An exceptional piece of innovative, functional design with the technical sophistication and immaculate finishing of traditional haute horlogerie, the DB28 by independent watchmaking company De Bethune is a truly spectacular wristwatch which redefines the parameters of styling with its elaborate articulated lugs and pared back minimalistic time display.
Formerly winner of the highest accolade in watchmaking, the cherished GPHG Aiguille D’Or as outright winner in 2011, the futuristic DB28 is a universally recognised icon of contemporary independent watchmaking, and while the original has spawned several variants down the years, with its beautiful, rotating three dimensional moon phase orb, to many collectors, this superb piece, which is not so much a variant but an evolution on the original holds a special place.
Measuring 42.6mm across and only 9.3mm tall, the DB28 is a piece which looks bigger than its dimensions but wears smaller, thanks to the signature De Bethune case construction, which features a round inner case that is suspended on an articulated chassis with pivot points at the three and the nine o’clock positions, and the crown nestling between the lug ends at the twelve, allowing the case to ‘float’ on the wrist in unparalleled comfort. Adding to the wear comfort, the watch is manufactured in light but hard-wearing Grade 5 titanium, which has been finished with mirror polishing throughout.
Beneath the sapphire glass the dial is reduced to a polished stainless steel index ring with hour markers and minutes track. This reveals the black movement plate which is decorated with pronounced Côtes de Bethune striping. Skeletonised steel hands indicate the hours and minutes, while beneath a black polished bridge the titanium balance wheel has white gold weights and is energised by a silicon escape wheel. Then, at the six o’clock position, the moon phase is displayed via a sphere of palladium and blued steel, which rotates throughout the lunar cycle and is accurate to an adjustment of just one day every 122 years.
On the underside, a sapphire exhibition caseback reveals the manual winding DB2115V4 movement, and in particular the elegant linear power reserve mechanism which stands out in 5N rose gold against the perlage and polished angles of the black steel calibre. It operates at a frequency of 4hz (28’800 vib/h) and boasts an impressive 144 hours (six days) of power reserve from its twin barrels.
With its unmistakable aesthetics and fluid design which is seamless, contoured and ergonomic, the De Bethune DB28 is a piece of horologic art with immaculate finishing throughout, and a watch with an irresistible presence on the wrist.