In China, symbols play a prominent role in art, culture and daily life. Whether ancient or more modern, Chinese koi symbols are found in the decoration of objects and furniture. In 2018, De Bethune created a timepiece paying tribute to the finesse and extreme delicacy of the Asian engravings generally adorning bronze vases. Faithful to the spirit of Chinese engravers and poets, the delicately engraved titanium dial is hand blued and embellished with gold particles depicting a ‘choreography’ performed by the carp and dragon. The effect is further enhanced by 12 diamonds serving as hours and minutes markers, while adding a unique and precious radiance.
Maestri Art I
In 2018, De Bethune drew inspiration from Japanese Tsubas in creating an entirely engraved and resolutely contemporary timepiece paying tribute to the shared heritage of goldsmiths and watchmakers. Historically, Tsuba was a small circular piece placed on Japanese swords as a guard, serving to protect the samurai's hand when the opponent's blade slipped on his sword. Today, De Bethune reinterprets it with inlaid and engraved gold animal motifs that transcend matter by infusing it with strength and light, just like the dragon perched on the clouds and stretching over the entire piece, across the dial and caseband onto the back of the watch – defied by a tiger in its role as master of the bamboo forest, symbolising power, courage, bravery and ferocity.
In creating this model for the prestigious 2017 Only Watch prestige charity auction in Monaco, De Bethune drew inspiration from the emblematic architecture of the new Monaco Yacht Club designed by Foster & Partners. Staging an authentic encounter between mechanics, architecture and technology, this clock was purposefully made of titanium, symbolising not only innovation, but also the link between the various fields of science, be they mechanical, medical, aeronautical or nautical. With its set of bronze mirrors, it also represents research and discovery, much like Galileo's mirror designed to observe the night sky. Crafted as a spiral, it plunges into the heart of the mechanism while also evoking the monumental staircase designed by the renowned architects.
In 2017, De Bethune created this timepiece perfectly showcasing a cooperative endeavour with a client. While one immediately notes that the star-studded sky is personalised, it is the caseback that reveals a magnificent hand engraving depicting the Beijing University entrance gate. Every detail has been meticulously crafted to achieve a result exceeding the client’s expectations.
DB28 kind of Blue Tourbillon Météorite
In 2017, De Bethune decided to create an extraordinary dial with a fragment that fell from space over 4,000 years ago and landed in Argentina. Cut into a fine sliver to form the dial and manually flame-blued, this piece of meteorite was then polished and drilled to form a multitude of tiny holes inlaid with white gold spheres depicting the stars of the galaxy. The case of the DB28 Kind of Blue Meteorite is entirely made of blued titanium, framing the De Bethune tourbillon appearing at 6 o’clock, the lightest and fastest in the world.
Dream Watch 5 Météorite
In 2016, using a fragment that fell to Earth from space over 4,000 years ago and was discovered in Argentina, De Bethune created the Dream Watch 5 Meteorite. Each step of the manufacturing process proved a puzzle that challenged skills, knowledge and intuition. The original anthracite colour of the case made from this fragment was deliberately preserved, before being manually flame-blued in order to highlight the unique texture of the meteorite, streaked with zebra stripes and dotted with fragments forming a snapshot of the universe. The resolutely unclassifiable Dream Watch 5 Meteorite is on a mission to reflect a unique vision of space, while testifying to the unfathomable mysteries of the universe.
In 2015, De Bethune created a very special clock designed to be built into a helicopter. Resistance to vibrations, shocks and compliance with safety constraints were the challenges successfully met by De Bethune in order to pass the Eurocopter tests. The classically inspired dial reflects the aesthetic codes of the DB25L with its guilloché dial and spherical moon.
DB25 Maya Jade
In 2015, after created the “Maya” limited edition ", De Bethune continued to explore the theme of this ancient civilization using jade, one of its sacred stones. As in the heart of the Mayan calendar, the god of war and the energy of the moving sun appears in the dial centre. The back is adorned with the feathered serpent regarded as the god of resurrection and reincarnation. Around the jade, each Kin (day) is represented by one of the twenty glyphs which, in Mayan astrology, form the eternal part of the soul. When the timepiece isplaced on the wrist, the jade touches the skin and creates
a unique feel.
a unique feel.
DB25 Imperial Fountain
In 2013, De Bethune presented the DB25 Imperial Fountain in the form of sets of 12 art pieces. The solid gold dials are indeed true works of art, graced with exceptional sculpted and coloured decorations. The animal symbols of the Chinese zodiac are hand-engraved with an interpretation of the bronze heads surrounding the fountain in the former Summer Palace nestling in the Yuan Ming Yuan garden near Beijing, China. Each of the central engravings made by the Swiss artist Michèle Rothen represents a bas-relief depiction of one of the twelve animal heads, crafted from Grand Feu enamel using the delicate and precise technique of translucent enamel applied to chased reliefs. The effect is complemented by slender flame-blued steel hands sweeping gracefully around the dial rim. This circumferential display mechanism called for the design of a new DB2145 calibre, specially created to free the centre of movement from any mechanical components.