May 19, 2022
by Ariel Adams
One of the recent De Bethune watches to be released over the last year is this reference DB25QPATIS4 metallic olive-green version of the popular DB25 Perpetual Calendar. I first spoke about the De Bethune DB25 Perpetual Calendar watch back in 2015 on aBlogtoWatch here. It is hard not to fall in love with the particular calendar dial layout and the very interesting in-house automatic movement that powers it. I’m not typically a huge fan of perpetual calendar watches (because to me the time and effort necessary to keep them set/running aren’t worth the informational value given the ubiquity of calendar information out there), but when one does it so well (as is the case with this De Bethune model) then I can immediately appreciate it.
An important thing that the people at De Bethune and I agree on is the importance of symmetry. The DB25 Perpetual Calendar dial is a thing of beauty when judged from a geometry perspective. In a balanced and elegant manner, you have a combination of windows and hands that indicate the time (sorry, no seconds hand), date, month, day of the week, leap year indicator, and even the moon phase. It is a bit hard to believe that the dial has a total of seven indicators. The moon phase indicator is a turning spherical ball in half palladium and half black oxidized zirconium set against a small celestial display with rose gold stars. That same dial has a small circular window that is the leap year indicator (it changes colors on the leap year).
Two opposing windows on the far left and right edges of the dial indicate the day of the week and the month respectively. Below them are a date indicator dial placed above the 6 o’clock hour indicator. Even with all that information, De Bethune managed to include a full scale of hour markers using Roman numerals. The dial itself is in an olive-green tone and has several sections. The main section is first engraved using a hand-operated guilloché machine and then hued green. The peripheral dial ring is contoured and helps add depth to the dial. The polished hands are lovely to look at because they are not too reflective and are also bent in traditional form to better point to where they are indicating on the dial, though I do feel as though the hands are a bit on the short side.
Turn the case over and you’ll be able to view the movement powering it all through the sapphire crystal exhibition caseback window. There, you’ll see the truly interesting-looking in-house De Bethune caliber DB2324 automatic movement. It isn’t new, but it is still a power house mechanism operating at 4Hz with a full five days of power reserve between two mainspring barrels. De Bethune has a series of patents in the movement, which contains propriety designs including the regulation system and balance wheel. Silicon is wisely used in the movement for components such as the escapement, and the balance wheel is produced from titanium with platinum weights.
The automatic rotor is produced from titanium and white gold and, overall, the movement is a lovely modern take on traditional watchmaking, something that De Bethune is known for and highly distinctive in when it comes to its particular visual theme. This is especially true with the movement colors the brand seems to like best, which include steel-tone and blue. In all, the movement is produced from a total of 425 parts.
One tradeoff in this watch is its size, which is not traditionally as petite as some collectors enjoy it. The movement itself is large at 30mm-wide, and the DB25 case is 44mm-wide and 11.1mm-thick. I don’t personally consider this to be that large, especially because it is designed with very stubby skeleton lugs that make for a rather reasonable lug-to-lug distance. In short, wearing this watch is certainly comfortable, and its larger size should not be a deterrence to anyone. It does have about 120 hours of power reserve, after all.
This particular reference DB25QPATIS4 version of the DB25 Perpetual Calendar comes in a polished titanium case, a material that De Bethune has particular expertise with. De Bethune doesn’t remark on the water resistance, so I am guessing 30 meters for this product. Also, while not a limited edition, each DB25 Perpetual Calendar model watch is individually numbered. To match the green dial and theme of the watch, attached to this DB25 Perpetual Calendar is a green fabric and leather strap that is trendy looking but not high-end-feeling, per se. Green reptile skin would look very cool with this timepiece. An enthusiast watch with high-end clientele in mind, the reference DB25QPATIS4 De Bethune DB25 Perpetual Calendar watch has a retail price of 125,000 Swiss Francs. Learn more at the De Bethune website here.