In honour of the colour blue, a fundamental element of its identity, De Bethune presents a monochromatic range of its iconic models, DB28 and DB28T. Radical and magnetic, their colour is created by an artisanal and natural treatment of the metals.
De Bethune has devoted considerable research into natural blue, because the brand considers this colour to be symbolically related to the concept of infinity and harmony. Therefore, De Bethune has dedicated two new creations to this colour, both entirely blue, and united them under the name Kind of Blue.
At De Bethune, the colour blue is imbued with a broad and deep meaning. Evoking simultaneously water, the sky and space, the colour blue is above all envisaged as a luminous vibration by David Zanetta, Curator and Co-Counder, and Denis Flageollet, Master Watchmaker and Co-Founder. At De Bethune, each colour corresponds to a different type of energy derived from the colours of which it is composed.
To create its own blue, De Bethune relied exclusively on a traditional technique, and all the parts in titanium and steel used in Kind of Blue were treated in this manner. It consists of heating the material to colour its surface through oxidation and to modify its physical properties in the process. Since its invention at the beginning of the 16th century, the technique has been used by watchmakers to give a new lustre to watch parts without altering their finishings. It also provides protection against corrosion.
The synonym of watchmaking excellence, it requires a preliminary fine polishing, followed by a heating phase, normally by flame, to create a natural and long-lasting protective film, at the same time as it increases the hardness of the piece. Steel and iron were the only materials treated in this manner until De Bethune began its own experiments with titanium.
Finalised in 2006, the technique is now applied to the purest form of this material, grade 5 titanium. Entirely done by hand, this extremely demanding treatment involves the development of a whole new repertory of steps, because titanium has proven to be a very arduous material to remodel. To give it its definitive lustre, the artisans at De Bethune have to demonstrate exceptional tenacity with each piece they work on.
The thermal treatment for Kind of Blue is applied not only to the elements of the case, but also to most of the parts of the movement. Thus, each part is studied individually, as the process has to be adapted according to its form and its mass. This preliminary phase is essential to ensure a uniform range of tones in the finished product. However, the human touch and the different typologies of the materials result in very subtle variations. These nuances are essential for De Bethune, because they create a visual resonance that affects the appearance of the finished piece. Actually, the definitive colour comes from the sum of all these variations and it is expressed by a kind of overall vibration.
An iconic De Bethune model, the DB28 presents a case made of polished grade 5 titanium, mounted on two floating lugs to ensure superior wearing comfort. On the inside, the mechanical calibre with manual winding is fully visible and integrates several fundamental technical inventions. The patented spherical moon-phase is positioned at 6 o’clock.
Made of steel and palladium, it offers precision that varies by only one lunar day every 122 years. At the heart of the watch, the high-performance escapement developed by De Bethune presents a silicon annular balance, encircled by a white gold ring and a balance-spring with a flat terminal curve that is exclusive to De Bethune. It is protected by a triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system. Power is accumulated and distributed through two self-regulating barrels, also developed by De Bethune. An indicator needle positioned between 2 and 3 o’clock indicates the level of torque that has been built up.
The power reserve indicator can be read on the back of the plate, which is decorated with special concentric graining. All the finishes are done by hand with a motion work bridge in polished titanium, bridges with “Côtes De Bethune” decoration and rose-work grinding on the barrel ratchets. The hours are indicated by skeleton hands on arrow pointers made of polished steel.
The DB28T, a technical development of the DB28, adopts the same case in polished titanium held by double floating lugs for maximum comfort. Its mechanical caliber with hand winding is equipped with a high frequency, ultra fast tourbillon, signed De Bethune.
The lightest in the world with its minuscule 0.20 grammes for 63 parts, it beats at one-tenth of a second and makes a complete rotation in 30 seconds for superior chronometry. Its silicon balance wheel, just as its escape wheel, is encircled with a white gold ring. A self-regulating twin barrel developed in-house ensures constant torque in the movement. Entirely visible, the movement presents a curved delta motion work bridge in polished titanium decorated with applied microsphere stars in white gold.
Decorated by hand, the parts present various types of high watchmaking finishes, with rose-work grinding on the barrel ratchets and on the back, a plate with “De Bethune” concentric graining. The hours are marked by arrow pointers in pink gold, and as an added touch of luxury, indicated by skeleton hands also fashioned in pink gold.
Name: DB28 Kind of Blue
Reference: DB28BTiBN /S
Vintage: Production limited to 10 pieces in 2018
Hours, Minutes, Spherical moon phase at 6 o’clock
Power reserve on case back, Performance indicator between 2 and 3 o’clock
Type: Mechanical hand-wound movement
Adjustment: Using the crown (2 positions) for winding, and setting the time
Using a corrector for the spherical moon phase
Number of parts: 297
Jewelling: 39 jewels
Diameter: 30 mm
Power reserve: 6 days, ensured by a self-regulating twin barrel
De Bethune Innovation (2004)
Technical features: Titanium balance wheel with white gold inserts, optimized for temperature differences and air penetration – De Bethune Patent (2016)
“De Bethune” balance-spring with flat terminal curve – De Bethune Patent (2006)
Silicon escape wheel
Spherical moon phase indicator with precision of one lunar day every 122 years – De Bethune Patent (2004)
Blued triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system – De Bethune Innovation (2005)
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour
Adornment: Handmade, blued grade 5 mirror-polished titanium motion works bridge
Plate cover and bridge cover on the barrel in grade 5 blued titanium, adorned with “Côtes De Bethune”
Barrels decorated with rose-work grinding
Power reserve indicator in grade 5 titanium, hand decorated with “De Bethune” concentric graining and blued by hand
Steel parts beveled, polished and flame-blued by hand
Hand-polished and flame-blued steel hands
Spherical moon phase indicator in palladium and flame blued steel with precision of one lunar day every 122 years at 6 o’clock – De Bethune Patent (2004)
Performance indicator between 2 and 3 o’clock
Blued grade 5 polished titanium hours ring with rose gold hour-markers
Blued grade 5 satin-polished titanium minutes ring
Case material: Blued mirror-polished grade 5 titanium
Case diameter: 43 mm
Case thickness: 9.30 mm
Lugs: Short or long floating lugs in blued grade 5 mirror-polished titanium – De Bethune Patent (2006)
Crystal: Sapphire (1800 Vickers hardness), with double antireflective coating
Case back: Screwed case back in blued grade 5 polished titanium that opens on a linear power reserve indicator in rose gold
Sapphire crystal (1800 Vickers hardness) with double antireflective coating
Water resistance: 3 ATM
Extra-supple alligator leather, alligator lining
Buckle: Buckle in blued grade 5 mirror-polished titanium and ardillon in rose gold