Back in 2016 De Bethune debuted the the DB25 World Traveller. It featured a second time zone and world time indicator with fifteen time zones.
The DB25 World Traveller was about the concentric arrangement of functions – the world times were on a disc at the centre of the dial (set using an almond-shaped pusher at 8 o’clock), encircled by a graduated channel in which a moving mirror-polished micro sphere indicated the reference/ home time, which was in a 24-hour format. It was set using the crown, in one hour jumps, and could be set clockwise or anti-clockwise.
Now, we have a younger sibling – the new DB25GMT Starry Varius that is a combination of the World Traveller and their popular Starry Varius, and featuring their 29th calibre. As with the DB 25 World Traveller, this new time zone watch also works with concentric circles, with the complication having been redesigned for this new function.
Starting from the centre of the dial, the date is shown on the first disc via a jumping blued and silver-tipped date hand, which can be adjusted via a corrector at 6 o’clock. The hours of the first 24-hour time zone (home/ reference time) are indicated by the micro sphere. This function can be set in both directions (clockwise/ counter-clockwise) via the crown.
The local time, i.e. the second time zone, is indicated by blued hands whose curvature follows the relief of the dial. The minutes is synced with the reference time and the local (second) time can also be set by the crown, in both directions.
Going into the finishing and design details of the (curved) dial and its functions, the silver-toned date ring is curved and the blued markers are positive. The silver hour ring is also curved. The minute ring is rose gold. The 24-hour dial has two-toned decals. The classic De Bethune micro sphere has a day/ night indicator for that time zone in two halves that are blue and pink.
In the centre is the influence of the Starry Varius on this new model’s day/ night indicator. With blued polished titanium with white gold pins for the night sky for Milky Way half of the disc, the other half has a polished pink gold sun and silver micro light decoration.
Visible through the sapphire case back is the new manually-wound Calibre DB2507, beating at 28,800 VPH and with a power reserve of five days. It features the usual attributes of a De Bethune movement – an in-house balance spring, silicon escape wheel, a triple para-chute shock absorbing system, balance spring with the “De Bethune” flat terminal curve, and a titanium balance wheel with white gold inlays.
I have mused here over the last 14 months or so about watches, time zones, and travel during COVID-19, but Denis Flagollet has directly addressed the matter with regards to this new model, hoping that it will accompany people when they are able to see family and friends again –
“What on earth was I thinking of in working on a new GMT travel watch while all the countries of the world were entering lockdown? I am pleased that it is now finished and that all the nomads of the planet can finally resume their journey, doubtless with a different view of our world.”
The case, in titanium, measures 42mm with a thickness of 11.8mm and a water resistant of 30m. Attached to the integrated open-worked lugs is a black alligator strap with a titanium pin buckle. The DB25GMT Starry Varius has an RRP of CHF 95,000.
[Photo credit: De Bethune]