De Bethune is one of those 'haute horlogerie' manufactures that knocks it out of the park every time they release a new piece. As if the new De Bethune DB25 Quetzalcoatl —featured here— wasn't impressive enough, David Zanetta and the De Bethune team, decided to create a 10th anniversary DBS Tourbillon to be presented at Baselworld 2015. Ten years ago, David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet decided to support the 'Only Watch Project' —an auction placed under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco on behalf of research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy— by creating the first DBS, an incredibly high-tech model with an innovative design. The white gold case of the DBS testified to a new thought process undertaken by the brand founders in terms of ensuring a wristwatch makes an ideally comfortable fit, and marked the start of in-depth work on forging a specific De Bethune functional aesthetic.
The cone-shaped lower lugs, along with the 12 o’clock crown, were subtle details that counter-balanced the almost imposing size of the model that measured 45 mm across at its widest point. Continuing this approach, the pivoting gold plate connecting the upper section of the strap and the case middle was the forerunner of what would later become known as floating lugs —a patented system featuring a spring-type effect that helps adjust to the size of the wrist and its movements. The case in 18K white gold measures 45 mm by 42.5 mm, with a thickness of 11 mm.
In 2005, the De Bethune DBS laid the first foundations of what has now become one of the watch industry’s most innovative and creative manufactures since its creation in 2002. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this iconic model, De Bethune has equipped the DBS with a 30-second tourbillon featuring a high 36,000 vph frequency. The tourbillon cage weighs merely 0.18 grams and is composed of 63 parts of which the lightest weighs less than 0.0001 g and the heaviest 0.0276 g.
The dial with anthracite titanium bridges with ruthenium finishing and spherical hour indicators in hand-polished flame-blued steel with silver-toned minutes ring provides a fascinating window onto the DB2019 calibre, revealing a wealth of technical and subtly decorated details. Held by a finely titanium annular bridge, the tourbillon at 6 o’clock performs an endlessly fascinating mechanical ballet. It appears to be suspended in mid-air, standing out against the anthracite deltoid-shaped bridges and delineating a time read-off zone by means of spherical steel indicators hand-polished and blued using the age-old flame-blueing technique.
Subtle touches of blue, cleanly-cut hands and hour-markers, shimmering reflections playing across the materials, ruthenium-coated Côtes De Bethune contrasting with silver-toned finish of the minutes ring: the aesthetic construction of the DBS built around the extreme technical sophistication of the movement explores the technical and artistic skills of the Manufacture and celebrates ten years of exclusivity, excellence and beauty. To add to the functionality of this new De Bethune DBS Tourbillon 10th Anniversary, the case back is solid and it features a small window with a very useful linear power reserve indicator. The manual wound De Bethune in-house calibre DB2019 provides a power reserve of 5 days when fully wound and the case back is engraved with the 10th anniversary information.
The new De Bethune DBS Tourbillon 10th anniversary is fitted with an extra supple black alligator strap and the watch is limited to 10 pieces. On the wrist, the watch wears exceptionally comfortable and extremely elegant.
Sticker Price $210,000 USD. For more info on De Bethune click here.