I intended to return to the mountains to make the second part of my reporting on De Bethune’s design …
Few weeks ago, Alessandro told me "We are short time," and it was for good reason. No lies … Only huge stuff!
I was welcomed in the stunning Four Seasons Hotel, beside Denis Flagollet and Zanetta Father & Son, two new persons have joined the company: Pierre Jacques – CEO (ex-Ambassadeurs, the famous AD in Geneva) in charge of the business, and Katidja Valy at the communication (who manage to move from the worst – Romain Jerome - to the best of the watchmaking industry).
Sincere congratulations to them. And best wishes.
No fewer than 8 new pieces were prepared within the last 6 months: 7 new variations and 1 new watch.
The changes are so huges on some variants that they could deserve new names. I will get back on this subject later.
Despite an elitist, and ultra-confidential production, De Bethune released two new watches in 2010, the DB28 which I was one of first to speak, and the new DB25 Tourbillon Seconde Morte.
Let’s comment this wonderful DB25 Seconde Morte Tourbillon!
Technically it is based on the classic De Bethune calibre: the optimized double barrel with a power reserve of 6 days. As on other DB tourbillon, the frequency is increased to 36000a / h (5Hz and its revolution in 30 seconds. The novelty comes in the housing of the caliber and an additional complication.
Then I saw (with a slight apprehension) the classic range through the DB25 "Ciel Etoilé" to move away from neo-classicism to the fascinating world of Ufology (with a confusion with the Ufology range (DB28, DBS , etc. ..), we can notice the discrete but real return of neo-classicism in this piece for De Bethune.
As you can see, the dial is treated in two parts: the central part is still in blued titanium at 700 ° with a custom map of the sky. Even if it fits well in this dial, I regret a little the power reserve indicator at 12H.
The novelty that chastened the Ufology finish is the silver engraved railway.
The aesthetic reference to marine chronometer dial seems to me obvious, especially through this beautiful juxtaposition of Roman and Arabic numerals.
The pictures make it fairly well the magnificent reliefs of the engraving done on a curved surface of the most beautiful effect.
But the most fascinating part is the back of the watch, with hindsight I regret not having made a video of the couple hypnotic tourbillon/ bridge of dead second.
The bluish bridge is breaking the futuristic icy style of the De Bethune bridges,for the biggest pleasure of eyes, it is indubitably, the most thoroughbred and most beautiful movement of De Bethune.
The running of the double escape wheel of the Seconde Morte, separated by a spiral of complication, which comes to strike the anchor, is a delight for eyes, and implementation of this complication managed to eclipse the fascination of the tourbillon (which the realization is nevertheless very very widely over a hackneyed complication).
A good draw is better than a long speech:
Another pleasant surprise, in the neo-classic range, it is the return of the DB10, contrary to her ancestor, it is motorized by a manufactured DB movement, but without the specific balance wheel/bridge of balance wheel/ spiral silicium, all the "head" of the watch is modified to supply finally a watch at lower cost, approximately 25000€, there will be 3 series, 20 in grey gold, 20 in pink gold, and 10 in platinum.
It's a strategy linked to the construction of the range, I indeed prefer on the uncompromising extremism of a DB24vétrois, but when I see the success of DB5-10-12 in second hand, I think that the amators market for more easily accessible De Béthune, financially and horologically is real.
The watch is very thin, a delight to wear:
A beautiful guilloché on the dial, and the famous number in relief, paint with a special « stamped » in three times.
About comfortat wrist,it is unavoidable to talk about the DB28,the contrast between the non-sensation of the watch (du to is ultra lightweight full titanium case), the Ufological visual is very destabilizing.
No less than 4 differents versions of DB28 for the first official presentation!
The one that you have already seen, titanium case, the spherical moon at 6, visible balance wheel, the partially returned movement, reveals a silicium spiral silicon which run the a full balance wheel... There is a different version, with slightly darkened bridges (a fifth version should follow with a blue railroad), that I had somes difficultys to take a picture:
Another slap in the interview, this has been DB28 Rothschild, I was not convinced at all, on pictures by this declination, how to say, Kitchy-Tiny, of the DB28. But at the wrist it was has revelation.
The contrast between the blue of the cradle and the warm gold rose is perfect, so of course, everyone did not have the chance to have my beautiful tanned skin like the color of gold (all in modesty, of course, hoho), but it fell perfectly to my wrist.
I would be rather curious to see it worn on darker skins or clear one, but this color scheme must be worn on the wrist to make perfect sense.
Someone tell me, it's my Pimp of LA side that come back atavistically. I would respond to such presumptuous, that it's art.
I had to return the DB28 Rothschild with a big, big toe to the heart.
Paradoxically, the DB28 with short lugs is my less favorite novelty.
Certainly dedicated to the small wrists of the Asian market, the product have a large commercial legitimacy, but it is too politically correct for me to appreciate the this version (about 5mm less on each side): a lost for the of SF style insectoïd (I think for example at the Ornitoptères of the Dune's saga)
Grégory Pons, with his gift of writing, said with relevance few months ago about De Bethune: "It seems that every watch is the prototype of the next".
(Joke for geeks: A prototype, a UFO, it's more than enough to make a shoot’em’up, and in any good a shoot’em’up, the prototypes saves the world, the proto of De Bethune could they save Swiss watches from their mediocrity?)
I am always amazed by the ability of De Bethune to impress to surprise.
I let them a few months, paf (pif:)), a new beauty, they still pushed the limits of their craft! I just named the topic on my visit to the factory Bethune total was below the truth, they still come to prove by a creative explosion! It becomes challenging to cover De Bethune, exceptional pieces full of emotion, a team to match, David Zanetta was more charming and funny as ever.
Unfortunately I come to the same conclusion, horological never taste the same after seeing De Bethune.