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10 Years of DB28 & the De Bethune DB28XP Collection, Explained by Master Watchmaker Denis Flageollet

In conversation with the man behind De Bethune, "Mad Professor" Denis Flageollet.

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Brice Goulard | ic_query_builder_black_24px 2 min read |

De Bethune is truly a brand apart in the Swiss watchmaking industry, and not only for its unique and emblematic designs. There’s a lot more to the brand than meets the eye. In 2002, two men, David Zanetta, watch expert and collector, and Denis Flageollet, a fourth-generation master watchmaker, launched the brand. In 2010, an icon was released, a watch with an incredible design and a true laboratory of innovation for the brand, developing titanium surface treatments and unprecedented materials for the movement. This watch is the DB28 and as this year marks its 10th anniversary, the brand released the De Bethune DB28XP Collection. And that’s what we discuss today with Denis Flageollet, amiably nicknamed the “mad professor” by our own founder. 

De Bethune DB28XP

From the earliest days, De Bethune was characterized by its fascinating mix of tradition and innovation. Space-age designs, use of high-tech materials, research of completely new oxidation processes on titanium… All the while demonstrating a profound respect for traditional watchmaking and its techniques. Handmade was the only way to do things at De Bethune and still is today. From 2002 to 2010, De Bethune consolidated its presence on the independent scene, creating superb watches with often quite classical designs. In 2010, things evolved.

De Bethune DB28XP

The most emblematic watch produced by De Bethune is the DB28. It won the Aiguille d’Or award at the 2011 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) and featured all the signature elements that, in our minds, make a De Bethune a De Bethune: the floating lugs, the 3D moon phase indicator in flame-blued steel and palladium moon, the use of blued titanium elements (resulting from an oxidation process). And then came the mechanical innovations, such as the in-house hairspring with a patented terminal curve, or the flat, solid balance in silicon with a  platinum ring or the stunning level of hand-decoration (those polished titanium bridges…) All cutting-edge, unprecedented solutions and design elements that have come together to create the icon that is the DB28 – which, despite its sci-fi design, remains one of the most traditionally manufactured watches on the market.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of this emblematic model, De Bethune has released a set of three watches, the DB28XP Collection, all entirely respectful of the original ideas that came evolved in the mind of Denis Flageollet – all different, all supremely De Bethune. And now in ultra-thin cases…

De Bethune DB28XP

To discover the story behind De Bethune, how these watches are created and to see the DB28XP Collection in details, make sure to watch the video above at the video above. Denis Flageollet is one of those men that you need to listen to with great attention. Extremely humble, yet so knowledgeable…

More details at www.debethune.ch.

3 responses

  1. Thanks for the movie and kudos to Denis Flageollet who is beyond any doubt one the very few contemporary watchmakers deserving to be in the Champions League. Way above many others “just” decorating movements, Denis imagines and creates what Breguet or Leroy would have done in the 21st century !

  2. Just a fantastic video and interview. So interesting to learn about such imaginative watchmaking at one of the highest levels, even though these creations are well out of my league. Please keep videos like these coming!

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