Three years ago De Bethune introduced the DB27 Titan Hawk with a silver/white dial, as the first of the new DB27 collection. A year later the brand that is known of the quirky, futuristic designs, marvelous technical feats and one of the best finished movements in the entire watch industry, introduced several other colours of dials, including a black dial and a striking salmon colour dial. Now they introduce the a second DB27 Titan Hawk with black dial, however the first with a matte finished titanium case. And that works very well!
We won’t go all lyrical on every watch brand, however here at Monochrome we really dig what De Bethune is doing. Not only aesthetically, but also technically and in terms of finishing the movements (just check these photos of the DB29 MaxiChrono). These guys were the first to come with flame-blued titanium movement parts and even managed to get an even blue tint on the ‘floating lugs’ and titanium case, by heat treatment. They have a number of patents for the balance, the balance spring, shock absorbers, and much more. Mind you, this is a ‘small’ watchmaking company, and not one that produces tens of thousands of watches a year. This is proper high-end watchmaking, mixed with innovative thinking, meaning De Bethune is always trying to improve the mechanical movement where-ever that’s possible, without compromising true watchmaking.
Typical for several of De Bethune’s collections are the so-called ‘floating lugs’ that more or less wrap around the wrist. This is made possible by pivoting the lugs at 3 and 9 o’clock, and it ensures an extremely comfortable wear. The use of titanium for the case and lugs – which is very light and hypoallergenic – also add to the lightness and comfort of the DB27. With this kind of case/lug construction it’s not possible, or at least not very easy, to position the crown at its usual 3 o’clock position. De Bethune choose to place the crown at the 12 o’clock position, reminiscent of old pocket watches. And when you look at the watch, it could well be a modern iteration of a pocket watch that’s held between two modern floating lugs.
Inside ticks the De Bethune in-house movement calibre S233, with automatic winding and a power reserve of 6 days. The movement features a typical De Bethune innovation, which is the a silicon and white gold annular balance wheel. This is exceptional light and enables the balance wheel to reduce mechanical friction and deliver an ideal inertia/mass ratio. See, that’s the kind of improvement I was referring to before. The balance spring has a flat terminal curve, which compensates for off-centering and facilitates its fastening. The calibre is named S233, after the specific gravity of silicon, and powers the central hour, minute and date functions.
Some specifications – De Bethune DB27 Titan Hawk
- Case: 44mm in diameter, satin finished titanium, floating lugs, solid case back with small crystal to see the balance
- Movement: Calibre S233, self-winding, self-regulating twin barrel, mainplate is hand-decorated and snailed, hand-chamfered and polished steel parts, triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system, 34 jewels, 28,800 vph, power reserve of 6 days
- Strap: Alligator leather strap with ardillon buckle
The price is CHF 37,000 Swiss Francs. More info at: www.debethune.ch