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De Bethune DB21 Maxichrono Réédition

A futuristic hybrid classic
by Chester Lau on October 12, 2019

De Bethune brings back this revolutionary chronograph designed in 2006. The watch is uses the monopusher concept but pushes it farther by having all counters displayed centrally

Five hands are mounted on a single central axis and controlled by a simple single pusher. De Bethune now presents the first reissue of this chronograph in a limited edition of 10 pieces.

The Case and Dial

The watch is fit in a 44.4 mm case, propped up by the iconic De Bethune floating lugs crafted from Grade 5 titanium. The silver toned dial is a futuristic interpretation of classic chronograph dials.

The dial consists of 4 main components. It begins with a guilloche silver center, and is followed by silver-toned central hours counter. The third ring marks the hours in heated blue titanium. And the final white ring features the minutes counter with transfer-printed red numerals and silver toned seconds.

De Bethune used polished steel for the hours and minutes hands. The skeleton hands resemble a spaceship. Thermally-blued steel is used for chronograph hours and seconds, and a red indicator for the chronograph minutes.

The pusher at 6 o’clock which is also at the crown operates the start, stop and reset of the chronograph.

By eliminating multiple counters, the DB21 Maxichrono Réédition offers the possibility to measure longer times, up to 24 hours in a row and 1/10 second accuracy.

The Movement

Powering the is the 5 Hz DB2030 calibre which beats at 36,000 vph and has a 5 days power reserve.

And just to make things even more unique and complicated, the watch boasts not only of 3 separate column wheels, each controlling the start, stop and reset of the seconds, minutes and hour totalizers, but also each being operated under a different principle than the other.

The chronograph seconds hand is controlled by a totally novel clutch system called the Absolute Clutch. The minute totalizer is controlled by a vertical clutch system, which DeBethune calls a shifting pinion, and the hour totalizer by a more conventional horizontal clutch system. This mechanism makes the most of the advantages of the horizontal and vertical clutch systems while eliminating their faults.

Concluding Thoughts

The watch is a brilliant piece from the brand. It represents De Bethune’s design language which emphasizes movement innovation in tandem with case design. Needless to say, the finishing and sheer complexity of the monopusher movement sets De Bethune far ahead of its competitors.

A limited edition of just 10 pieces, the De Bethune DB21 Maxichrono Réédition has sticker price of CHF 155,000.

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