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De Bethune DB25 Quetzalcoatl
Baselworld

De Bethune DB25 Quetzalcoatl

Friday, 27 March 2015
Press Release
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3 min read

Quetzalcoatl is a composite name in the Nahuatl* language derived from quetzalli and used to describe the large, precious green feathers of the sacred quetzal bird; and coatl, meaning snake. It is one of the main divinities of the Mesoamerican civilisations and the feathered serpent, its most iconic incarnation, reigned for many long centuries over pre-Columbian America.

This powerful symbol of Mesoamerican culture was the core of worship and sacred rituals. The related myths and legends appear in the writings of the colonial period. In conjunction with the evening star, it was considered to govern the cycle of time from dawn to dusk. This deity of the summer winds was naturally closely associated with agriculture and in particular with corn farming, as well as being the sovereign protector of goldsmiths and artisans, and the inventor of the calendar.

Stemming from an age-old tradition of artistic crafts and engraving, the solid gold dial of the DB25 Quetzalcoatl, exquisitely fashioned by the gifted engraver Michelle Rothen – based on drawings by David Zanetta – is a natural continuation of the brand founders’ research and exploration. Above and beyond fine craftsmanship and the exercise in style, the ultimate aim is to enable owners to wear on their wrist a portion of the history of humankind, steeped in legends, emotions and universal culture.

The symbolic unity around Quetzalcoatl, formed by the sculpted solid gold hands, takes on an almost mystical aura and enlivens the heart of the dial that constantly evolves in tune with the passing of time. The latter is read off by the tip of the serpent’s head, while its tail indicates the minutes. Quetzalcoatl appears coiled in the centre of the model in varying positions in step with the ever-changing times of day. This fascinating vision, magnified by the microlight finishing on the dial centre, endows this creation with exceptional depth and mystery.

It interprets an eminently contemporary theme that will take on its full meaning on the wrist of a few enlightened connoisseurs.

The aesthetic construction gives pride of place to an element that is steadily becoming the unmistakable hallmark of the Manufacture: research on materials and the way light reflects off their finishes – at time radiantly glowing like the circular guilloché motif on the central part; and at others matt, such as the soft patina on the hour indicators formed by a series of temples viewed from the sky. Nothing escapes the keen eye of David Zanetta; nothing is too slender, too subtle or too elaborate in this bold endeavour to reproduce several centuries of history within the modest few square centimetres available on the dial. This historical dimension is clearly perceptible thanks to an unusual perspective that provides an aerial view of the ruins of the Aztec temples from the city of Tenochtitlan. This highly personal vision of the archaeological site naturally leads one to step back and adopt a certain observation distance imposed by the higher vantage point.

The various finishes of the mirror-polished bridges adorned with De Bethune decorations highlight the silicon heart of the patented annual balance of Calibre DB2005, alongside a number of innovations and patents from the Manufacture. This mechanical hand-wound movement beating at a frequency of 4 Hertz is equipped with a self-regulating twin barrel ensuring a 6-day power reserve, the famous triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system protecting the regulating organ, a silicon escape-wheel and a balance-spring with flat terminal curve ensuring optimal concentric development.

While some will see it as a model bearing the effigy of a Mesoamerican culture in pre-Columbian America and others will be touched by the symbolism of Quetzalcoatl, all will admire the meticulous care and detail devoted to the engraving.

This benevolent deity that has given rise to countless legends and sacred myths is more relevant than ever in the present age. Symbolising the union of body and mind – by associating Earth represented by the serpent and the Sky depicted by the feathers – it interprets an eminently contemporary theme that will take on its full meaning on the wrist of a few enlightened connoisseurs.

*Language of the Nahua peoples of Mexico and Central America

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