De Bethune releases its 29th in-house caliber with a combination of traditional watchmaking with state of the art technology to invite us to travel with the new DB25GMT Starry Varius.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
The new DB25GMT Starry Varius is an amalgam of the watches that De Bethune’s immensely creative Denis Flageolet has come up with. The case is the familiar grade 5 titanium case with a 42 mm diameter in a high poliish, with open-worked lugsThe new watch also take elements from 2 earlier DB25 variations – the DB 25 World Traveller and the DB25 Starry Varius.
From the innovative DB 25 World Traveller, the new watch picks up the use of the dual timezone system. This ingenious system moves a two tone micro-sphere around the dial to indicate home time, while simultaneously rotates the micro-sphere on its own axis, showing the polished rose gold side and blued side to indicate night or day. The new movement also keeps a trick up its sleeve, and ups the ante against its more complicated predecessor. Instead of using a pusher to move the hands (which indicates local time) one hour a click, all adjustments (other than date) are made by the crown. The jumping date indicator is moved from the dial’s periphery on the World Traveller, and now resides on the outer perimeter of the central medallion.
As the new movement is not a World Timer, the task of showing all the cities around the world is dispensed with. And in place of the cities indication in the central medallion, the DB25GMT Starry Varius takes the starry night sky theme from the DB25 Starry Varius. The same startling blued titanium disk, a De Bethune signature, is used. The Milky Way is applied in the same technique with spherical gold pins, each representing a major star and gold leaf for the rest of the galaxy. However, the scene on the DB25GMT is also simpler than the Starry Varius, and only half of the sky is visible this way. The other part taken up a radiant polished sunburst pattern with a polished rose gold pin head insert depicting the sun shining in daytime sky.
The shield shaped movement, with its signature spectacle of a mirror polished curved plate (cover for the double barrels) on the outer edge with “Côtes De Bethune” in the center makes for a sight to behold. Also visible through the open case back are the elements of the De Bethune’s innovations like the silicon balance spring, aerodynamic balance wheel and the triple parachute shock system.
Details of the DB25 World Traveller is found in our detailed review here.
Details of the DB25 Starry Varius is found in our in-depth review here.As a reminder of the two elder sisters, as De Bethune call them, here are the reviews of the World Traveller and Starry Varius.
We look forward to encountering the DB25GMT Starry Varius in person, and to be able to handle and photograph this novelty. We will report back when we get that opportunity.
Introducing the De Bethune DB25GMT Starry Varius
The DB25GMT Starry Varius has a retail price of CHF 95’000.
Invitation to travel
The De Bethune teams set themselves the challenge of developing a travel watch during a period when travel had become difficult, if not impossible, so that when life resumed, it would be ready to takes its place on the wrists of the most discerning globetrotters.
If you can’t yet spontaneously meet up with your friends and family, this is an invitation to travel in your mind. The DB25GMT Starry Varius does indeed offer a simple and effective way to stay connected through time by indicating the time zone in which your loved one lives.
“What on earth was I thinking of in working on a new GMT travel watch while all the countries of the world were entering lockdown? I am pleased that it is now finished and that all the nomads of the planet can finally resume their journey, doubtless with a different view of our world.”Denis Flageollet, Founder and Master Watchmaker of De Bethune
An evolving Starry Varius
Incorporating all the inherent codes of the DB25 Starry Varius collection, namely a polished grade 5 titanium case with a 42 mm diameter, a starry sky accompanied by its Milky Way, perfectly integrated openworked lugs, and a screw-down sapphire caseback providing a glimpse of the movement, this new adaptation of the DB25 World Traveller has everything it takes to win over its future owner.
Despite housing such a complicated movement, it is nonetheless slim and elegant on the wrist, even reinforcing the already greatly appreciated characteristics of the DB25 Starry Varius.
Its user friendliness and the smooth setting of the GMT movement make it an intelligent and remarkably beautiful watch.
Reading the dial
Starting from the centre, the dial indicates the date on the first disc with the help of its jumping date hand, which can be adjusted via a corrector at 6 o’clock. The hours of the first 24-hour time zone (home or reference time) are marked by the microsphere in a mysterious manner, as it appears to be floating weightless in its corridor.
This function can be set in both directions (clockwise/counter-clockwise) via the crown. Local time, i.e. the second time zone, is indicated by the blued hands whose curvature follows the relief of the dial. The minutes hand naturally remains coordinated with the reference time, while the hours hand indicates the local time thanks to the second time zone. Local time can also be set by the crown, in both directions.
The GMT function
Despite its complex construction, this mechanical GMT movement is very simple to use, with concentrically arranged functions.
First of all, the owner uses the crown to set his reference time, known as home time, which is indicated by the microsphere on the 24-hour dial.
Representing De Bethune’s technical signature since its development of the three-dimensional moon-phase display, this microsphere indicates day and night thanks to its two halves: one blue and the other pink. It gradually turns at 6am and 6pm, thereby imitating sunrise and sunset. Secondly, the wearer sets his second time zone by means of the hours hand which is controlled via the crown pulled out to the second position.
In the centre of the curved dial, De Bethune offers us a poetic vision of our sky by day and by night. A polished pink gold sun in the centre of a microlight shines over half the disc, while the celestial vault is delicately outlined on the blued polished titanium section.
The vision provided is of a miniature night sky, dotted with a multitude of small white gold pins delicately and individually driven into a blued titanium dial.
The Milky Way is then hand-crafted using micro laser strokes and 24-carat gold leaf.
Visible through the sapphire caseback, the reverse side of the movement reveals the latest titanium balance with white gold inlays. This organ has the ability to neutralise the effects of temperature variations thanks to its interaction with the balance spring featuring the “De Bethune” flat terminal curve. Its aerodynamics have also been worked on so as to ensure minimal air resistance. The escape-wheel is made of silicon both for the lightness of the material and to increase the power of the calibre.
The regulator is held in place by a triple pare-chute system which combines a titanium bridge integrating two jewels held in place by a leaf-spring system pressing on the jewels.
The two barrels, which are partially visible, have a five-day power reserve thanks to a self-regulating energy mechanism.
A mechanical treasure
While simple and beautiful in appearance, this timepiece nevertheless conceals a mechanical treasure, since it is equipped with the latest hand-wound Calibre DB2507. This is the 29th movement from De Bethune, which once again demonstrates bold technical mastery and expertise by fitting a GMT movement into a Starry Varius case and reproducing a miniature starry sky.
The complication and its display have been entirely redesigned with a view to optimising legibility and operating convenience, thereby ideally meeting travellers’ expectations.
More than just an ally for globetrotters, this De Bethune creation exudes a classic, avant-garde spirit and an intriguingly mysterious allure.