- Case: titanium
- Size: 43mm
- Movement: hand-wound manufacture caliber DB2115v6
- Power Reserve: approximately six days
- Water Resistance: 30m
- Dial: openworked, spherical hour markers
- Caseback: solid, engraved
- Hands: polished titanium with blued titanium inserts
- Strap/Bracelet: hand-stitched alligator leather
- Factory Warranty: two years
Monochromatic by design, the DB28XP is first and foremost a reference to the very first DB28.
It’s about all the levels at which one experiences a timepiece, its layers, reliefs, the light playing with shadows and reflections. Cut from titanium, the watch reveals an architectural fusion of space, time, and light that lingers long after the first glance.
A multitude of different shapes – hemispherical, concave, spherical, a sequence of Microlight, satin, polished and blocked finishes… A continuous interplay of light and shadow reminiscent of the principles behind the hieroglyphics of ancient Egyptian civilization. The singularity of the whole lies in the arresting fact that Denis Flageollet has achieved exactly the opposite of what is usually practiced in the world of ultra-thin watches and high watchmaking: it is precisely through the multitude of forms within the space taken up by the ultra-thin design that its refinement is further accentuated. Here, polished bridges and satin-finished bevels not only heighten the visual experience, but allow for a completely new interpretation.
The dial is entirely made of Microlight, which shakes off the dust of the conventional and offers a modern take on the traditional guilloche technique. On this generous flat surface, the new technique takes on its full meaning and reinforces the structure. By playing with light and shadow, it adds depth and offers a more architectural and dynamic result. The watch as whole becomes more contemporary.
The delta-shaped main plate – a De Bethune hallmark – is finished to perfectly reflect ambient light. The metal surface is patiently polished until it becomes a true mirror, a process that takes up to three hours. Ever so slowly and gradually the moment approaches when matter settles, and atoms fall into place. That moment, that knowing you are just about to go too far with the boxwood grindstone and diamond paste. That split-second between a deep, flawless mirror finish and something less than perfect. All this is the result of the interaction between the brain, the eye and the hand. It’s a question of know-how.
For telling time, no contrasting indexes, but little spheres polished like small satellites. They orbit a larger body, planet Earth, in the spirit of the solar system. A tone-on-tone pattern surrounds the central part of the elliptical dial, subtly revealing the movement’s wheels.
Finally, as a discreet De Bethune signature, the blued titanium inserts in the hands at the center.
The hand-wound movement features De Bethune’s balance wheel, visible through the dial thanks to an opening at 6 o’clock. The result of continuously exploring the boundaries of physics and mathematics to improve timepiece operation, it benefits from the latest advances. Its diameter is not too large, either. Made of titanium, it is equipped with small white gold weights placed on the outside to give remarkable qualities of inertia, reliability and regulating ability.
Then there is balance spring. At De Bethune, this minute, extremely fine spring, considered to be the soul of the mechanical watch, maintains its true center of gravity with a flat terminal curve affixed to the outside of the balance-spring. Differences in the thickness of the blade add to the almost perfect precision of its concentric development. Among the many advantages: lower height, better adjustment of concentricity, finer adjustment of the racquet, no need for pins. The curve’s shape even acts as a shock absorber in case of impact. Finally, the material’s internal structure remains intact since it has been neither stressed nor bent. It is through these numerous tried and tested developments, which are constantly revisited and further improved, that De Bethune has succeeded in increasing the power reserve by 20 percent, bringing it to a total of six days.
Equally visible – and geometrically positioned in relation to the caliber’s plate – is the exclusive triple shock absorption system designed to protect the whole assembly. Not only was De Bethune the first to design a bridge held on both sides, symmetrically, to ensure the balance is kept perfectly in position. The Maison also added two shock absorbers at each end to supplement the shock absorber of the pendulum itself. Hence the name “triple pare-chute” or triple shock absorber, which effectively absorbs and dampens violent shocks with springs instead of screws mounted on perfectly polished axes.