De Bethune, the brand created by master watchmaker Denis Flageollet, is known for its combination of ultra-modern designs combined with an impressive level of finishing and work on materials such as titanium (the signature alloy of the brand). And when you know the attention to detail applied to the movements, it’s almost a shame having them hidden behind a dial, how beautiful that dial can be. This is why in 2018, De Bethune released the DB28 Steel Wheels, a watch under the sign of transparency and light, opening the dial to reveal the contemporary architecture of its movement. Now, the same concept is applied to the brand’s extra-flat titanium watch, with the new De Bethune DB28XP Steel Wheels.
In 2020, De Bethune released the DB28XP collection, an extra-thin series of watches designed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the emblematic DB28 design. Combining the bold, signature case with floating lugs with a reduced height was a challenge, both design-wise and mechanically, and the result, in the shape of these 3 watches, was absolutely stunning. Having established the DB28XP as a true member of the family, Denis Flageollet decided that it was time to reveal what’s inside the watch, by applying the same concept as the DB28 Steel Wheels.
Based on the same case as before, the new DB28XP Steel Wheels is a 43mm watch with a height of only 7.2mm. Made entirely in grade 5 titanium, all surfaces are polished to a mirror level and left here in the alloy’s natural colour – Flageollet can do some crazy stuff with oxidization processes on titanium… Being part of the DB28 family, it features the patented floating lugs, articulated so the watch always hugs the wrist – specifically when combined with the extra-supple, ultra-thin alligator strap the brand often uses.
The magic of the De Bethune DB28XP Steel Wheels happens on the dial. It’s all about layers, opened areas, architectural elements… A multitude of different shapes and finishes – hemispherical, concave, spherical, a sequence of microlight, satin, polished and blocked finishes – allow a continuous interplay of light and shadow. Most elements of the dial are like the case, made of grade 5 titanium, with a central triangular central bridge, another signature design element of the brand. All technical elements, from the two barrels to the regulating organ, are visible. Time is indicated by blued titanium hands, pointing at blued titanium spherical hour-markers.
The impressive and distinctive architecture of in-house Calibre 2115v11 is highlighted by these newly opened parts and bridges. The aperture at 6 o’clock reveals the spectacular balance wheel in blued titanium with white gold inserts, as well as the balance-spring with flat terminal curve and the silicon escape wheel. The entire regulating organ is held in place by a transversal, mirror polished titanium bridge.
The movement itself might be ultra-thin, it is nevertheless powerful. This hand-wound calibre, made in-house and entirely finished by hand, is equipped with two barrels and stores up to 6 days of power reserve when fully wound. It is equipped with many of the brand’s innovations (some patented), such as the titanium balance, the “De Bethune” balance-spring or the triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system. A power reserve indicator is visible through the sapphire caseback.
The De Bethune DB28XP Steel Wheels is released as a limited edition of 25 pieces. Price is not revealed (upon request) but expect it to be in the low 6-digit range.
For more details, please visit www.debethune.ch.