With the Dream Watch 5.2, Swiss luxury watch brand De Bethune creates a fascinating work that it is placing like a landmark on the frontier between art and watchmaking. Crafted in black zirconium, this model follows the footsteps of its predecessor Dream Watch 5 launched early this year.
In creating this futuristic mechanical timepiece, David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet escaped the confines of conventional scales and proportions. They imagined a wrist-size sculpture and reduced it to the stature of a precious stone, which they have set on the cambered back of their timepiece. The Dream Watch 5.2 is a testament to the vision shared by the two men and to their unbridled creativity, based on understanding and respect for the great master-watchmakers of the past – whose work they both transcend and exalt.
The unusual design of the Dream Watch 5.2 owes a great deal to its predecessors, from which it reprises certain design codes while paring them down to essentials. Its lines carry a hint of the distinctive bridge on Dream Watch 1 – the domed deltoid shape that is the aesthetic signature of the Manufacture based in L’Auberson. It also evokes the case of the Dream Watch 4, which conveys the same tension between edgy design and gentle curves.
Dream Watch 5.2 stems from constant research into shapes, colours and materials. It now takes on a coat of blackened zirconium – a light and rugged metal with a black oxidised shade.
The extreme miniaturisation of its mechanism is now entirely dedicated to serving design, a field in which time is just one element among others. Representing a typical De Bethune interpretation, like a nod or a signature, a small two-tone sphere indicates the moon phases. Made of two assembled and polished half-spheres in flame-blued steel and palladium, it guides the eye towards the minimalist, digital display of the hours and minutes… and then a little further to the cabochon-cut sapphire adorning the crown.
Model: Dream Watch 5.2, D5WZ
Spherical moon-phase indication
Movement: mechanical hand-wound
Functions: aperture-type jumping hours – rotating-disc analogue minutes display – spherical moon phase indication at the centre
Diameter 30 mm – 355 parts – hand-crafted finishing and decoration
Self-regulating twin barrel
Silicon/white gold balance wheel – balance-spring with flat end curve
Triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system
Spherical moon-phase indication accurate to a degree of one lunar day every 1,112 years
Silicon escape wheel
Jewelling: 32 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour
Power reserve: 5 days
Hand-polished black zirconium – 7.5 cm3
Glass: domed sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment
Crown at 3 o’clock adorned with a 1-carat cabochon-cut sapphire – setting in 3 positions
Back: solid – polished grade 5 titanium – bearing the signatures of David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet
Jumping-hour aperture at 3 o’clock in blacked zirconium
Analogue minutes indicator on a rotating disc
De Bethune spherical moon-phase indication in flame-blued steel and palladium at the centre
Extra-supple alligator leather with pin buckle