Double-sided timepieces with two dials have a long history in horology, used both to display multi-funtionality and highlight creative arts. The former, in particular, have been a form in which to show prowess in being able to fit in sometimes astonishing numbers of complications into a single piece.
Now, De Bethune have launched their first piece with two dials, each of which is representative of the brand’s identity and technical achievements – meet Denis Flageollet’s new Kind of Two (not ‘kind of blue’, although there is arguably a link between them) Hi-Beat Tourbillon.
One side displays a traditional hours, minutes and seconds, and the other highlights De Bethune’s ultra-light titanium 30’’ tourbillon. All of this is on the famous floating lugs which, when one thinks about it, naturally lend themselves to a quite natural motion back and forth between dials. The mechanism that allows the sides to be rotated is made of twenty-eight components, with a cam and indentation system positioned centrally in line with the floating lugs allowing the DB 29 case to be rotated, positioned, and secured.
The case itself is polished Grade 5 titanium that is 42.8mm with a thickness of 9.5mm. The crown is at 12 o’clock on the ‘front’ side and 6 o’clock on the other.
On the ‘main’ polished titanium dial there is a tourbillon at 6 o’clock along with a classic time display, and the famous De Bethune deltoid-shaped bridge dominating the dial in a slightly amended form. It is a mix of shapes, levels, and finishing, including polished and shot-blasting. The hour ring is punctuated with blued titanium markers, matching the hand-polished blued titanium hands and 30 second ring of the tourbillon.
The more classically styled flip side is familiar from earlier De Bethunes. This simple time-only face is also silvered, with several convex levels and a guilloché centre. Again, the hands are hand-polished blued titanium.
Inside is the manually wound in-house Calibre DB2579 which beats at 36,000 VPH and has a power reserve of five days thanks to the De Bethune self regulating twin barrel. It has a patented titanium balance wheel with white gold inserts, De Bethune balance spring with flat terminal curve, and silicon escape wheel, all adding to the lightness of the piece. The bridge and cover plate are in mirror-polished titanium, the barrels are hand-snailed, and parts are hand-polished and chamfered.
The Kind of Two Tourbillon comes on an alligator strap with a titanium pin buckle. This eye-catching watch is limited to ten pieces with an equally eye-catching RRP of CHF 215,000. I can’t help but think that were it not for travel being justifiably curtailed at present, I would have very likely been able to see this piece ‘in the metal’…
[Photo credit: De Bethune]