January 23, 2013
by James Stacey
De Bethune creates some of the most unique looking and distinctive watches on the market today. With a stellar aesthetic and standout case design, the new Skybridge is an interesting addition to their DB28 range of watches. The DB28 Skybridge employs the same skeletonized floating lugs and twelve o’clock crown placement seen on other models in the DB28 family, but offers a less complicated dial arrangement with an artful interpretation of the De Bethune design language.
The Skybridge offers a duality of modernism and elegance that has the look of a dressy Linde Werdelin, meant to be worn to a gala ball, on the moon. The Skybridge features a 43 mm polished titanium case with a 45 mm matched bezel. The case looks lovely but is entirely upstaged by the dial, also based in blued and polished titanium, which mimics a view of the night sky and is garnished with a selection of polished titanium balls (acting as mid-dial hour markers) and diamonds. There is a minute track surrounding the dial and a large conical design element intersecting the dial like an art deco spaceship. At the base of this “spaceship” is a small orb that functions as a very understated moon phase display. While I am hesitant to use the word “romantic”, that is my genuine impression of the dial design for the Skybridge, and I love it. The ornate hands, the rich blue of the dial, and the charming dial design all make for a very compelling watch.
Mechanically speaking, the DB28 Skybridge is fairly straightforward. Running on the DB2105 in-house and hand-wound movement from De Bethune, the Skybridge has no seconds hand and no date, possibly because they would detract from the design. The beautiful DB2105 movement is viewable via a display case back and features a distinctly De Bethune design and beautiful finishing. The DB2105 has 236 parts in its construction, including twin barrels and 27 jewels supporting a six day power reserve.
This is not De Bethune’s first go at a watch with this overall look but I feel that the way in which they have minimized the impact of the time and moon phase display has allowed additional dial real estate (and visual attention) to be invested in the nature of the design. Not only will the DB28 Skybridge be a perfectly functional and reliable dress watch, but you have to assume there is a sense of occasion when you choose to wear a watch like this. While not a simple-looking watch, the De Bethune DB28 Skybridge does offer a distinctive and enchanting wrist presence that would be sure to rival anything else in your collection.
We are live from SIHH this week – get all the latest pics and updates on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/aBlogtoWatch and join the conversation! Price for the De Bethune DB28 Skybridge is 98,000 Swiss Francs. debethune.com