The De Bethune DB28 is the perfect incarnation of the brand’s watchmaking ethos – space-age design, innovative watchmaking brought to life by sharp and creative craftsmanship, yet with traditional Haute Horlogerie execution. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of this icon of the indie watchmaking scene, De Bethune introduces a set of three new timepieces distilling the essence of the model. It is now ultra-thin and it has never looked so good! Meet the De Bethune DB28XP collection, with three very different yet all typically De Bethune models.
Launched in 2010, the DB28 perfectly embodies the De Bethune philosophy, in particular with its distinctive case with floating lugs (with variable geometry to fit the owner’s wrist) and crown at 12 o’clock. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the collection, De Bethune opens a new chapter with three new interpretations exploring the same theme: ultra-thin. For Denis Flageollet, the mastermind behind De Bethune, ultra-thin “was a self-evident evolution that is not about amplification but about distilling the essence of the DB28“.
the De Bethune DB28XP
The first version is a direct reference to the first and most fundamental DB28. The DB28XP is a resolutely futuristic take on the ultra-thin watch. This monochromatic metallic sculpture transforms the material into a captivating living mechanism. A multitude of shapes and levels reveal a space-age architecture cut from titanium. Every metal part, including the signature delta-shaped mainplate, is perfectly finished to reflect the light. The guilloché pattern adds extra-depth. The hour markers are polished spheres. The titanium balance with gold inserts is visible through an opening and is held under a superbly finished rounded bridged.
From a technical perspective, the hand-wound movement packs several of the brand’s innovations. It is fitted with the De Bethune balance-spring with a flat terminal curve, a silicon escape wheel or the De Bethune triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system. It runs at 28,800vph and its self-regulating twin-barrel ensures 6 days of power reserve.
Most of all, the watch features a completely redesigned case, preserving the comfort of the ‘floating lugs’ but adapting it to a thinner case (now 7.2mm versus 9.3mm previously). The caseband features a more pronounced and ergonomic curvature. The screw-down crown at 12 o’clock is inspired by pocket watches. The lug’s ‘bullets’ have been redesigned. On the wrist, it looks good and if feels good.
The De Bethune DB28XP Starry Sky
The second DB28XP is a new take on another recurring De Bethune theme and its obsession to recreate the most beautiful nocturnal skies. Presented in ultra-lightweight, mirror-polished titanium, the DB28XP Starry Sky offers a unique spectacle. The blued titanium dial surface is engraved with a multitude of micro-grooves and set with a myriad of gold pins, meticulously driven through one by one. This creates a mesmerizing optical effect enhanced by the changing reflections of the metal.
The firmament on the dial depicted is not random. The customers can select the date, hour and location of their sky, and De Bethune draws the corresponding sky map.
The De Bethune DB28XP Tourbillon
Last, there is the DB28XP Tourbillon. And what a beauty… I can thoroughly recommend that you go hands-on with it if you ever get the chance!
Directly inspired by the DB28 Digitale, the watch features an elegant, classic white barley grain guilloché dial highlighted by a blued-polished titanium hour chapter ring. At 6 o’clock, the tourbillon beats at 36,000 vibrations per hour. The lightweight cage – 0.18gr – rotates on itself every 30 seconds. It comprises 63 components – the lightest of which weighs less than 0.0001gr.
The fast-rotating tourbillon, ultra-light cage and high-frequency balance were designed with the same goal of maximizing the efficiency of the tourbillon and of compensating for the disturbances resulting from wrist movements.
The caseback features a representation of our solar system. A nod to the Aiguille d’Or – the highest distinction of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) – awarded to the first DB28, the position of the planets is that of the evening sky over Geneva when the prestigious prize was presented on 19 November 2011.
Straps & Prices
All three watches are worn on black alligator straps with alligator lining and fit with titanium pin buckles. Price is set at CHF 72,000 for the DB28XP and DB28XP Starry Sky and CHF 180,000 for the DB28XP Tourbillon. For more information, please visit www.debethune.ch.