De Bethune Strikes Black Gold with the DB28T

De Bethune Strikes Black Gold with the DB28T

May 9, 2017

Sometimes mirror-polished for a shiny look, sometimes satin-brushed for a matte finish, black zirconium is a key element in the composition of the cases and floating lugs of the DB28.

The multiple ways in which the light plays across the material and its various finishes reveal countless different tones ranging from anthracite grey to intense black. This pleasing aesthetic effect was already greatly appreciated on the DB28 dials, which opened a window onto the movement alternating between the sophisticated elegance of hand-polished bridges and the understated charm of Côtes de Genève reinterpreted by De Bethune.

In its research on materials and new processes, De Bethune saw the choice to machine zirconium as a natural and sustainable alternative for the color black. The hardness of the metal as together stable oxidation that is unaffected by daily changes in temperature are twin assets that guarantee the resistance and durability of the exterior of a timepiece.

Adorned with its famous crown at 12 o’clock, the DB28 which is known for the surprising lightness of its case and the comfort of its floating lugs – a patented system that adapts to the size of the wrist and its various movements – is as supple as ever, since the lightness of titanium is replaced by that of zirconium.

This version, featuring a contemporary design paradoxically inspired by that of historical pocket watches, highlights the technical breakthroughs achieved by the manufacture and the meticulous decoration work of its artisans, custodians of age-old expertise.

The DB28T Black Gold is powered by DB Caliber 2009, a mechanical hand-wound movement equipped with the De Bethune silicon/titanium tourbillon. De Bethune has undertaken a complete rethinking of the tourbillon in terms of its use in wristwatches.

The laws of physical are implacable: to compensate for the random “violence” of wrist movements, the carriage must be as light as possible, with a high frequency and a maximum rotation speed, along with minimum weight and inertia. Based on new technologies, De Bethune has developed an 0.18 gram silicon-titanium tourbillon fitted inside a carriage that spins on its axis every 30 seconds, and equipped with a balance-wheel oscillating at a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour. This tourbillon is the lightest on the market (classic tourbillons are four times heavier) and comprises 57 parts, of which the lightest weighs less than 0.0001 grams and the heaviest 0.0276 grams!