Independent Swiss luxury watch maker De Bethune unveils its new timepiece, the DB25 Quetzalcoatl, an exceptional horology creation inspired by ancient Mesoamerican culture. Designed by David Zanetta, this exclusive timepiece, bearing the effigy of a Mesoamerican culture in pre-Columbian America, is a result of high quality workmanship, technical innovations and artistic engraving.
Quetzalcoatl is a composite name in the Nahuatl language (language of the Nahua peoples of Mexico and Central America) derived from quetzalli and used to describe the large, precious green feathers of the sacred quetzal bird; and coatl, meaning snake. It is one of the main divinities of the Mesoamerican civilisations and the feathered serpent, its most iconic incarnation, reigned for many long centuries over pre -Columbian America.
This powerful symbol of Mesoamerican culture was the core of worship and sacred rituals. The related myths and legends appear in the writings of the colonial period. In conjunction with the evening star, it was considered to govern the cycle of time from dawn to dusk. This deity of the summer winds was naturally closely associated with agriculture and in particular with corn farming, as well as being the sovereign protector of goldsmiths and artisans, and the inventor of the calendar.
Stemming from an age-old tradition of artistic crafts and engraving, the solid gold dial of the DB25 Quetzalcoatl, exquisitely fashioned by the gifted engraver Michelle Rothen, based on drawings by David Zanetta. The symbolic unity around Quetzalcoatl, formed by the sculpted solid gold hands, takes on an almost mystical aura and enlivens the heart of the dial that constantly evolves in tune with the passing of time. The latter is read off by the tip of the serpent’s head, while its tail indicates the minutes. Quetzalcoatl appears coiled in the centre of the model in varying positions in step with the ever-changing times of day. This fascinating vision, magnified by the microlight finishing on the dial centre, endows this creation with exceptional depth and mystery.
The aesthetic construction gives pride of place to an element that is steadily becoming the unmistakable hallmark of the Manufacture: research on materials and the way light reflects off their finishes – at time radiantly glowing like the circular guilloché motif on the central part; and at others matt, such as the soft patina on the hour indicators formed by a series of temples viewed from the sky.
David Zanetta has reproduced several centuries of history within the modest few square centimetres available on the dial. This historical dimension is clearly perceptible thanks to an unusual perspective that provides an aerial view of the ruins of the Aztec temples from the city of Tenochtitlan. This highly personal vision of the archaeological site naturally leads one to step back and adopt a certain observation distance imposed by the higher vantage point.
The various finishes of the mirror-polished bridges adorned with De Bethune decorations highlight the silicon heart of the patented annual balance of Calibre DB2005, alongside a number of innovations and patents from the Manufacture. This mechanical hand -wound movement beating at a frequency of 4 Hertz is equipped with a self-regulating twin barrel ensuring a 6-day power reserve, the famous triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system protecting the regulating organ, a silicon escape-wheel and a balance-spring with flat terminal curve ensuring optimal concentric development.
Model: DB25 Quetzalcoatl
20-piece limited edition
Hours – minutes
DB2005 calibre – mechanical hand-wound movement
Power reserve: 6 days
Diameter: 30 mm
Hand decoration, hand-chamfered and mirror-polished steel parts
Côtes De Bethune
Self-regulating twin barrel
Titanium/platinum balance – balance-spring with flat terminal curve
Triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system
Jewelling: 27 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour
White gold, drum-shaped – diameter 44 mm – thickness 12.50 mm
Attachments: hollowed lugs
Glass: Sapphire crystal, 1800 Vickers hardness with double anti-reflective treatment
Crown at 3 o’clock, setting in two positions
Back: open – DB2005 calibre – mirror-polished bridges and Côtes De Bethune
Dial: in solid gold hand-engraved by Michèle Rothen and composed of two parts: hours ring with figures inspired by buildings from the Tenochtitlan Templo Mayor ;and central part with De Bethune microlight guilloché
Hands: in solid gold hand-engraved featuring Quetzalcoatl whose changing position according to time. The snake’s head shows the hours and the tail of the snake indicates the minutes
Extra-supple alligator leather with pin buckle