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JP C. Calimbas

Not a Decade Older

De Bethune Unveils Three Versions of the DB28 on it’s 10th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that De Bethune’s DB28 would be ten years old this year. I literally had to double check when this very identifiable futuristic timepiece won the coveted Golden Hand Award given out by the Gran Prix D’ Horlogerie De Genève as Outstanding watch of the year for… wait for it… 2011. Yes, it had already been a decade ago and a tad longer when the Maison had unveiled this masterpiece. The DB28 was created to present the Brand’s futuristic vision towards the art of watchmaking taking a step further the design of the DB Digitale and Dreamwatch 1 but still retaining the DNA of both. Each a timepiece in their own right yet linked by history and the brand cues they reflect.

DB28
Technical specifications: Name: DB28XP | Reference: DB28XPTIS1 | Function: Hours, Minutes | Movement: DB2115v6 | Type: Mechanical hand-wound movement | Adjustment: Winding and setting the time by means of the crown (2 positions) | Technical features of calibre DB2115v6: Number of parts: 194 | Jewelling: 29 jewels | Diameter: 30 mm | Power reserve: 6 days, ensured by a self-regulating twin barrel – De Bethune Innovation (2004) | Specificities: Titanium balance with white gold inserts, optimised for temperature differences and air penetration – De Bethune Patent (2016), “De Bethune” balance-spring with flat terminal curve – De Bethune Patent (2006), Silicon escape wheel Triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system – De Bethune Innovation (2005) | Frequency: 28,800 vibrations/hour | Adornment: Hand-crafted finishing and decoration | Display: Display: Polished titanium hands with polished blued titanium inserts | Dial: Polished titanium hours ring with polished titanium spherical hour-markers, Circular satin-brushed titanium minutes ring, Polished titanium barrel bridge and triangular central bridge guards with straight-grained chamfered contours, Titanium dial base with “microlight” decoration centred on the balance – De Bethune Innovation (2007) | Case and strap: Case material: Polished grade 5 titanium with “microlight” case middle | Case diameter: 43 mm | Case thickness: 7.2 mm | Lugs: Polished grade 5 titanium floating lugs – De Bethune Patent (2006) | Crystal: Sapphire (1,800 Vickers hardness) with double antireflective coating | Caseback: Solid, in polished grade 5 titanium, Engraved ring in blued circular satin-finish titanium, Titanium plate with “microlight” decoration and De Bethune logo | Water resistance: 3 ATM | Strap: Extra-supple alligator leather with alligator lining | Buckle: Grade 5 titanium buckle and pin

The Ultra-Thin DB28XP
Exploring the realm of ultra-thin watches seemed the best way to open up a new chapter for the DB28 as well as marking an important anniversary. While some might interpret going down this path as doing less to make a thinner watch, the design team at De Bethune saw it being both a technical and aesthetic challenge; an adventure to maintain a right balance between beauty and elegance and mechanical constraints.

The DB28XP Ultra-Thin is an homage to the very first DB28, a timepiece that showcased an interplay between light, shadows and reflections through the use of different shapes, different finishes and the use of microlight. Here, the dial is entirely made of Microlight, a modern take on the traditional guilloche technique that adds more depth to the dial by manipulating how light reflects and shadows are cast. The De Bethune trademark delta main plate is finished to reflect ambient light to create a mirror finish as well.

For telling time, no contrasting indexes, but little spheres polished like small satellites. They orbit a larger body, planet Earth, in the spirit of the solar system. A tone-on-tone pattern surrounds the central part of the elliptical dial, subtly revealing the movement’s wheels. Finally, as a discreet De Bethune signature, the blued titanium inserts in the hands at the center.

DB28
Technical specifications: Name: DB28XPV2 | Reference: DB28XPTIS3V2 | Function: Hours, Minutes | Movement: DB2115v7 | Type: Mechanical hand-wound movement | Adjustment: Winding and setting the time by means means of the crown (2 positions) | Technical features of calibre DB2115v7: Number of parts: 165 | Jewelling: 27 jewels | Diameter: 30 mm | Power reserve: 6 days, ensured by a self-regulating twin barrel, De Bethune Innovation (2004) | Specificities: Titanium balance with white gold inserts, optimised for temperature differences and air penetration – De Bethune Patent (2016), “De Bethune” balance-spring with flat terminal curve – De Bethune Patent (2006), Silicon escape wheel | Frequency: 28,800 vibrations/hour | Adornment: Hand crafted finishing and decoration | Display: Display: Polished pink gold hands | Dial: Silver-toned hours ring with transferred Arabic numerals, Transferred circular satin-brushed titanium minutes ring, Titanium dial with “microlight” decoration – De Bethune Innovation (2007), Starry sky with white gold stars, Dial featuring an opening revealing the balance, surrounded by a chamfered polished steel rim | Case and strap: Case material: Polished grade 5 titanium with “microlight” case middle | Case diameter: 43 mm | Case thickness: 7.2 mm | Lugs: Polished grade 5 titanium floating lugs – De Bethune Patent (2006) | Crystal: Sapphire (1,800 Vickers hardness) with double antireflective coating | Caseback: Solid, in polished grade 5 titanium, Engraved ring in blued circular satin-finish titanium, Titanium plate with “microlight” decoration and De Bethune logo | Water resistance: 3 ATM | Strap: Extra-supple alligator leather with alligator lining | Buckle: Grade 5 titanium buckle and pin

DB28 XP Starry Sky
This one takes inspiration from the DB28 Skybridge that featured a curved sky. As an anniversary piece, De Bethune raised the stakes further by creating a blue Microlight firmament, another first. The dial’s surface of peaks and valleys refracts light in yet more dimensions, offering a unique spectacle. Free and unconstrained, the mastery of blued titanium translates into a multitude of microgrooves that create a mesmerizing optical effect. Into this deep blue expanse goes a multitude of small white gold pins driven through one by one with great care and accuracy recreating the actual magic of the stars on an actual night. Glittering sparkles give the night-time heavens an endless depth. A magical experience, made all the more special by the fact that the firmament depicted is not random. The customer selects the date and hour and location, and De Bethune draws the sky map of on the dial.

DB28
DB28
Technical specifications: Name: DB28XP Tourbillon | Reference: DB28XPTTIS1 | Function: Hours, Minutes, 30’’ indicator via the ultra-light De Bethune tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock | Movement: DB2009v4 | Type: Mechanical hand-wound movement | Adjustment: Winding and setting the time by means means of the crown (2 positions) | Technical features of calibre DB2009v4: Number of parts: 216 | Jewelling: 33 jewels | Diameter: 30 mm | Power reserve: 5 days, ensured by a self-regulating twin barrel, De Bethune Innovation (2004) | Specificities: Titanium balance with white gold inserts, optimised for temperature differences and air penetration – De Bethune Patent (2016), “De Bethune” balance-spring with flat terminal curve – De Bethune Patent (2006), Silicon escape wheel Ultra-light De Bethune 30’’ tourbillon in titanium De Bethune Innovation (2008) | Frequency: 36,000 vibrations per hour | Adornment: Hand-crafted finishing and decoration | Display: Display: Blued polished titanium hands with polished inserts | Dial: blued-polished titanium hours ring with polished hour markers. Circular satin-brushed titanium minutes ring, Silver-toned hand-guilloché barley-corn motif, Dial featuring an opening revealing the tourbillon, surrounded by a chamfered blued-polished titanium rim and a titanium seconds dial | Case and strap: Case material: Polished grade 5 titanium with “microlight” case middle | Case diameter: 43 mm | Case thickness: 8.1 mm | Lugs: Polished grade 5 titanium floating lugs – De Bethune Patent (2006) | Crystal: Sapphire (1,800 Vickers hardness) with double antireflective coating | Caseback: Solid, in polished grade 5 titanium with the position of the planets on November 19th 2011(Aiguille d’Or – GPHG), Engraved ring in blued circular satin-finish titanium | Water resistance: 3 ATM | Strap: Extra-supple alligator leather with alligator lining | Buckle: Grade 5 titanium buckle and pin

DB28XP Tourbillon
The third and last anniversary piece reimagines the dial of the DB28 Digitale by combining the Brand’s “ancestral” knowledge with the latest technical advantages. The DB28XP Tourbillon features an elegant, minimalist white dial with a hand-engraved barley-grain guilloche pattern highlighted by a blue circle hour.

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 (0.18 gr., the lightest ever) that rotates on itself every thirty seconds and comprises 63 components (the lightest of which weighs less than 0.0001 g).

On the case back, as a nod to the Aiguille d’Or – the highest distinction of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – awarded to the first DB28: The position of the planets is that in the evening sky over Geneva when the prestigious prize was presented on November 19th, 2011.

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