De Bethune: DB28XP, DB28XP Starry Sky and DB28XP Tourbillon

De Bethune celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the brand’s iconic DB28 watch by unveiling a set of three watches in 2020. All three timepieces, all true to the DNA of the DB28, are interpretations of the same theme, independent of each other yet linked by their history, the work that went into them, the brand cues they reflect.

When the first DB28 was launched in 2010, De Bethune’s idea was to present a timepiece with an identity all its own and a resolutely futuristic vision of the art of watchmaking. The design of the timepiece embodies the code of the Maison. The distinctive case shape, the crown at 12 o’clock inspired by pocket watches. It is on this timepiece that De Bethune’s unique and innovative – and patented – floating lugs, designed also to significantly improve comfort, demonstrated their self-evident purpose. Since then, the DB28 has continued to express the past, present and future of watchmaking culture through its various iterations.

De Bethune DB28XP

With this most absolute version, De Bethune explores the universe of ultra-thin watches. Throughout the quest of designing an ultra-thin watch, De Bethune was driven as much by the technical challenge as the aesthetic challenge, by the complexity of ‘finesse’.

Monochromatic by design, the DB28XP is first and foremost a reference to the very first
DB28. It’s about all the levels at which one experiences a timepiece, its layers, reliefs, the light playing with shadows and reflections. This titanium watch reveals an architectural fusion of space, time and light that lingers long after the first glance.

De Bethune DB28XP

The dial is entirely made of Microlight, which offers a modern take on traditional guilloche technique. On this generous flat surface, the new technique takes on its full meaning and reinforces the structure. By playing with light and shadow, it adds depth and offers a more architectural and dynamic result. The watch as whole becomes more contemporary.

The delta-shaped main plate – a De Bethune hallmark – is finished to perfectly reflect ambient light. A tone-on-tone pattern surrounds the central part of the elliptical dial, subtly revealing the movement’s wheels. Finally, as a discreet De Bethune signature, the blued titanium inserts in the hands at the centre.

De Bethune DB28XP

The hand-wound movement features De Bethune’s balance wheel, visible through the dial thanks to an opening at 6 o’clock. Its diameter is not too large, either. Made of titanium, it is equipped with small white gold weights placed on the outside to give remarkable qualities of inertia, reliability and regulating ability.

The extremely fine balance spring maintains its true centre of gravity with a flat terminal curve affixed to the outside of the balance-spring. Differences in the thickness of the blade add to the almost perfect precision of its concentric development. Among the many advantages: lower height, better adjustment of concentricity, finer adjustment of the racquet, no need for pins. The curve’s shape even acts as a shock absorber in case of impact. Finally, the material’s internal structure remains intact since it has been neither stressed nor bent. It is through these numerous tried and tested developments, which are constantly revisited and further improved, that De Bethune has succeeded in increasing the power reserve by 20 percent, bringing it to a total of 6 days.

Equally visible – and geometrically positioned in relation to the calibre’s plate – is the exclusive triple shock absorption system designed to protect the whole assembly. Not only was De Bethune the first to design a bridge held on both sides, symmetrically, to ensure the balance is kept perfectly in position. The Maison also added two shock absorbers at each end to supplement the shock absorber of the pendulum itself. Hence the name “triple pare-chute” or triple shock absorber, which effectively absorbs and dampens violent shocks with springs instead of screws mounted on perfectly polished axes.

De Bethune DB28XP

Another challenge was to preserve the functionality and wear comfort of De Bethune’s famous floating lugs. The case band has been completely redesigned, with a more pronounced curvature, flowing with the lines of the wrist and lugs – whose bullets incidentally have also entirely redesigned. The plate’s Microlight finish is echoed along the sides of the case band, rendered all the more meticulously in the absence of simple geometric forms.

Technical details

Model: DB28XP
Reference: DB28XPTIS1

Function
Hours, Minutes

Movement
DB2115v6
Type: Mechanical hand-wound movement
Adjustment: Winding and setting the time by means of the crown (2 positions)
Number of parts: 194
Jewelling: 29 jewels
Diameter: 30 mm
Power reserve: 6 days, ensured by a self-regulating twin barrel – De Bethune Innovation (2004)
Titanium balance with white gold inserts, optimised 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
Triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system – De Bethune Innovation (2005)
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations/hour
Adornment: Hand-crafted finishing and decoration

Dial
Polished titanium hours ring with polished titanium spherical hour-markers
Circular satin-brushed titanium minutes ring
Polished titanium barrel bridge and triangular central bridge guards with straight-grained chamfered contours
Titanium dial base with “microlight” decoration centred on the balance – De Bethune Innovation (2007)
Polished titanium hands with polished blued titanium inserts

Case
Case material: Polished grade 5 titanium with “microlight” case middle
Case diameter: 43 mm
Case thickness: 7.2 mm
Lugs: Polished grade 5 titanium floating lugs – De Bethune Patent (2006)
Crystal: Sapphire (1,800 Vickers hardness) with double antireflective coating
Caseback: Solid, in polished grade 5 titanium
Engraved ring in blued circular satin-finish titanium
Titanium plate with “microlight” decoration and De Bethune logo
Water resistance: 3 ATM

Strap
Extra-supple alligator leather with alligator lining
Buckle: Grade 5 titanium buckle and pin

De Bethune DB28XP Starry Sky

Classic by inspiration with its round, ultra-thin shape, its crown at 12 o’clock and a hunter case back borrowed from pocket watches, the DB28 Starry Sky comes in an ultra-lightweight, mirror-polished titanium case fitted with redesigned floating lugs.

Inspired by DB28 Skybridge, which featured a curved sky, De Bethune raises the stakes of complexity even further by creating a blue Microlight firmament. The dial’s surface of peaks and valleys refracts light in yet more dimensions, offering a unique spectacle. Free and unconstrained, the mastery of blued titanium translates into a multitude of microgrooves that create a mesmerising optical effect.

De Bethune DB28XP Starry Sky

Into the deep blue expanse a multitude of small white gold pins driven through one by one with great care and accuracy recreating the actual magic of the stars on an actual night. Glittering sparkles give the night-time heavens an endless depth. A magical experience, made all the more special by the fact that the firmament depicted is not random. The customer selects the date and hour and location, and De Bethune draws the sky map of on the dial.

The DB28XP Starry Sky features the hour circle in silver, the minutes in Arabic numerals, the discreet De Bethune signature at 12 o’clock, and rose gold hands designed especially for this edition.

Technical details

Model: DB28XP Starry Sky
Reference: DB28XPTIS3V2

Function
Hours, Minutes

Movement
DB2115v7
Type: Mechanical hand-wound movement
Adjustment: Winding and setting the time by means of the crown (2 positions)
Number of parts: 165
Jewelling: 27 jewels
Diameter: 30 mm
Power reserve: 6 days, ensured by a self-regulating twin barrel, De Bethune Innovation (2004)
Titanium balance with white gold inserts, optimised 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
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations/hour
Adornment: Hand-crafted finishing and decoration

Dial
Silver-toned hours ring with transferred Arabic numerals
Transferred circular satin-brushed titanium minutes ring
Titanium dial with “microlight” decoration – De Bethune Innovation (2007)
Starry sky with white gold stars
Dial featuring an opening revealing the balance, surrounded by a chamfered polished steel rim
Polished pink gold hands

Case
Case material: Polished grade 5 titanium with “microlight” case middle
Case diameter: 43 mm
Case thickness: 7.2 mm
Lugs: Polished grade 5 titanium floating lugs – De Bethune Patent (2006)
Crystal: Sapphire (1,800 Vickers hardness) with double antireflective coating
Caseback: Solid, in polished grade 5 titanium
Engraved ring in blued circular satin-finish titanium
Titanium plate with “microlight” decoration and De Bethune logo
Water resistance: 3 ATM

Strap
Extra-supple alligator leather with alligator lining
Buckle: Grade 5 titanium buckle and pin

De Bethune DB28XP Tourbillon

With this third interpretation of the DB28 theme, De Bethune rethinks the watchmaking architecture at its core and explores new codes. DB28XP Tourbillon is directly inspired by the famous dial of the DB28 Digitale.

De Bethune DB28XP Tourbillon

Offering hour, minute and seconds indications in 30”, DB28XP Tourbillon features an elegant and minimalist white dial with silver reflections rendered in a hand-engraved “barley grain” guilloche pattern, highlighted by a blued hour circle.

De Bethune DB28XP Tourbillon

The tourbillon positioned at 6 o’clock is a titanium creation that beats at a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour. It features an extraordinarily lightweight cage (0.18 gr., the lightest ever) that rotates on itself every thirty seconds and comprises 63 components (the lightest of which weighs less than 0.0001 g).

On the case back, as a nod to the Aiguille d’Or – the highest distinction of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – awarded to the first DB28: The position of the planets is that in the evening sky over Geneva when the prestigious prize was presented on November 19th, 2011.

Technical details

Model: DB28XP Tourbillon
Reference: DB28XPTTIS1

Functions
Hours, Minutes, 30’’ indicator via the ultra-light De Bethune tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock

Movement
DB2009v4
Type: Mechanical hand-wound movement
Adjustment: Winding and setting the time by means of the crown (2 positions)
Number of parts: 216
Jewelling: 33 jewels
Diameter: 30 mm
Power reserve: 5 days, ensured by a self-regulating twin barrel, De Bethune Innovation (2004)
Titanium balance with white gold inserts, optimised 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
Ultra-light De Bethune 30’’ tourbillon in titanium – De Bethune Innovation (2008)
Frequency: 36,000 vibrations per hour
Adornment: Hand-crafted finishing and decoration

Dial
Blued-polished titanium hours ring with polished hour markers. Circular satin-brushed titanium minutes ring
Silver-toned hand-guilloché barley-corn motif
Dial featuring an opening revealing the tourbillon, surrounded by a chamfered blued-polished titanium rim and a titanium seconds dial
Blued polished titanium hands with polished inserts

Case
Case material: Polished grade 5 titanium with “microlight” case middle
Case diameter: 43 mm
Case thickness: 8.1 mm
Lugs: Polished grade 5 titanium floating lugs – De Bethune Patent (2006)
Crystal: Sapphire (1,800 Vickers hardness) with double antireflective coating
Caseback: Solid, in polished grade 5 titanium with the position of the planets on November 19th 2011(Aiguille d’Or – GPHG)
Engraved ring in blued circular satin-finish titanium
Water resistance: 3 ATM

Strap
Extra-supple alligator leather with alligator lining
Buckle: Grade 5 titanium buckle and pin