Monochrome Watches
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De Bethune Goes John Player Special, With The DB28GS JPS

The DB28GS adopts the emblematic JPS contrasting black and gold graphics

| By Xavier Markl | 3 min read |
De Bethune DB28GS JPS John Player Special

Originally presented in 2015, the DB28GS was the first sports watch created by independent watchmaker De Bethune. Like all of the brand’s watches, it combines a neo-futuristic design with an innovative, thorough technical approach. The filiation with the DB28 is unmistakable with its floating lugs, delta-shaped bridge and exposed balance wheel. But the GS is larger, bolder, sportier and water-resistant to 105 metres. The model returns in a limited-edition named De Bethune DB28GS JPS and wearing a black and gold livery in tribute to a golden age of motorsport, of mechanical and aerodynamical research… that of John Player Special Lotus race cars.

De Bethune DB28GS JPS John Player Special

To do so, Denis Flageollet and his team applied their watchmaking wizardry and unique mastery of the thermal oxidation of metals to create a black and gold version of the model. The golden accents are in fact oxidized titanium. The ergonomic 44mm case also uses black zirconium for the case middle and hardened steel for the case back, bezel and floating lugs. These are DLC-treated for the occasion. The brand mentions that DLC-coatings are “often used rather inappropriately by applying it to materials that are too soft – such as 316L stainless steel or titanium which are deformed beneath the DLC layer and render it brittle – De Bethune uses DLC treatment only on ultra-hard tempered stainless steels such as those used in engines or for sharp surgical tools. The hard DLC layer adheres perfectly to the hard material and is not destroyed by impacts.”

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De Bethune DB28GS JPS John Player Special

De Bethune DB28GS JPS is powered by the hand-wound calibre DB2080 with hours, minutes, central seconds and power reserve indication. Made of no fewer than 400 parts, this superb movement is an integral part of the watch design with its characteristic architecture. It incorporates several of the brand’s innovations such as an optimized titanium balance wheel with gold inserts and fitted with a De Bethune balance spring with a flat terminal curve. The escape wheel is in silicon. The calibre DB2080 runs at 4 Hz and its power reserve is substantial at 5 days when fully wound. 

De Bethune DB28GS JPS John Player Special

As you have come to expect from De Bethune, the finishing is top-notch and in a class of its own. For this JPS execution, the motion-work bridge is mirror-yellow polished grade 5 titanium. The plate and barrel bridge covers are in black hand-smoothed grade 5 titanium and adorned with “Microlight engraving”. The barrels are hand-snailed. The steel parts are polished and chamfered by hand.

De Bethune DB28GS JPS John Player Special

Just like on the previous versions of the GS, the crown is at 12 o’clock while the pusher at 6 o’clock allows you to illuminate the dial on-demand. Fully mechanical, it works with no electronics or batteries. A small gear train driven by twin barrels allows to generates electricity and light (just like with a bicycle dynamo) for a few seconds… Just enough for the DB28GS JPS to show its black and gold livery in the dark!

The De Bethune DB28GS JPS comes with a rubber strap and a canvas/leather strap. The folding clasp is in black hardened steel. A limited edition of 50 pieces, it retails at CHF 105,000 excluding taxes.

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2 responses

  1. Another hefty priced watch with good water resistance. Switzerland should force this rule for the entire high segment.

    I think that the exclusive lighting system of the watch is also the weakest part of the movement.

  2. I wonder whether JPS would agree to pay for a discount if one agreed to flash it around amongst one’s very rich friends (No? – me neither)!?

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