When I heard I was going to get the opportunity to review the De-Bethune DB28, I was ecstatic. This year, the 11th annual GP awarded it the Aiguille d’or overall grand prize. To put this into perspective this is the equivalent of winning an Oscar for watchmaking. I’ve got to admit there is always a bit of trepidation that goes with the hype surrounding a watch like this. There’s always a worry that the actual timepiece might not live up to expectations. Fortunately in this case this Objet d’art well exceeds them.
It’s hard to believe that a company dedicated to producing these amazingly beautiful & refined timepieces has only been in existence for 11 years. David Zanetta & Dennis Flageollet founded de-Bethune in 2002 combining a passion for art with scientific precision. Their vision was to create 21st Century Horological architecture that pays homage to 18th Century watchmaking using cutting edge technology. Recently Pierre Jacques has joined as a partner to further realise the company’s dreams.
It is notable to say at this stage I have wax lyrical about the aesthetics & inspiration involved in producing this marvel. What I haven’t mentioned is the emotive feeling created when wearing this stunning timepiece. The DB28 is one of the most comfortable watches I’ve ever worn that is probably down to its ergonomically designed super lightweight Grade 5 Titanium Case. The watch is pretty small by today’s standards with a diameter of only 42.60mm. Although with the floating lugs creates the optical illusion of the watch being larger. The styling is impeccable & attention to detail is first class. The mirror polished Titanium case is refined & the skeletonized dial is understated. The display is very legible featuring hours/minutes & a power-reserve indicator positioned between 2- 3 o’clock. For me the watch’s true beauty lies in the simplicity of its minimalistic design. The crowning jewel on this watch is spherical moon phase indicator made from a fusion of Blue steel & Palladium (patented). The DB28 would be suitable to wear on any occasion & would basically compliment any outfit.
It’s hard not to dwell on the watches intricate design qualities yet underneath all this beauty lies an impressive beating mechanical heart. The DB2115 has a 36 Jewel mechanical hand wound movement with a 6-day power reserve. The company has developed and patented various innovations used in this model: A Self-regulating twin barrel, The World’s first Silicon/white gold balance wheel – balance-spring with flat terminal curve, Triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system & Silicon escape-wheel. The complex mechanics involved in this movement comprises 293 hand finished & decorated parts. The company states the use of Silicon enhances the movement’s performance, appearance & efficiency.
The DB28 is a true investment in time & essential collectors piece for the serious investor. The price for the DB28 is a cool $87,000.