Drawing on the quintessence of the DB28’s DNA, De Bethune gives birth to three watches this year, all linked by an enduring bond. At once completely different and naturally complementary, together they tell the story of 10 years of intense work and research, of a mechanical and aesthetic quest.
When the first DB28 was lauched in 2010, De Bethune’s idea was to present a timepiece with an identity all its own and a resolutely futuristic vision of the art of watchmaking. The design of the timepiece embodies the code of the Maison. The distinctive case shape and the crown at 12 o’clock inspired by pocket watches are just some of the hallmarks of the contemporary aestheticism specific to De Bethune. It is on this timepiece that the Maison’s unique and innovative floating lugs, designed also to significantly improve comfort, demonstrated their purpose. Since then, the DB28 has continued to express the past, present and future of watchmaing culture through its various iterations.
In highlighting this design, which has become iconic over the years, De Bethune celebrates the DB28’s 10th anniversary by introducing a set of three watches in 2020. All three timepieces, all true to the DNA of the DB28, are interpretations of the same theme, independent of each other yet linked by their history, the work that went into them, the brand cues they reflect. Each one a creation in its own right, yet all share a kinship, like siblings.
To mark this anniversary, De Bethune opens up a fresh chapter in exploring a new universe: the realm of the ultra-thin. This is a self-evident evolution. The DB28XP is an ideal of beauty, of elegance that expresses purity in its most absolute version. The DB28XP is not about amplification, it is about distilling the essence.
Cut from titanium, this watch reveals an architectural fusion of space, time and light. De Bethune has crafted the dial entirely of Microlight, which offers a modern take on traditional guilloche technique. By playing with light and shadow, it adds depth and offers a more architectural dynamic result.
The delta-shaped main plate – a De Bethune hallmark – is finished to reflect ambient light. The metal surface is polished until it becomes a true mirror. For telling time there are little spheres, also polished. A tone-on-tone pattern surrounds the central part of the elliptical dial, revealing the movement’s wheels.
This Ultra-Thin DB28XP is powered by the caliber DB2115v6. It is a hand-wound movement that features De Bethune’s balance wheel, visible through the dial to the opening at 6 o’clock. Equally visible is the triple shock absorption system. The movement guarantees a more than generous power reserve of up to six days.
Adapting the hallmark of the famous floating lugs to a much thinner case was a challenge for De Bethune and it was as much a technical as an aesthetic one. The case band has been completely redesigned, with a more pronounced curvature, flowing with the lines of the wrist and lugs. The plate’s Microlight finish is echoed along the sides of the case band.
DB28XP Starry Sky
This watch offers a firmament to behold, one in which the infinite blue unfolds. Classic by inspiration with its round, ultra-thin shape, its crown at 12 o’clock and a hunter case back borrowed from pocket watches, the DB28XP Starry Sky comes in an ultra-lightweight, mirror-polished titanium. Its redesigned floading lugs only emphasize the futuristic character. The case has a diamter of 43 mm and is water-resistant up to 3 atm.
The DB28XP Starry Sky is inspired by the DB28 Skybridge, which featured a curved sky. De Bethune raises the stakes by creting a blue MIcrolight firmament. Now, the dial’s surface of peaks and valleys refracts light in yet more dimensions, offering a unique spectacle. Into the deep blue expanse a multitude of small white gold pins are recreating the magic of the stars on an actual night. Glittering sparkles give the night-time heavens an endless depth. And here, the Starry Sky watch can be customized because the firmament depicted is not random. The customer selects the date and hour and location, and De Bethune draws the sky map on the dial. How awesome is that?!
The DB28XP Starry Sky features the hour circle in silver, the minutes in Arabic numerals, the De Bethune signature at 12 o’clcok, and rose gold hands designed especially for this edition.
The watch is powered by the DB2115v7, a mechanical movement with an impressive six days power reserve.
High watchmaking traditions, celebrated and subtly reinterpreted in a contemporary masterpiece: The DB28XP Tourbillon marries ancestral knowledge with the latest technical and scientific advances. With this third interpetation of the DB28 theme, De Betune rethinks the watchmaking architecture. This tourbillon is directly inspired by the famous dial of the DB28 Digitale.
Offering hour, minute and seconds indications, the DB28XP Tourbillon features an elegant and minimalist dial with silver reflections rendered in a hand-engraved “barley grain” guilloche pattern, highlighted by a blued hour circle.
The tourbillon positioned at 6 o’clock is a titanium creation that beats at a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour. It features an extraordinarily lightweight cage that rotates on itself every thirty seconds.
To make up for the new dynamics of wristwatches, to compensate for the violence of wrist movements, De Bethune designed the tourbillon cage as light as possible. Only when it operates at maximum frequency and speed of rotation at minimum weight and inertia, it can fulfil its function in a watch today.
The DB28XP Tourbillon is, like the two other models, powered by a hand-wound movement. The calibre DB2009v4 however operates at a higher frequency and provides with five days a slightly lower – yet still mightily impressive – power reserve.