Among the novelties which had their premiere at SIHH 2013 show, De Bethune presented new DB 16 Tourbillon Regulator watch. It is a piece of classical elegance and traditional horological spirit which is preserved despite the use of cutting-edge technology in its creation. Impressive in so many segments and aspects, this watch is yet another example of the visionary work of David Zanetta and Denis Flagollet whose creative input is a force that shapes the appearance and traits of the brand’s models. Hidden behind the understated dial with a guilloche pattern, the watch features a hand-wound mechanical marvel – DB2509 caliber. The intricate movement integrates several impressive features and complications: it has a high-rate ultra-light tourbillon inclined at 30 degrees, a jumping seconds feature, a spherical retrograde moon phase indication, a power reserve display and a perpetual calendar (comprising of day of the week and month apertures, as well as a date sub-dial). De Bethune DB 16 Regulator timekeeper features one of the fastest beating and the lightest tourbillons on the market. It manages to orchestrate the selected complications into a graceful composition presented in accordance with the traditional horological values.
Light and Fast – A Five Hertz Tourbillon with the Weight of 0.18 Grams
The in-house made DB250 caliber of the watch includes a tourbillon carriage made of silicon and titanium which results in exceptionally reduced weight. Its 30 degrees inclined 30-second tourbillon is comprised of 64 parts which have the minuscule total weight of 0.18 grams. Beating at the high frequency of 36,000 vph, DB250 caliber with the chronometer precision is among the lightest and the fastest on the market. It is also supplied with a jumping seconds mechanism that consists of a twin lever with four pallets which drives a couple of gold wheels, as well as with a power reserve display. The caliber has a patented self-regulating twin barrel which offers a power storage of four days. It has the diameter of 30 mm and integrates 46 jewels into its construction. Consisting of 330 components in total, the hand-finished movement which bears Cotes De Bethune pattern can be seen through the exhibition case back. In fact, only a look at the back side of the watch actually reveals its complexity. On the back, we can likewise see the power reserve indication.
A Subtle Three-Dimensional Silver Face
However, just because the rear side of the case reveals the functioning of the intricate caliber, it does not mean that the face of the timekeeper is not equally impressive. Its dial is silver colored and decorated with a sunburst guilloche motif. On the opposite sides of the silver dial sit the apertures for the calendar’s month and day of the week indications. On the bottom of the dial is a date sub-dial. The real treat and a clear indicator of the complexity of the timekeeper is nevertheless situated on the top of the face. It is a spherical retrograde moon phase indication made of platinum and flame-blued steel. The sphere is set against a star studded night sky made of flame-blued steel ornamented with stars made of gold. Near the featured trait of the watch, there is also a leap year indication. Made of hand polished and flame blued steel, the curved hands are the element that completes the three-dimensional face with Roman numerals and a railroad styled minute track of DB 16 Tourbillon Regulator timepiece.
The newcomer by De Bethune is fitted into a vintage-looking pink gold case with the diameter of 43 mm and the thickness of 13.3 mm. Other visually compelling traits of DB 16 timekeeper are the cone shaped lugs. The chosen wristlet is a brown extra-supple alligator leather strap which fastens with a pin buckle.