In De Bethune’s workshops in L’Auberson, the particles become luminous and the metals – titanium in particular – emit a visible light… the material oxidizes, the properties are modified, the surfaces are transformed, new natural colours come to the fore. 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.
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.
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. The calibre also comes equipped with the triple “pare-choc” shock absorption system.