De Bethune has installed a robotic arm in its workshop as part of a service to offer a ‘customized chronometric adjustment’ to any customer purchasing a De Bethune watch.
Called the Sensoriel Chronometry Project, the new service requires the client to wear an electronic, sensor-filled test watch for two weeks to record the wearer’s environment and arm and wrist actions. The Project initially offers the services to purchasers of the DB28GS Grand Blue.
The data compiled will allow the De Bethune Chronometry Workshop in Switzerland to analyze the owner’s specific type of wear.
To achieve this, De Bethune has built the robot arm inside its Manufacture in L’Auberson. Using state-of-the-art technology, the device will recreate the wearer’s movements in their specific environment.
By reproducing the future environment of the timepiece, De Bethune will adjust the watch precisely to the needs of the wearer. De Bethune will attach a personalized report with the watch detailing all the data used for its adjustment.
De Bethune explains that “wearers will not have to do anything special, except wear the test watch in exactly the same conditions as their future timepiece and regularly recharge it on a simple charging station or using a classic USB cable.”
Last year producer and talent scout Swizz Beatz challenged De Bethune to create a “totally different Dream Watch 5.” This week, De Bethune debuted its response to that challenge with a watch worthy of the futuristic Dream Series.
The new De Bethune Dream Watch 5 Tourbillon Season 1 is a spectacular deltoid-shaped, blued-titanium and sapphire wrist rocket regulated by a De Bethune high-velocity tourbillon.
The inventive Swiss company, lead by pioneering watchmaker Denis Flageollet, has built on its own Dream Watch legacy by refining its pointedly curved Dream Watch 5 case, first seen in 2014, into a skeletal sculpture that both showcases an open-set dial while also protecting it with two dramatic blued titanium bridges.
As De Bethune points out, there is nothing straight or flat about this latest Dream Watch 5 case, which is composed of seven different sapphire components ingeniously embedded into a polished blue titanium frame.
At the center, gripped by the watch’s titanium exoskeleton, is a three-dimensional orb that indicates the moon phases. Adjacent, and just below the blue bridges, the wearer eyes the hours and minutes directly through a hand-cut cabochon-shaped crystal.
The back of the watch (below) is almost as dramatic, especially since the ultra-clear sapphire back seems to magnifying the beauty of De Bethune’s mirror-polished DB2149 high-speed tourbillon caliber. The 30-second tourbillon oscillates at 36,000 vibrations/hour, set just beneath a slightly blued sapphire window. See specifications below for additional details about this expertly engineered, highly tuned movement.
De Bethune notes that to enhance the interior of the DW5 Episode 1, it collaborates with Swiss engraver Michèle Rothen, who has ‘retouched’ each surface with added micro-detail and greater dimension.
The De Bethune Dream Watch 5 Tourbillon Season 1 is a ten-piece limited edition.
Specifications: De Bethune Dream Watch 5 Tourbillon ‘Season 1’
(Reference DW5TSB, a ten-piece limited edition)
Functions: Hours, minutes, central spherical moon-phase indication, 30-minute indication on the ultra-light silicon and titanium De Bethune tourbillon cage (appearing on the back).
Movement: DB2149 hand-wound, three positions (for winding, spherical moon phase and time setting), titanium balance-wheel with white gold inserts, De Bethune balance-spring with flat terminal curve, silicon escape-wheel, spherical moon-phase display accurate to within one lunar day every 1,112 years, De Bethune ultra-light silicon and titanium 30-second tourbillon, 36,000 vibrations/hour.
Dial: Blued grade-5 titanium aperture frame.
Case: 58mm by 47mm by 17mm tapered hand-polished and blued grade- 5 titanium, open-worked with sapphire blue inserts and hand-engraved motifs, cabochon-cut blue sapphire crown.
Bracelet: Blue canvas/leather with an additional rubber strap, titanium clasp with polished and blued titanium pin buckle.
De Bethune bills its new DB25 GMT Starry Varius as the smaller (42mm) alternative to the 45mm DB25 World Traveller, which debuted in 2016. For the most part, that’s true, though you won’t find a series of city names positioned around the dial on this new dual-time model to quickly display global times.
The new watch, however, adds a GMT function to the displays, which smartly retains the original model’s multi-level, concentric spheres and its unusual miniature gold and blued-steel orb, dubbed the ‘microsphere.’
In its smaller guise (42mm by 11.8mm), the new watch also retains other characteristics De Bethune builds into its entire DB25 Starry Varius collection. These include a polished grade-5 titanium case, a starry sky accompanied by its Milky Way and De Bethune’s characteristic integrated, open-worked lugs.
Reading the dial
With the date visible in the central disc visa a jumping hand, the two time zones can be discerned with a check of the blued central hands (local time) and the mysteriously circling dual-metal orb (second ‘home’ time). You’ll even know whether it’s daytime or nighttime at home thanks to the orb’s two halves: one blue (evening) and the other pink gold (daytime). For added realistic affect, the slow-rotating microsphere very gradually reveals both sunrise and sunset.
To add an even more poetic display to the dial, De Bethune places a polished pink gold sun in the dial’s center, just across from the beautifully blued and polished titanium miniature night sky dotted with white gold ‘star’ pins.
De Bethune powers its new DB25 GMT Starry Varius with its hand-wound Caliber DB2507, the independent watchmaker’s twenty-ninth movement.
Visible through the watch’s sapphire caseback, the movement operates by drawing on an extensive list of advanced features, all of which again underscore De Bethune’s well-earned reputation for technical mastery.
Just a partial list of these features includes: A titanium balance with white gold inlays, a balance spring with a De Bethune flat terminal curve, an escape-wheel made of silicon and a regulator held in place by a triple pare-chute system which combines a titanium bridge held in place by a leaf-spring system. The movement’s two barrels, which are partially visible from the caseback, boast an impressive five-day power reserve. Price: $110,000.
De Bethune’s new diver, introduced late last year and affectionately called the Yellow Submarine, brings a whole new look to the dive genre. While the DB28GSVY embraces the warmer tones of gold, amber and orange, its case and components are not crafted in gold but are actually made from heat-treated titanium and steel.
Mounted on De Bethune’s articulated case/lug platform, the Yellow Submarine embodies the past and future of watchmaking in a single case. Space-age design and materials are married to traditional watchmaking solutions and then taken to the next level.
Powering the watch is the DeBethune manual-wind caliber DB2080, which is comprised of 400 individual components, including 51 jewels. Power reserve is stretched to five days thanks to a dual-barrel system as well as the fine-tuned escapement, with its titanium balance, white gold inserts and a profile designed to minimize fluid friction. The balance wheel cycles at 28,800 beats per hour.
Releasing power to the unique balance is an escape wheel crafted in silicon. The entire escapement assembly is protected by a triple Pare-Chute system developed in-house by De Bethune. Other unique aspects to this particular timepiece include that it eschews the normal practice of slathering luminous paint everywhere to read the time. Only the hands have slim strips of lume while an amazing electro-mechanical system creates light via a micro-dynamo and LED lighting system activated by the push of the actuator at 6 o’clock.
Push the button and watch the repeater-like regulator spin while four LED sources cast light across the dial. Since this is technically a dive watch it also incorporates a rotating bezel, but in this case the outer coin-edge grip actually rotates an inner rehaute with pierced cutouts showing beautiful blue numerals. The 44mm case mounts the crown at 12 o’clock. Each example of the twenty-five in this very limited edition is priced at $110,000.
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 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.
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.