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Baselworld 2016: De Bethune DB28 & DB28T – Kind of Blue

by Chester Lau on March 26, 2016

In honour of the colour blue, a fundamental element of its identity, De Bethune presents a monochromatic range of its iconic models, DB28 and DB28T. Radical and magnetic, their colour is created by an artisanal and natural treatment of the metals.  

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The De Bethune DB 28 in blue grade 5 titanium.

 

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The DB 28T, a high beat tourbillon model also in blue grade 5 titanium.

 

To create its own blue, De Bethune relied exclusively on a traditional technique, and all the parts in titanium and steel used in Kind of Blue were treated in this manner. It consists of heating the material to colour its surface through oxidation and to modify its physical properties in the process.

Steel and iron were the only materials treated in this manner until De Bethune began its own experiments with titanium. Finalised in 2006, the technique is now applied to the purest form of this material, grade 5 titanium. Entirely done by hand, this extremely demanding treatment involves the development of a whole new repertory of steps, because titanium has proven to be a very arduous material to remodel.

 

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The 43 mm DB 28 which beats at 28,800 vph with its iconic moonphase sphere at 6.

 

An iconic De Bethune model, the DB28 presents a case made of polished grade 5 titanium, mounted on two floating lugs to ensure superior wearing comfort. On the inside, the mechanical calibre with manual winding is fully visible and integrates several fundamental technical inventions. The patented spherical moon-phase is positioned at 6 o’clock. Made of steel and palladium, it offers precision that varies by only one lunar day every 122 years. At the heart of the watch, the high-performance escapement developed by De Bethune presents a silicon annular balance, encircled by a white gold ring and a balance-spring with a flat terminal curve that is exclusive to De Bethune.

 

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The DB 28T beats at 36,600vph and has a case size of 42.6 mm

 

Power is accumulated and distributed through two self-regulating barrels, also developed by De Bethune. An indicator needle positioned between 2 and 3 o’clock indicates the level of torque that has been built up. The power reserve indicator can be read on the back of the plate, which is decorated with special concentric graining. All the finishes are done by hand with a motion work bridge in polished titanium, bridges with “Côtes De Bethune” decoration and rose-work grinding on the barrel ratchets. The hours are indicated by skeleton hands on arrow pointers made of polished steel.

 

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See through case back of the DB28T features a power reserve indicator and perlage treated bridge plates.

 

The DB28T, a technical development of the DB28, adopts the same case in polished titanium held by double floating lugs for maximum comfort. Its mechanical calibre with hand winding is equipped with a high frequency, ultra fast tourbillon, signed De Bethune. The lightest in the world with its minuscule 0.20 grammes for 63 parts, it beats at one-tenth of a second and makes a complete rotation in 30 seconds for superior chronometry. Its silicon balance wheel, just as its escape wheel, is encircled with a white gold ring. A self-regulating twin barrel developed in-house ensures constant torque in the movement.  Entirely visible, the movement presents a curved delta motion work bridge in polished titanium decorated with applied microsphere stars in white gold.

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