Reflecting similar gestures, a dialogue was established between Schuiten’s pen & ink drawings and renowned Swiss engraver Michelle Roten, whose talents were enlisted for this particular project. The structure of the watch thus comes to life or rather creates a reflection of Armilia’s imaginary world, as if the watch were a ship setting out to explore this world. Bearing in mind the idea of achieving a depiction similar to the original drawings, it is no coincidence that De Bethune chose 18K pink gold. The warm colour of the precious metal recalls the equally warm colours characterising the drawings of the city at sunset.
With Armilia, De Bethune has created a fascinating work that it is placing like a landmark on the frontier between art and watchmaking. Armilia is the result of extreme miniaturisation of its mechanism, entirely dedicated to design, of which time is only one element. A De Bethune interpretation appearing as a nod or a signature, a small two-coloured sphere indicates the moon phases. Composed of two assembled and polished blued steel and palladium half-spheres, it guides the eye towards the digital and minimalist display of the hours and minutes. All this is visible through a hand-cut cabochon-shaped tempered glass such as only a rare few are capable of producing, providing a chance to get a better view of this mechanism that counts off time, within a fantasy world that approaches it from an entirely different standpoint.