note that the seconds indication on this side is centrally based, unlike the tourbillon-based seconds indication at the 6 o’clock position on the other side.

De Bethune notes that two-dial watches and clocks have a long history, starting with multi-face tower clocks and extending to similarly equipped table clocks. More recently, we’re familiar with the famed dual-dial Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso.  Serious collectors also wear certain two-faced watches from Bovet, Cartier and others.

To devise the new dual-dial watch, De Bethune had to re-design its famed floating lug case to allow the flip-over case to pivot easily, rotate on its central axis and then to click into place securely. This operation is a simple one because the brand equipped each side of the case with a clever rotating mechanism made up of twenty-eight steel and titanium components.

Equally important is the case’s middle section, which swivels naturally and frames the case and the crown. That crown lands gracefully at either 6 o’clock or 12 o’clock, depending on which side of the DB Kind of Two Tourbillon the wearer chooses to view.

Inside the watch De Bethune’s Caliber DB2579 features patented technical flourishes well known to De Bethune devotees. These include a titanium balance with white gold inserts (optimized for temperature differences and air penetration) and a self-regulating twin barrel. For the tourbillon, De Bethune utilizes the ultra-light, 30-second titanium design it first debuted in 2008.

Price: $250,000.

Specifications: De Bethune DB Kind of Two Tourbillon

Movement: Manual-wind Caliber DB2579 with five-day power reserve, self-regulating twin barrel (De Bethune Innovation, 2004), titanium balance wheel with white gold inserts, optimized for temperature differences and air penetration
(De Bethune Patent, 2016), balance-spring with flat terminal curve (De Bethune Patent, 2006), silicon escape wheel, and ultra-light tourbillon in titanium. 36,000 vibrations per hour. Finishing includes polished and chamfered barrel bridge with shot-blasted stages, polished and chamfered titanium minute bridge with microlight decoration and hand-snailed barrels.

Contemporary single-sided display: hand-polished and blued titanium for hours and minutes with polished inserts, ultra-light De Bethune 30’’ tourbillon in titanium. Hour ring and 30” polished titanium dial with shot-blasted stages, blued polished titanium hour-markers, silvered and relief minute dial.

Classic reverse side display: Hand-polished and blued titanium for hours, minutes and seconds. Dial silvered and relief, with convex levels and guilloché central part.

Case: 42.8mm by 9.5mm titanium with crown at noon on the front, at 6 o’clock on the back, and integrated into the case. Polished grade 5 titanium floating lugs (De Bethune Patent, 2006). Case turning mechanism that can be clearly positioned on the front or back. 
Water resistance to 30 meters.

Strap: Alligator leather, alligator lining. 
Pin buckle in polished grade 5 titanium.

Price: $250,000.

De Bethune marks the tenth anniversary of its DB28 by re-interpreting the 43mm titanium-cased, top-crown watch in three extra-thin versions. All three timepieces re-imagine the DB28 in slightly different ways, but all utilize a new, thinner case with newly designed – but still floating – lugs.  

One of the three celebratory DB28XP debuts flouts a highly polished example of the new ultra-thin case with the prominent De Bethune delta mainplate, one presents a De Bethune Starry Sky design on its dial and the third is equipped with a De Bethune ultra-light tourbillon set in a stunning hand-engraved “barley grain” guilloche pattern.

The Ultra-Thin DB28XP

To create this ultra-thin (measuring 7.2mm compared to 9.3mm in previous models) evolution of the DB28, De Bethune re-designed the case, lugs and the case band, adding a more pronounced curvature.

New finishing needed to reflect the new, thinner profile, according to De Bethune, which is why the new model features highly polished titanium bridges and satin-finished bevels, a visual treat that enhances the thinness of the new watch. Likewise, De Bethune mirror-finishes the emblematic delta-shaped mainplate and with its dial offers a modern take on traditional guilloche technique.

The new ultra-thin titanium case on two of the new watches measures 7.2mm compared to 9.3mm in previous models.

De Bethune of course fits the watch with its own balance-spring with a flat terminal curve, silicon escape wheel and De Bethune triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system. De Bethune has also increased the efficiency (by twenty percent) of its self-regulating twin-barrels to ensure that the hand-wound movement delivers a full six days of power reserve.

DB28XP Starry Sky

Here, De Bethune creates its first-ever blued Microlight dial, comprised of a blue titanium base with applied microgrooves, to deliver a celestial dial show. Those ‘stars’ on the dial are actually white gold pins placed with precision and as requested by the customer.

As you may know, De Bethune allows the customer to select a date, hour and location so that it can create a night sky exactly as desired by the watch’s owner.

The DB28XP Starry Sky features the hour circle in silver, the minutes in Arabic numerals, the De Bethune signature at 12 o’clock and rose gold hands designed especially for the new watch.

DB28XP Tourbillon

With this third interpretation of the DB28 theme, De Bethune rearranges the movement’s architecture by placing an exceedingly lightweight (0.18 grams-which De Bethune calls “the lightest ever”) 30-second, 36,000-bph tourbillon at 6 o’clock. De Bethune notes that the dial of the DB28 Digitale inspired the new design.

Offering hour, minute and seconds indications, the DB28XP Tourbillon’s white dial with silver reflections is stunning indeed. It provides an enthralling hand-engraved “barley grain” guilloche pattern, highlighted by a blued hour circle with polished marker dots.

If you can bear to turn the watch to its caseback, there’s another reward to viewing the DB28XP Tourbillon: a representation of our solar system that references the Aiguille d’Or – the highest distinction of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) – awarded to the first DB28. The position of the planets is that of the evening sky over Geneva when the prize was presented on November 19, 2011.

The position of the planets is that of the evening sky over Geneva when the GPHG prize was presented to the first DB28 on November 19, 2011.

Prices:

DB28XPTIS1, Polished Titanium:  $79,900

DB28XPTIS3v2, Titanium Starry Sky: $79,900

DB28XPTTIS1, Tourbillon with Titanium Barleycorn motif:  $198,000

 

 

Now aglow in a slimmer rose gold case, the newest De Bethune DB25 Starry Varius is now a bit warmer in tone. Still focusing the eye skyward, with a personalized view of the stars, the latest edition is sleeker than ever with its 8.8mm-thick case and renewed lugs.

De Bethune has re-made the integrated, hollow lugs, first seen in the titanium model from 2018, so that they now hug the 42mm case a bit closer to the wrist. Framing a personalized sky, gold pins stand in for the stars framed by the new polished rose gold 5N case. The sky itself is blued and polished titanium.

De Bethune produces the dial’s Milky Way patterns with its mastery of high-tech laser beam micro milling. The pattern is then gilded with more traditional 24-karat gold leaf. 

The watch continues to be powered by in-house mechanical manual winding DB2005 caliber with six-day power reserve, equipped with the latest in-house titanium balance wheel (optimized for temperature differences and friction) as well as the De Bethune’s heralded triple pare-chute shock absorbing system. Price: $72,000, or $85,000 with diamond bezel.

The new rose gold DB25 Starry Varius case is also made with diamond-set bezel and lugs.

Specifications: De Bethune DB25 Starry Varius

Case: 42mm by 8.8mm rose gold with integrated, hollow lugs and open case back.

Movement: Hand-wound manufacture caliber DB2005 with six-day power reserve. Titanium balance wheel with white gold inserts, optimized for temperature differences and air penetration, De Bethune balance-spring with flat terminal curve, silicon escape wheel
Triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system. Power Reserve is approximately six days with self-regulating twin-barrel and 30meters of water resistance

Dial: Star-studded sky in blued and polished titanium with hand-fitted, white gold pins depicting the stars

Strap/Bracelet: hand-stitched alligator leather with alligator lining and pin buckle in rose gold 5N