De Bethune’s mastery of mechanical watchmaking is equalled, or perhaps even surpassed by the brand’s metallurgic, almost alchemistic, expertise. Regarded as one of the best independent watchmakers in the business, Denis Flageollet and his team know a thing or two about creating a controversial timepiece. Futuristic shapes, integration of unlikely materials and an unparalleled touch of refinement are common elements in most De Bethune watches. The Dream Watch collection, however, pushes all this far beyond what was previously thought conceivable, with the De Bethune Dream Watch 5 Tourbillon “Season 1” being the latest creation by the mad scientists.
De Bethune presents the Dream Watch 5 Tourbillon as revolving around the themes of light and transparency, and that immediately becomes clear when looking at it. Where previous Dream Watch creations provided an almost full canvas for artistic crafts such as intricate hand-engraving or an atypical oxidation process, in the Season 1 Watch, the deltoid shaped case is opened up like never before.
The case is made of grade 5 titanium with a polished finish throughout. In typical De Bethune style, it has been fully blued, something that is extremely challenging to do with such an intricate shape. For the Dream Watch 5 Tourbillon Season 1, the case is opened up both front and back to reveal more of the movement underneath. A total of 8 differently shaped sapphire crystals are used to retain the shape of the original case whilst allowing your view to entering it at the same time. Amongst other components, they reveal the jumping hour and dragging minute disc with the spherical palladium and blued steel moonphase indicator alongside it.
Such a watch needs an exceptional movement, and the De Bethune Dream Watch 5 Season 1 does not let down. The in-house developed DB2149 calibre uses 356 components and some of De Bethune’s best mechanical innovations to date. The high-speed tourbillon escapement rotates once every 30 seconds and it is running at a frequency of 36,000vph. It is made up of a titanium balance wheel with gold inserts, a silicon escape wheel and a De Bethune balance spring with a flat terminal curve. The in-house self-regulating twin barrel system ensures a constant level of torque and provides 60 hours of autonomy.
The De Bethune DW5 Tourbillon Season 1 is a polarizing watch if there ever was one. It is a creation that will spark discussion, and that will split opinions straight down the middle. It is presented as a limited edition of 10 pieces only, all strapped to a blue canvas and leather strap, with an additional blue rubber strap provided. The price for this very sculptural watch is a hefty one for sure, at USD 520,000.
For more information, please visit DeBethune.ch.