This model recreates the technical and aesthetic spirit of Tsubas, the Japanese sword guards designed to protect a samurai’s hand from sliding into the blade. In creating this entirely engraved contemporary timepiece, De Bethune conveys its determination to perpetuate a heritage shared by goldsmiths and watchmakers, by applying to this timepiece born of cutting-edge technologies a set of meticulous ancestral techniques illustrating powerful symbols from Japanese and Chinese mythology. The animal motifs inlaid and engraved on the model exalt this material by infusing it with strength and light. Witness the dragon perched on the clouds and stretching across the entire watch, from the dial to the case middle and on to the back. He is boldly defied by a tiger, master of the bamboo forest. The tiger and dragon represent an important symbolic image often used to signify self-control in the teaching of martial arts.
This model evokes the finesse and extreme delicacy of Asian etchings, often made on bronze vases. It channels the spirit of Chinese poetry and engravers through a modern watch. After the achievement represented by its starry skies, De Bethune continues its research on titanium, this time focusing on hand engraving. Enhanced with gold particles, the latter drew upon the spirit of innovation and expertise cultivated by the Manufacture. The result is a classic blued titanium watch with hours and minutes shown on 12 diamond hour-markers. In developing these artistic creations, De Bethune highlights the work of the greatest artisans in their respective crafts. Both engraved by the artist Michèle Rothen, these two models are at the crossroads between art and artisanship.