With a series of DB28 watches having already proven to be amongst De Bethune’s most popular lines and perhaps its most well-known, Baselworld 2014 saw the release of the seemingly all-black DB28 Dark Shadows, which I had the opportunity to see at The Hour Glass when Alessandro Zanetta visited Sydney.
To be produced in a limited edition of fifty pieces, the 42.60 mm case with the brand’s most well-known floating lugs is made in sandblasted, oxidised zirconium – this is what gives it the black colouring and its hardness as well as its lightness.
The Dark Shadows features the already familiar manual-wind Calibre DB 2115 with its triangle bridge that reminds so many of Star Trek, the flat terminal curve balance spring and patented triple pare-chute shock absorbing system. Not to mention their special spherical moonphase indicator – a palladium and anthracite zirconium hand-polished sphere with an accuracy to one lunar day every 122 years. Power reserve, for which there is an indicator on the back of the watch, is six days.
As mentioned above, the case and floating lugs are sandblasted anthracicte zirconium. The matching dial has an anthracite zirconium mirror-polished hour ring with spherical hour-markers in black mirror-polished steel, and hands in black-polished steel. The case is satin-brushed and therefore matte, as opposed to the bright and shiny cases in other De Bethune models.
Perhaps it is somewhat incorrect to call this an ‘all-black’ piece, as the different finishes, textures, materials, are in varying shades from the currently popular anthracite, through to pure black. As is the case with the brand’s watches, the way the light plays on each of the surfaces is important, with these colour nuances showing up best in good natural light. The name ‘Dark Shadows’ is an apt one, and as ever, when viewed under a loupe, De Bethune’s renowned levels of finishing are a delight.