De Bethune : The DB27 Titan Hawk that speaks volumes

DB27 Titan Hawk

Case: mirror-polished grade 5 titanium, crown at 12 o’clock, solid black with opening revealing the balance wheel, patented floating lugs Diameter: 43 mm Movement: mechanical self-winding (Calibre S233, 6-day power reserve), 3 patents: self-regulating twin barrel; silicon/white gold balance-wheel; triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system, mainplate hand-decorated and snailed, hand-chamfered and polished steel parts Functions: hours, minutes, date Strap: extra-supple alligator leather with pin buckle Water resistance: 30m

Make no mistake about it : the most affordable De Bethune in the collection has all the qualities to which the brand has accustomed the most demanding collectors, starting with a breathtaking aesthetic appeal and patented technical features. The most immediately visible are the short floating lugs in titanium framing the case in mirror-polished grade 5 titanium and which are immediately identifiable and greatly appreciated by devotees of Fine Watchmaking*. Their springs enable them to softly mould the wrist shape and its movements. Three other patents registered by the Manufacture De Bethune accentuate the extremely rich horological content of the DB27 : a self-regulating twin barrel ensuring a six-day power reserve ; an ultra-light silicon and white gold balance wheel with a flat terminal curve delivering an ideal inertia/mass ratio ; and a triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system serving to reduce potential disturbances due to impacts to a minimum and to protect the balance-spring pivots.

The only manufacturer to have acquired such supreme mastery of mirror polishing on a grade 5 titanium case, De Bethune confronts wearers of this mechanical gem with a very real dilemma, since this subtle aesthetic feature is also applied to the solid back of the DB27, bearing a sculpted almond shape opening onto the balance wheel of the self-winding Calibre S233. This elegant and original overall effect evokes a work of modern art and vies with the fascination of the front of the timepiece. The play of superimposed geometrical shapes on the concentric silver-toned Microlight dial cannot fail to appeal, while the distinctive shapes of the blued steel hands draw the gaze as they sweep over the series of numerals : Roman for the chapter ring, and Arabic for the minute circle and the central calendar display. The crown at 12 o’clock sets the finishing touch to the inimitable and truly remarkable DB27, a sporty, high-tech model designed both for demanding connoisseurs and for a young generation of wearers eager to adopt the De Bethune genetic imprint. It also reflects the influence of Pierre Jaques, who was appointed as CEO last year by the brand founders, David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet. From now on, we’d better be prepared for De Bethune to the power of three.

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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