If I said that I think fake De Bethune is one of the most interesting brands in independent watchmaking today, then I would not lie. Since Pierre Jacques returned to the position of CEO in October 2017, the brand has never been worse. De Bethune’s pinnacle achievement during this 19-month period was the win in the 2018 GPHG chronograph category of the DB25 Starry Varius Chronomètre Tourbillon. The brand has also released many other highlights, including DB28 Steel Wheels and DB28 which is a bit blue since then .
So far in 2019, the brand has continued this model and released five new timepieces (so far). These timepieces have demonstrated their commitment to the US market and have continued to explore the brand’s titanium heating experiments. And the first exciting example embodies the watch experiment. Since its establishment in 2003, De Bethune has attracted people’s attention.
DB28 Kind of Gold is De Bethune’s first limited edition launched in the US market. For many years, thermally dyed titanium has been the iconic feature of De Bethune, and its biggest use is the Kind of Blue series that has existed since 2016. DeBethune uses mirror-polished, heat-dyed blue and gold titanium as the basic design of the movement, movement and floating ears, but uses 5N rose gold for the case, crown, and hour and minute hands.
This unconventional two-tone appearance produces a halo effect around the 42.6 mm size. Inside the movement is the manual-winding movement DB2115, which has been used in the previous DB28 watches and provides approximately six days of running autonomy, and the power reserve indicator can be seen through the exhibition back cover.
The next watch is a demonstration of De Bethune’s well-known outer space pattern. I mean, look at the yellow tone of DB28 and tell me you can’t imagine it falling from the sky in some science fiction world? Although this new watch may be made of pure gold, it is actually another example of De Bethune’s heat treatment of titanium.
De Bethune is different from the cool tones of our hot blue titanium design related to the brand. It gently oxidizes the surface of grade 5 titanium (case, floating ears, bottom plate, part of the movement, etc.) to color it naturally, creating The bold colors described by the brand as “amber” and “golden flame”. Although De Bethune did not reveal too many details about this procedure, the results are fascinating and truly unique.
The next watch is another watch from De Bethune. This year, the brand decided to release its first dive watch, which is unforgettable in the typical De Bethune style. The name of the watch is DB28GS Grand Bleu. This watch uses the brand’s 27th internal movement, has a power reserve of 5 days, and is made of titanium and white gold. The 44mm case is made entirely of titanium and has a waterproof rating of 105 meters. The lugs adopt a new medium-sized design, and the black zircon insert points to the middle side of the case.
A unique feature of the DB28GS Grand Bleu is the appearance of the unidirectional bezel (first appeared in De Bethune timepieces). When the bezel rotates as usual, the numbers are actually applied to the sapphire crystal. De Bethune said that this was done to keep the watch thin. The most fascinating aspect of the new diver is the application of the mechanical generator system, which emits a blue-white light around the four points of the bezel. Using zero electronics or batteries, a pusher flush at 6 o’clock will activate a small gear train driven by a double barrel. This gear train provides the necessary energy for lighting up the watch with the help of a micro generator. Once the five-day power reserve is reduced to one day (the subtle display indication between 9 o’clock and 10 o’clock), this function will be turned off to save energy.
De Bethune worked with James Thompson, a senior expert at Black Badger Advanced Composites, to create a unique and proprietary blue photoluminescent material to improve the readability of hands, index fingers and timers while maintaining the brand The authenticity of the trademark blue.
De Bethune Maxichrono is the brand’s first chronograph, originally released in 2006 (reissued in 2016), and its execution process has inspired the brand’s pursuit to this day. In 2019, De Bethune decided to issue another 10 limited edition watches. The original Maxichrono was known for its five centered hands (two for hours and minutes; three for chronograph functions) and the lack of a minute hand. This minimalist structure requires extremely complex movements, in which multiple interdependent cylindrical gears are embedded in each other, but they need to be operated independently. In Maxichrono, each button can be reset to zero on demand, and can be automatically restarted using a single button at 6 o’clock.
The benefits of this streamlined design can not only be clear at a glance, but also can be measured continuously for 24 hours for a longer time, instead of the most common 9 or 12 hour limit, the accuracy is 1/10 second. The new Maxichrono internally manufactures the movement for the DB2030 and is equipped with a De Bethune absolute clutch and a 5-day power reserve. Compared with the previous design, the biggest difference of this iteration of Maxichrono is the structure of the grade 5 titanium case (44 mm) with hot blue titanium floating ears. The brushed bezel with 12 screws can also be used as hour markers.
The last new perfect copy watch shown to us this year is the DB27 Fort Aero, which is a five-piece limited edition made in collaboration with the Estonian private jet company Fort Aero. The watch uses a titanium case and the familiar DB Delta style design on the dial. Appropriately, and perhaps most interestingly, the rotor structure is intended to recall the shape of the jet engine turbine.