DB28 Steel Wheels Sapphire Tourbillon

Reference# DB28SWTTIS1
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Manufacturer's retail price: $225,000
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  • Details
  • Description
  • Limited Edition: 10 pieces
  • Case: titanium
  • Size: 43mm
  • Movement: hand-wound manufacture caliber DB2019V5
  • Function: 30-second tourbillon, power reserve on the back
  • Power Reserve: approximately five days
  • Water Resistance: 30m
  • Dial: openworked with delta-shaped blued sapphire glass
  • Caseback: solid with opening for a linear power reserve
  • Strap/Bracelet: hand-stitched alligator leather
  • Factory Warranty: two years

When the first DB28 was launched in 2010, De Bethune’s idea was to present a timepiece with an identity of its own and a resolutely futuristic vision of the art of watchmaking. The design naturally follows through in the spirit of the Manufacture’s creations. The distinctive shape of the case and the crown at 12 o’clock, inspired by pocket watches, are characteristic features of the contemporary aestheticism specific to De Bethune. It is on this timepiece that the patent for De Bethune’s unique, innovative floating lugs, designed to significantly improve comfort, acquired its full meaning. Since then, the DB28 – named Best Watch of the Year and awarded the Aiguille d’Or prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) in 2011 – has never ceased to express past, present and future watchmaking culture through different variants.

Following through on a series of contemporary iterations, from Skybridge to the Kind-of-Blue, by way of the more recent DB28XP, DB28XP Starry Sky and DB28XP Tourbillon, De Bethune has time and again found a new way to reveal new facets of this design, already instantly recognizable by its sleek and taut lines.

The DB28 Steel Wheels came to be in 2018, under the sign of transparency and light, with the idea of opening the dial to reveal the contemporary architecture of its movement. Recognizable by its delta-shaped bridge – a De Bethune hallmark – and its moon at 6 o’clock, the DB28 Steel Wheels fascinates with a multitude of different forms – hemispherical, concave, spherical – for an architecturally dynamic result. It is all about levels of perception, layers and reliefs, light playing with shadows and reflections. Cut from titanium, light on the wrist, this watch reveals a contemporary, architectural fusion of space, time and light.

The Creation: We must go back to the wellspring of inspiration that nourishes the creativity of Denis Flageollet, Founder and Master Watchmaker of De Bethune: the passion to celebrate the Great Watchmaking of the Age of Enlightenment, and subtly reinterpret it in contemporary masterpieces infused with ancestral knowledge and at the same time the latest technical and scientific advances.

Most often used in the production of watch cases, sapphire crystal takes on a new role for De Bethune. Here, it finds a new vocation in the form of the signature delta-shaped bridge and the cover for each of the two barrels. Blue for the bridge, clear for the barrel covers, these elements are integrated into the movement, letting light in to play and offer new reflections – and allow the eyes to literally plunge into the mechanism.

The transparency of these sapphire crystal components not only magnifies the movement, but also offers a different kind of lighting, new brilliance and shimmering, that highlights the taut lines, the architecture and the different levels of the caliber for an intriguing sense of depth.

Always in the spirit of taking things further, as far as possible, Denis Flageollet designed the sapphire glass components, cutting them by laser with utmost precision so they fit in perfectly with the forms, rises, angles, the teeth – the bridge as well as the barrel covers – all perfectly adjusted like a lace of sapphire crystal.

To this is added a ring of polished titanium to circle each barrel cover. The sight of the delta bridge and two barrel covers in sapphire crystal is something never seen before, along with the cut of the glass, underscored on its periphery by the polished metallic grey line, accentuating a resolutely contemporary aesthetic.

The De Bethune Tourbillon: Why so small, so light, so fast? In the vast array of complications and functions, of horological disciplines in which De Bethune has become a virtuoso, the tourbillon often played a leading role. The DB28 Steel Wheels took a step further towards sophistication and supreme refinement with its moon, and today this gives way to a tourbillon featuring an extraordinarily lightweight cage (0.18 grams, the lightest ever created). Rotating on itself every thirty seconds, it comprises a total of 63 components (the lightest of which weighs less than 0.0001 grams!).

De-Bethune