De Bethune DBS Digital DEB-001 watch

I finally decided that I wanted to write about a calendar watch for New Year’s day, but I didn’t know what watch to talk about. Calendar watches come in thousands of forms, and have been around practically since the time clocks have been around. There are a few highly complex calendar watches that actually do indicate the year, but none of those suited my tastes at this time. I finally decided on writing about one of the most elegant, “love it or hate it” calendar watches out there made by the boutique watch brand De Bethune. I really like the brand even though they put as much effort as is possible to keep their watches priced well outside the watch, or car buying budgets of the majority of people.

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De Bethune DBS digital watch front and rear

De Bethune DBS Digital Gold and palladium watchThe DBS digital (“digitale” if are speaking luxury pretentious) is an extremely basic looking watch from a functional standpoint, and that is the whole point. You have this amazing looking designer case, high grade materials all decorated, and then this simple digital (mostly) display. The time is shown on the bottom via a jumping hour window, and the minutes are on a revolving disc. There is no seconds hand. Above, you have the calendar portion of the watch. Displayed in a row, a series of concentric discs display the day, date, and month. We Americans prefer the month to be displayed before the date, but this is a European designed watch (where the standard order of theor calendar data is different), and you should be happy that the indicators are even in English.  It is just that simple. Five pieces of information displayed in a very basic, but effective fashion. If you turn the watch over, you get a starry display complete with constellations, and De Bethune’s iconic rotating orb moon phase indicator. Have no doubt, this is exclusively a luxury watch. The moon phase orb is platinum, and the movement powering this deceptively simple watch is a complex mechanical machine.

The movement is manually wound with an impressive 8 day power reserve. I would have liked to seen a power reserve indicator though. The crown is on the top of the watch and it is used for winding and setting most of the functions. Because the calendar will need to be adjusted from time to time (at least once every four years if this is a perpetual calendar or if you forget to wind it), there are a few inset adjuster buttons around the side areas of the 43mm wide, 18k white gold case. If you look at the palladium dial, it is decorated with vertical lines polished into the palladium (different tones) metal. This is known as Côtes de Genève decoration. So when you see that phrase you know what it means (but if you are reading this, you probably already know that right?). As you can tell in the pictures, the colors of the dial seem to change a bit based on the angle at which you are viewing it. Price for the DBS Digital is probably $40,000 – $80,000. That is my educated guess  because prices for watches like this aren’t made widely available. If you have to ask you can’t afford it right?

See De Bethune watches on eBay here.

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Not keen on the price of the De Bethune but still want a perpetual calendar watch? See perpetual calendar watches on Amazon here.

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