In 2002, when David Zanetta, a collector with a passion for art, history and timepieces, decided to join forces in founding De Bethune with Denis Flageollet, a fourth generation descendant of watchmakers. Each year for a few hundred fortunate connoisseurs around the world, De Bethune offers models enshrining the quintessence of mechanical horology and captivating designs like the one we have here. This time, we take a closer hands-on look at the De Bethune DB28 GS Grand Sport with a new blue natural rubber strap and a 300ft —100 meters— water resistance, making it an ideal timepiece for Spring or Summer.
The openworked dial shows the visible movement finishes in microlight titanium and polished steel and a performance-zone —power reserve indicator— read-off between 2 and 3 o’clock. The minutes hand is a hand-polished flamed-blue steel hand while the hours are shown by a hand manually smoothed-down in grade 5 titanium with flamed-blue steel insert. Right at 6 o'clock, one can admire the splendor of the intricate work that accompanies the set up for the elegantly finished De Bethune signature balance spring with flat terminal curve and its highly polished bridge.
Gears, bridges and remarkably finished screws round out the design in a timeless and endless equation. In low light, the dial comes to life transforming in to a symphony of captivating reflections.
The Case & Crown
The De Bethune DB28 GS Grand Sport clearly embraces the principles and values of the manufacture. Fitted with a hand polished and smoothed-down grade 5 titanium case with a diameter of 44 mm and a thickness of 11 mm, the floating lugs along with the ultra supple rubber strap make this watch beyond comfortable. The De Bethune DB28 GS Grand Sport features the traditional short and long floating lugs also in smoothed-down grade 5 titanium. The finish of the middle case and the floating lugs is smooth and precise as good as it gets. The color of the case with its openworked dial, creates an endless symphony of avant-garde design. The winding crown, capriciously placed at 12 o'clock adds even more intricacy to the revolutionary design. A conjunction of forms and shapes that comes with endless possibilities.
Traditionally seen with a black natural rubber strap with folding clasp, the De Bethune DB28 GS Grand Sport is now also offered with an eye-catching blue strap with pin buckle as featured on this hands-on review. The strap is very comfortable, malleable and soft to the touch. Different textures adorn the front and back of the strap to make it even more special.
The Movement & Case Back
Flipping the watch over, reveals another dimension that entices the eyes. This time, not the usual surprise but a solid case back rarely seen on De Bethune timepieces. A solid case back was chosen by De Bethune for the DB28GS Grand Sport to ensure a water resistance up to 300ft —100 meters. The beating heart —this time concealed— of the De Bethune DB28 GS Grand Sport is the manual-wound calibre DB2115 composed of 262 parts, a self regulating twin barrel, 37 jewels, a performance-zone —power reserve— indicator on the dial side, a snailed mainplate, Côtes De Bethune and a triple pare-chute shock absorbing system. The movement beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph while providing a long lasting power reserve of 6 days.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the watch wears considerably larger than its actual size due to its floating lugs but very lightweight. If you choose the DB28GS Grand Sport as your next timepiece, be prepared to sport one of the most unique looking watches out there and a true example of 'haute horlogerie' that doesn't come with an astronomical price tag. Exceptional, refined and bold are some of the words that come to mind when wearing this amazing piece.
Sticker Price $75,000 USD. For more info on De Bethune click here.