According to the ancient Mayan calendar, the human civilization as we know it has entered its last year. Honoring the reach scholarly tradition of Mayas and their incredible fascination for long periods, dates, and far-off events, which leads to the prediction that concerns us all, the innovative watchmaker De Bethune launched an extra-limited edition of DB 25 Ninth Mayan Underworld watches.
Using the sophisticated arithmetical system, dominantly composed of period and numerical glyphs, Mayas predicted Friday, December 21, 2012 to be the final day of their “Long Count” calendar, which means that our civilization will enter the new world, called “the Ninth Underworld”. As it was believed, this is a phase of evolution when the consciousness will reach its highest level.
This controversial prediction and the mighty civilization that stood behind it have been the perfect source of inspiration for the Manufacture De Bethune which created an aesthetic and technological masterpiece, joining together the most advanced technology with the ancient heritage of art and science. Each of 12 pieces, which this young manufacturer of cutting-edge timepieces created, nicely reflects ceramics and stones, crafted by the Mayan scribes.
Hand-engraved by Michèle Rothen, a solid gold dial of De Bethune Ninth Mayan Underworld watch features three parts. The outer ring comes with numerical inserts (the numerals of Mayan numbering system) in flame-blued steel, which is a pretty cool and creative way of displaying hours. Showing 20 different days in the Mayan calendar, the inner ring is adorned with 20 symbols of divinities, animals or sacred objects which are executed manually with stunning precision that caused the aesthetic perfection of every detail.
The center of the dial depicts the baktun, a period glyph that comprises 144,000 days. The Mayan scholars developed it in order to calculate the “Long Count” which, as I have already mentioned, defines the “life period” of the civilization, before entering “the ninth underworld”. In order to insure the total spectacle in every moment, De Bethune has chosen sapphire crystal hands, accentuated with blue tips.
A drum case with a highly polished bezel is crafted in white gold and has the robust size with the 44 mm in diameter. It is covered with anti-reflective sapphire crystal on both sides. The back side partly opens a Calibre DB 2005 hand-winding mechanism with the superb power-reserve up to 6 days. This great movement comprises a self-regulating twin barrel, a triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system, as well as a silicon balance wheel. Its mainplate is hand-decorated and snailed.
De Bethune Ninth Mayan Underworld timepiece is available with an extra-supple alligator leather strap with a pin buckle. The recommended price for this masterpiece is around 75,000 euros. Too much? Perhaps. However, this should not be a big problem for avid collectors of rare pieces, especially for those who believe in the Mayan prediction.