October 9, 2013
by James Stacey
I find a certain amount of comfort just knowing that De Bethune exists. I like that no matter how formulaic and PR driven the watch world may be, brands like De Bethune have found a foothold and are continuing to offer eccentric and exciting designs that help keep the often conservative luxury watch industry fresh. While I have yet to see a model from De Bethune that wasn’t impressive, we recently got a chance to see the rather special DB25LT in person and it is undoubtedly worth sharing.
The DB25LT measures a sizeable 44 mm across and 12.5 mm thick. Its platinum case is made of a series of rings stacked together and features beautiful open-worked lugs and is finished with anti-reflective sapphire crystals front and back. The beautifully textured hand-guilloché rose gold dial features a three dimensional outer ring that carries both the minute track and Roman numeral hour markers. The flame-blued steel skeleton hands are formed as an arch so that they can safely travel over the raised moon phase display.
The moon phase display at twelve features a small star field and a beautiful tiny moon made from two separate halves, one side in blued steel and the other in palladium. The mechanism that controls the moon phase is quite accurate, requiring adjustment only once every 122 years (assuming you can keep the hand wound movement running for that long).
Speaking of the movement, the DB25LT is powered by the DB 2519 mechanical hand wound movement which offers hours, minutes, moon phase and, although it cannot be seen from the front of the watch, a 30 second tourbillon. The 27 jewel DB 2519 sports self-regulating dual barrels offering four days worth of power reserve. The high-beat tourbillon is made from silicon and titanium and runs at 36,000 vph and makes one revolution every 30 seconds. The movement architecture offers a full view of the tourbillon and De Bethune’s distinctive triangle bridge design and côtes De Bethune decoration.
The DB25LT comes fitted to an alligator leather strap and boasts an impressive list price of CHF 205,000 (~ $221,400 USD). This lovely watch, while wildy expensive, is an excellent example of De Bethune’s charm. The beautifully detailed dial, complex platinum case construction, intricate moon phase and all-but-hidden tourbillon complication make for one very rare and exciting dress watch. While it is safe to say that I will never have the pleasure of owning a De Bethune, I do love that they exist and that they feel compelled to make watches like the DB25LT. debethune.ch