When it made its debut 10 years ago, the DB28 watch from independent Swiss brand De Bethune turned heads. Lots of them. The revolutionary design had people talking. Now, the brand celebrates the 10th anniversary of that iconic watch and unveils three new pieces. Perhaps top among them is the DB28XP that most closely recalls that first, now-iconic watch, but with updated, ultra-thin case and a few other details.
The first DB28 had a distinctive case shape with elongated look thanks to the crown placement on the case at 12:00. It also featured patented floating lugs and a futuristic dial. Those key design codes remain in place with the new DB28XP, but the ultra-thin case enables the brand to explore a new realm for its watches (which were already pretty sleek looking). By design, the new watch is monochromatic in color, recalling the look of the first DB28 as closely as possible.
DB28XP in Titanium
Crafted from titanium, the watch seems to fuse space, time and light with a host of different shapes, angles and polices. The dial is finished using a technique called Microlight that has an unusual guilloche pattern that plays with light and shadow, and with depth and dimension. To further reflect light, the iconic delta-shaped main plate is highly polished to a mirror finish — which takes about three hours to achieve using a boxwood grindstone and diamond paste. This hand workmanship is a true skill, as the artisan must know exactly the precise moment to stop grinding. The hands feature blued titanium inserts in them.
Each DB28XP is powered by a hand-wound movement with balance wheel visible through the dial aperture at 6:00. The balance wheel is crafted in titanium with tiny white gold insets that help with regulation and inertia. The patented balance spring is also specially constructed and shaped so that it is lower in height, can achieve finer adjustment and acts as a shock absorber.With these and other improvements in technology, DeBethune is able to increase the power reserve of this movement by 20 percent, offerings six days in total when fully wound. The watch features DeBethune’s triple shock absorption system (with two shock absorbers and a bridge held in place on both sides) that protects the assembly. The highly complex and super alluring new DB28 XP in polished titanium retails for $79,900.
DB28XP Technical Specs:
Mechanical hand-wound movement, DB2115v6, 194 parts, 29 jewels, 6 days power reserve ensured by a self-regulating twin barrel, 28,800 vibrations/hour
Function: hours, minutes
Titanium balance with white gold inserts, optimized for temperature differences and air penetration
“De Bethune” balance-spring with flat terminal curve – De Bethune Patent (2006)
Silicon escape wheel
Triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system –De Bethune Innovation (2005)
Dial: Polished titanium hours ring with polished titanium spherical hour-markers
Circular satin-brushed titanium minutes ring
Polished titanium barrel bridge and triangular central bridge guards with straight-grained chamfered contours Titanium dial base with “microlight” decoration centred onthe balance – De Bethune Innovation (2007)
Hands: Polished titanium hands with polished blued titanium inserts
CASE: Polished grade 5 titanium with “microlight” case middle, 43 mm diameter, 7.2mm height, lugs: polished grade 5 titanium floating lugs – De Bethune Patent (2006)
Crystal: Sapphire (1,800 Vickers hardness) with double anti- reflective coating
Caseback: Solid, in polished grade 5 titanium
Engraved ring in blued circular satin-finish titanium Titanium plate with “microlight” decoration and De Bethune logo
Water Resistance: 3 ATM
Strap: Extra-supple alligator leather with alligator lining Grade 5 titanium buckle and pin