De Bethune, the Swiss luxury watch manufacture founded by David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet, creates exceptional mechanical timepieces by combining age-old expertise and the styles of the Age of Enlightenment with new materials and technical innovations.
This time, the chronograph, the traditional way of measuring elapsed times, joins the contemporary DB28 collection. The surprising combination of a round case with open worked floating lugs(De Bethune Patented) on springs adapts them precisely to the shape of the wrist and its movements. The rose gold case makes a sharp contrast with the blackness of its floating lugs in hand-polished, oxidised zirconium.
Contemporary skeleton hands in polished black oxidised steel tell the time of day. They point to black numerals in a modern typeface, their presence reinforced by their colour and size. Elapsed times are recorded more conventionally with hands that are shaped, polished and blued in the traditional way over a flame. Numerals borrowed from marine chronometers complete the indications of the chronograph counters.
Yet the DB28 Maxichrono remains a modern chronograph with a button paired with the crown controlling the five hands mounted coaxially in the centre of the dial. Stacked wheels with their shafts fitting inside each other took real technical prowess to realise. On the back, the window on the calibre DB2030 displays the architectural layout of the movement’s bridges in rose gold and polished steel.
The DB28 Maxichrono, fitted with De Bethune’s absolute clutch system, is a precise and reliable time-measuring instrument where traditional heritage and modern styling coexist in harmony to proclaim a strong identity.
De Bethune total clutch system: a patented chronograph invention
De Bethune’s research and development department has announced the filing of a patent application n° CH00076/14 for the chronograph mechanism. De Bethune’s absolute clutch aims to improve the performance of chronographs by correcting the faults identified in current mechanisms. This mechanism makes the most of the advantages of the horizontal and vertical clutch systems while eliminating their faults. It thus benefits from a marked reduction in the friction that affects the movement both when the chronograph is running and when it is functioning without the chronograph engaged.
The absolute clutch operates in a system engaging the two traditional clutch methods to allow the different chronograph counters to function semi-autonomously:
– The chronograph seconds are governed by the new absolute clutch system;
– The minutes counter is controlled by a shifting pinion;
– The hours counter is engaged by a horizontal clutch.
Three different types of clutch behind three semi-independent systems controlled by three column-wheels thus govern the different chronograph elapsed-time counters.
In this way De Bethune marks a significant technological breakthrough in the history of chronographs, the result of continuous research heralded by the DB21 Maxichrono in 2006. Constant innovation relying on an extensive knowledge of age-old expertise has enabled the brand to simplify and enhance the reliability of the absolute clutch system so that it can be implemented in a movement manufactured by the production workshops in the Swiss village of L’Auberson.
Model: DB28 Maxichrono
Limited annual production: only twenty will be issued in 2014
Hours and minutes
Mono-pusher chronograph with 24-hour, 60-minute and 60-second counters
5N rose gold, round-shaped
Diameter 45 mm
Thickness 11 mm
Attachments: short or long floating lugs in mirror-polished blacked zirconium
Crystal: sapphire crystal, 1800 Vickers hardness with double anti-reflective treatment
Crown at 12 o’clock – mono-pusher button – setting in 2 positions
Back: open – sapphire crystal, 1800 Vickers hardness with double anti-reflective treatment – chronograph calibre with rose gold and hand-polished steel bridges
Silver-toned – the architecture of the dial is constructed on different levels to maximise visibility.
From the centre to the periphery: central hours counter – hours inner ring – minutes ring and minutes counter – outer ring with chronograph seconds indication
Hands: 5 curved central hands – hand-polished and blacked steel for the hours and minutes hands and flame-blued steel for hours and seconds chronograph indicators – minutes chronograph indicator in rose gold
Extra-supple alligator leather strap with pin buckle
Diameter 30 mm
Hand-crafted finishing and decoration
3 columns wheels
De Bethune absolute clutch
Self-regulating twin barrel
Silicon/white gold balance wheel – balance-spring with flat terminal curve
Silicon escape wheel
Jewelling: 47 jewels
Frequency: 36,000 vibrations per hour
Power reserve: 5 days