“Quetza-what?!” This is possibly the reaction that people will get when they come across the DB25 Quetzalcoatl, a novelty from De Bethune in this year’s Baselworld. The name is derived from the Nahuatl language, in which it is the fusion of “quetzalli” (the expression of the feathers found on the quetzal bird) and “coatl” (which is basically a snake).
The theme of the watch was derived from the Mesoamerican culture and civilization, and honestly that gave the watch a rather mystical feel. Featuring a solid gold dial, it seems as though no expense is spared in the creation of this timepiece. The brainchild behind the watch’s design is David Zanetta, while the end-product was finished by engraver Michelle Rothen.
At the first glance, the DB25 Quetzalcoatl is rather mesmerizing and seemingly curious. The dial is executed rather beautifully, as it features both depth and great attention to detail. One example would be the use of both circular guilloche motif on the center portion of the dial, as well as the use of matte finishing on the hour indices. And since we are on the subject of the hour indices, the curious designs were derived from the topographical view of the Aztec temples from the Tenochtitlan.
We also like how De Bethune used the serpent motif, which is also known as the Quetzalcoatl, to tell the time. The head of the creature is used to indicate the hours, while the tail is used to indicate the minutes. As the time moves, the Quetzalcoatl moves as well. Nothing complicated in the mechanism, but the results are rather interesting indeed.
The watch is powered by De Bethune’s DB2005, a hand-winding movement that features a self-regulating twin barrel and a six day power reserve. It also features the famous triple pare-chute shock absorbing system, a silicon escape wheel, as well as a balance spring with a flat terminal curve that ensures an optimal concentric development.
Honestly, we feel that this is one of the nicest pieces that came out of this year’s Baselworld at the moment. The attention to detail, as well as the entire execution of the timepiece, is simply staggering. This is not just a device that tells time. It is a work of art, and a testament to the wonders that humans can achieve.
Oh and by the way, De Bethune will only make 20 examples of this timepiece.
Specifications from Press Release
20-piece limited edition
Functions: Hours – minutes
Movement: DB2005 calibre – mechanical hand-wound movement
Power reserve: 6 days
Case: White gold, drum-shaped – diameter 44 mm – thickness 12.50 mm
Attachments: hollowed lugs Glass: Sapphire crystal, 1800 Vickers hardness with double anti-reflective treatment Crown at 3 o’clock, setting in two positions
Back: open – DB2005 calibre – mirror-polished bridges and Côtes De Bethune
Dial: in solid gold hand-engraved by Michèle Rothen and composed of two parts: hours ring with figures inspired by buildings from the Tenochtitlan Templo Mayor; and central part with De Bethune microlight guilloché
Hands: in solid gold hand-engraved featuring Quetzalcoatl whose changing position according to time. The snake’s head shows the hours and the tail of the snake indicates the minutes
Strap: Extra-supple alligator leather with pin buckle