42 – 44mm
De Bethune DB28 Special Edition
In 2002, De Bethune was founded by David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet. Prior to that, Flageollet, co-founded THA society with François-Paul Journe, the company was tasked with creating movements for other notable brands. Watchmaking runs in Flageollet’s blood he represents the fourth generation of the Flageollet family to become a watchmaker. Since its inception De Bethune successfully respected traditions of old whilst being at the forefront of technical innovations, as a result, the brand boasts some of the most impressive calibres made to date. Apart from the impressive calibres, De Bethune does not shy away from the fusion of two different worlds, the Maestri Art DW5 Armilia and Dream Watch 6 are a fine example of the artisanal know-how tied into Haute horology.
For Flageotte a particular area of interest lies in the organ of a watch, the balance wheel. To put it simply the aim was to produce the most stable and lightest balance wheel possible. In order to sustain the highest level of inertia, Flageollet created a titanium and platinum annual balance wheel, omitting the classic balance wheel, it looked similar to an X. This invention was patented and upgraded in 2006 it featured one of the very first thermocompensated silicon balance wheels. Subsequently, in 2010 Flageollet again improved his concept with a silicon and white gold annular balance wheel. At times the balance wheel seems as if it’s levitating, the external weights are made from a gold and palladium alloy.
As a result of De Bethune’s constant quest of perfecting the balance wheel, the brand has won numerous awards. In 2011 De Bethune was awarded the prestigious Aiguille d’Or (golden hand) by the GPHP (Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève). In order to commemorate this monumental milestone, the reference DB28 Special Edition – Limited to 50 examples was introduced in 2011.
The dial features the classic Côtes de Geneve or rather Côtes De Bethune, in manipulating the Côtes De Bethune achieves to bring the focus to the centre point of the dial. The main difference in this reference is the polished steel skeletonised hour circle and a blackened steel and platinum moon which is accurate to within one day every 122 years. The steel domed black polished contemporary hands add depth to an already impressive dial.
The distinctive shape of the mirror-polished zirconium-titanium case is thought to have been inspired by pocket watches. De Bethune cases feature a unique patented floating lugs system, in this case, the brand opted to use the zirconium lugs due to its dark and resistant properties. The case measures 42.60mm x 9.20mm due to the unique lugs the watch essentially hugs the wrist, providing for extreme comfort. The placement of the crown is found at 12 o’clock and the rivets found on the oversized crown makes it relatively easy to wind or set the time.
This manually wound DB28 Special Edition is powered by calibre DB2115, the movement features twin barrels designed to reduce friction and efficiently transmit a maximum of energy to the escarpment. The movement is finished to an exceptional standard with contrasting techniques found throughout the movement such as hand-chamfered and polished steel parts. The 6-day power reserve is depicted through an 18-carat gold hand. The elusive balance wheel is made of silicon/palladium it also features a balance-spring with a flat terminal curve, protected by the triple pare-chute system.
The watch is currently at service with De Bethune.
Brand: De Bethune
Model: DB28 – Special Edition Limited to 50 examples
Movement: DB 2115
Case Diameter: 42.90mm x 9.20mm
Year: 2012 Box & Papers: NA