De Bethune has long been a darling in the world of Independents because of their impeccable watchmaking, which is truly above reproach. But their Achilles heel has been the business side of things. As of late 2017 that side has finally been sorted, and thus their future is seriously bright.
While De Bethune is known for the futuristic timepieces they have created lately, from their early days up to the present they have also produced several models that are quite classical in appearance (like the current DB16).
This one here, the DB1, is (as the name suggests) the one that began it all: their first watch.
The monopusher chronograph movement was created by specialty movement company THA (Techniques Horlogères Appliqueés), whose creations came from the minds of three now famous watchmakers. They were none other than François-Paul Journe, Vianney Halter, and Denis Flageollet. After THA, Flageollet founded De Bethune (along with David Zanetta) and he bought the rights to this movement from THA so that he could take it with him.
This watch is a stunner. The dial is a paragon of legibility, the movement has a stellar pedigree, and the case is a marvel in the metal. The 42mm size is deceptive–the watch wears much smaller because of the short lugs. Speaking of which, the bullet lugs are a signature De Bethune design element in their classical models. And the case is quite svelte, measuring roughly 8mm thin.
Just as the market has finally begun to give Journe watches from the early days (brass movement era) their due appreciation, early De Bethune watches, quantities of which are much more minuscule, are likely to follow.
Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Case: yellow gold, 42mm
Movement: manual-wind monopusher chronograph
Includes: replacement box, replacement certificate, extra strap
De Bethune was founded in 2002 by David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet. Zanetta brought his perspective as a passionate enthusiast of history and a collector of art and watches. Flageollet brought an immense talent as a 4th generation watchmaker.
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