The high-end watchmaker with a knack for unusual timekeepers, De Bethune, has once again attracted the attention of the timepiece enthusiasts with its revolutionary chronograph watch which is quite special in many ways. For starters, it is a mono-pusher chronograph whose dial includes five central hands, instead of the traditional display with counters. However, its true value, caliber DB2039 is hidden behind the dial. It includes a patented absolute clutch system for its column-wheel chronograph which combines horizontal and vertical clutches in order to overcome the issues these more traditional solutions may cause. Furthermore, it has a very light 30-seconds tourbillon made of silicon and titanium, as well as a balance that beats at the very fast rate of 5 Hz. The innovative caliber is hidden in its round red gold case, but fortunately can be observed since it is a hunter-type casing and the metal case-back can be opened by activating a button which opens an invisible hinge. The glorious innovative chronograph is naturally made in a limited 20-piece edition and it has the price that matches its superb qualities – $270,000.
Five Co-Axial Central Hands for Its Indications
The latest novelty by the brand led by Dennis Flagolet and David Zanetta possesses a new type of display for its chronograph feature. Its silver colored three-dimensional dial includes five central hands of different length that point to different chapter rings. In the very center there is a chronograph hours ring, while the ring used for hours is around it. More to the periphery there is a minutes ring, a minutes chrono counter, and finally, a chronograph seconds indication. Each of the hands is curved and all are (except for the minutes chrono hand which is in rose gold) in manually polished and flame-blued steel. In order to enhance legibility, hour and minute hands used to tell the time are in Breguet-style with a round opening near the tip.
De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon timepiece is circular and made of 5N red gold. Its diameter is 45 mm, while the thickness measures to 11.7 mm. The case has a hard sapphire crystal on both front and back, while the one on the back is actually hidden and can be revealed only when you press a pusher placed at the four o’clock position. Once you do it, you are able to look at its immensely innovative hand-wound mechanical movement.
Absolute Clutch and Other Patents
This 410-part hand-made movement is amazing in many aspects. One of its features that stands out from the rest is the presence of a patented absolute clutch system whose purpose is to eliminate the imperfections of column wheel chronographs, whether they are made with more traditional horizontal or more reliable vertical clutches. It does so by combining them in order to get a movement with reduced friction regardless if the chrono feature is activated. This system actually includes three different types of clutches which are controlled by the equal amount of column wheels. The absolute clutch system used for the control of chronograph seconds is actually combined with shifting pinion used for chrono minutes and a horizontal clutch that is used for the hours.
5 Hz Tourbillon
This innovation is only one of the strong points of the new movement. Caliber DB2039 also has a fast 30-seconds tourbillon made of 63 components of silicon and titanium which insures tourbillon’s lightness- it weighs just 0.18 grams. This allows it to have the extraordinary high rate of 36,600 vph. It should also be said that it possesses a silicon escape wheel and a balance wheel made of silicon and white gold which are also patented traits. All of these innovations still do not exhaust the list of the brand’s patents included in the 49 jewel caliber. The final of them is the presence of a self-regulating twin barrel which allows it to have an extensive power reserve that lasts for five whole days. The manually-wound movement naturally has hand-performed finishes embodied in polished bridges.
Secured to the round gold case by the means of the De Bethune’s recognizable cone-shaped lugs, there is the watch’s brown extra-supple alligator leather strap which locks with a pin buckle. With such amazing traits, it does not seem surprising that the 20-piece limited edition has the price that exceeds a quarter of a million dollars.