With complete mastery of the art of thermal oxidation of metals, De Bethune continues to explore all the colour shades resulting from the heat released by the chemical reactions of heat-treated steel and titanium.
Denis Flageollet, Master Watchmaker and founder of De Bethune, initially started working with his team on the blue tonality. Natural blue, a colour linked to the notion of infinity and harmony, is one of De Bethune’s main fields of research. It has become the company’s distinctive signature.
As with a luminous vibration, each colour exudes a different type of energy. True as ever to the natural colours of the four elements – sky, water, earth and fire – De Bethune now explores a warm colour (as opposed to the cool colour of blue). And so it is that the Maison reveals, in a new edition, natural shades of amber and flame blonde, reflecting the colours of fire, sun, warmth and luxuriance, along with the incomparable clarity that emerges from it, synonymous with energy, joy and vigour.
To create its own fiery, radical, magnetic yellow, De Bethune applies its famous technique of gently oxidising grade 5 titanium to tint its surface naturally. This ritual conjures an extraordinary, rare and uniform fire yellow.
This know-how is applied to the case components and to most of the movement’s components. Each element is thus individually examined to ensure the process is properly calibrated to suit shape and mass. This preliminary step is essential to obtain a range of uniform tones. However, the human touch and the typologies of the materials mean that tiny variations persist. These nuances are essential to De Bethune as they create a visual resonance that impacts the perception of the result. Indeed, the final fire yellow tone, brought about by the sum of all these variations, translates into a kind of all-encompassing vibrancy.
The iconic De Bethune DB28 features a polished grade 5 titanium case mounted on the two new floating lugs unveiled this year. Entirely redesigned, of intermediate size, harmonised and adapted to the essence of the watch, they come together in the hallmark rib, more prominent here, recalling the spirit of the first De Bethune collections.
The hand-wound mechanical calibre is fully visible and incorporates several fundamental technical discoveries. The patented spherical moon phase is located at 6 o’clock. Made of steel and palladium, it is accurate to within one lunar day every 122 years.
At the heart of the watch, the high-performance escapement developed by De Bethune features a titanium balance wheel with white gold weights and a flat terminal curve balance spring, ensuring an ideal mass-inertia ratio for the optimal frequency of 28,800 vph suitable for wristwatches. It comes endowed with manifold properties: aerodynamics, optimised efficiency, reliability, regulating quality, thermo-compensation, anti-magnetism… which deliver concrete results as attested by the 20-percent gain in power reserve achieved by improving the efficiency of the escapement-oscillator assembly.
The calibre also comes equipped with the triple “pare-choc” shock absorption system. De Bethune was not only the first contemporary manufacturer to design a bridge held symmetrically on both sides to perfectly maintain the balance wheel in position, but also to integrate two shock absorbers at each end, in addition to the shock absorber of the balance wheel itself.
All finishes are by hand, featuring a polished titanium motion work bridge, “Côtes De Bethune”- decorated bridges and rose-work grinding on the barrel ratchets. The hours are indicated by skeleton hands on spherical polished steel indices.
The whole finds its completion with an alligator strap presenting a brown buckle with a yellow pin buckle in polished grade 5 titanium, which also contributes to the practical and pleasant wearing of this timepiece.
Name: DB28 Yellow Tones
Hours, Minutes, Spherical moon phase indication at 6 o’clock,
Power reserve situated on the back
Type: Mechanical hand-wound movement
Adjustment: Winding and setting the time by means of the crown (2 positions)
Spherical moon phase adjustment via a corrector
Technical features of calibre DB2115V4
Number of parts: 275
Jewelling: 35 jewels
Diameter: 30 mm
Power reserve: 6 days, ensured by a self-regulating twin barrel De Bethune Innovation (2004)
Specificities: 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 indication accurate to a degree of one lunar day every 122 years – De Bethune Patent (2004)
Triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system – De Bethune Innovation (2005)
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour
Adornment: Yellow polished grade 5 titanium plate cover
Handmade yellow grade 5 titanium motion works bridge
Barrels bridge adorned with “Côtes De Bethune” in yellow titanium
Open worked and hand sailed barrels
Rhodium power reserve indicator background decorated with “De Bethune” circular graining brown and engraved ring
Steel parts beveled and polished by hand
Display: Hours and minutes hands in flame-browned steel
Spherical moon phase indication in palladium and flamebrowned steel with an accuracy of one lunar day every
122 years at 6 o’clock – De Bethune Patent (2004)
Circular-grained titanium hours ring
Moon phase bezel in polished browned titanium
Spherical polished titanium hour-markers set on a browned polished titanium circle
Case material: Yellow polished grade 5 titanium
Case diameter: 42.6 mm
Case thickness: 9.30 mm
Lugs: Floating lugs in browned polished grade 5 titanium – De Bethune Patent (2006)
Crystal: In sapphire crystal (1800 Vickers hardness) with double anti-reflective coating
Case back: Screwed case back in grade 5 polished titanium that opens on a linear power reserve indicator in browned steel Sapphire crystal (1800 Vickers hardness) with double anti-reflective coating
Water resistance: 3 ATM
Extra-supple alligator leather, alligator lining
Buckle: Brown with yellow pin buckle in polished grade 5 titanium