In my watch wanderings before the start of SIHH week it has become customary for me to visit De Bethune to see some of their pre-Baselworld launches. This time we had a new watch companion, London’s #thewatchnerd; be sure to check his website for an upcoming post on De Bethune called ‘The sky’s the limit’ that I know is in the works.
This new Zodiac model uses the standard DB25 case with its short openworked lugs – a 44mm white gold case with a thickness of 10.6mm, and is basically the same watch in a different manifestation.
Design wise it features one of the magical shades of De Bethune blue to represent the sky. This blued titanium forms the backdrop of the hand-engraved twelve zodiac signs. The dial so features silver guilloché in the centre, yellow gold hands a a blued seconds hand for the jumping/ deadbeat seconds and the movement indicator beneath 12 o’clock that is a feature of all DB25 models.
The zodiac figures are solid gold inserts and hand engraved by Master Engraver Michèle Rothen whose work can be seen on previous De Bethune pieces DB25 Imperial Fountain and DB25 Maya.
Hidden from view on the back is the manual-wind 36,000 VPH DB2109 movement with a silicon-titanium tourbillon with 30-second indicator. The tourbillon comprises of sixty-three parts which weigh between 0.0001g and 0.0276g. The movement itself consists of 320 parts with ‘Côtes De Bethune’ blued titanium bridges and parts, silicon/ white gold balance and a power reserve of four days.
For those who are interested, here is a short film (2011) from the FHH about Master Engraver Michèle Rothen. The Zodiac will be made in a limited edition of twenty pieces.