Monochrome Watches
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De Bethune Maestri’Art Collection

De Bethune unveils two unique pieces celebrating Asian art and Métiers d’art.

| By Xavier Markl | 2 min read |

Denis Flageollet, the watchmaker and creator behind De Bethune, is known as one of the most brilliant watchmakers of his generation, in particular for his technical developments. The new De Bethune Maestri’Art collection reveals another facet of his talent and his passion for Asian art. The collection aims at celebrating métiers d’art and the artisans behind these works of art – De Bethune worked with master engraver Michèle Rothen for these two unique pieces.

The De Bethune Maestri’Art I is an inspired take on the DB27, paying tribute to Japanese Tsubas. A Tsuba is the hand guard of a Japanese sword. Far beyond its practical use (balancing the sword and protecting the hand), the tsuba is an elaborate piece of art. These are finely decorated and collectors’ items nowadays. Measuring 43mm in diameter, the case of the Maestri’Art I is fashioned out of a dark alloy forged by Denis Flageollet himself and inspired by traditional tsuba alloys. Its dark dial matches the colour of the case and it is inlaid with hand-engraved gold Japanese-inspired motifs (tiger and dragon).

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The hours and minutes are displayed on a micro-dial in the centre of the watch. Inside is the automatic calibre AutoV2, featuring the brand’s titanium balance wheel with gold inserts, a De Bethune balance spring with a flat terminal curve and a steel escape wheel.

Also featuring Asian-inspired hand-engraved motifs, the De Bethune Maestri’Art 2 is a creation based on the DB25 Starry Varius in blued grade 5 titanium, engraved and enhanced with gold particles. The dial explores the symbolism associated with the carp, a fish venerated for its courage and perseverance. The model measures 42mm and is slightly smaller than the Maestri’Art I. The hours and minutes are indicated on 12 diamond indices. Turning the watch over the exhibition caseback offers an unimpeded view of the superb hand-wound calibre DB205 boasting 6 days of power reserve and the brand’s traditional immaculate finishing.

Both watches are worn on alligator straps with alligator lining and a pin buckle. Price is set at CHF 135,000 and CHF 110,000 respectively for the Maestri’Art I and II. For more information, please visit

3 responses

  1. Dare I say it? Yes I think I do. These pieces aren’t done quite well enough to really impress Chinese and Japanese connoisseurs. The Chinese get a bad rap because Western corporations make young people work 20 hour shifts to produce el cheapo goods. But Chinese and Japanese artisans are astounding when given the time. These are….quite good.

  2. The blue fishy one looks like someone ran out of spray paint…then forgot to remove the template afterward.

  3. The dark dragon version is the least successful here. Its “micro dial” seems quite toyish, and the case only reinforces the unbelievable novelty of this piece. Its carving is at least evocative of quality although not so much that your certain it wasn’t stamped in a run of 10,000.
    The “blue fishy one” (ouch!) looses me in the titanium, which looks too forward as the design leans backward. I too find the gold flecks quite unsuccessful. I think both suffer from a lack of genuine artistic identity, and what is given is certainly not reflected in its six figure expense.

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