De Bethune

A pleasant surprise. My first official contact to see De Bethune in the flesh. As far as I can remember the thing that kept me away from De Bethune was its funky moon-phase. Well, I still cant stand that revolving ball that just does not look right inside the dial of a watch. It might be a great technical feat, yet to me it's just... I don't know, it simply doesn't work for me. It's distracting and even if it is more graphically accurate I just can't seem to get the idea as to why interpret this complication as a 3D object when in fact we see and perceive it a a 2D object due to the distance. Regardless of the fact that this type of moon-phase thickens the watch at least a couple of millimeters.

Technically the whole collection is impeccable. True that most are a bit too big for my taste. Also having too much "extras" on the outside of the case make the whole a bit distracting. A lot of swinging parts to adapt to the wrist and awkward crown placements make it sometimes scary, yet the finishes are simply beyond reproach. Interestingly, and this is a first, I was much more interested in some of the more affordable models that the important pieces. These are smaller, cleaner and with the same finishes as the rest of the collection but with less distracting stuff inside and around the watch. These two pieces have definitely caught my eye.

DB25: Make me think what would happen if a Richard Mille "Perini Navi" and Patek "Calatrava" had a love child. These type of marriages rarely are successful but in this case i think they both would be proud. The DB25 is simply striking in its elegance despite being a modern watch. The power reserve at 12 o'clock is non-intrusive on the dial yet very easy to read. Like with all the rest of the collection the finishes are impeccable and technically right up there with the best. The DB25 is rather expensive yet it is well placed in its price range.

My only regret are the skeletonized strap holders and blue watches generally look better with dark blue straps. Other than that the DB25 is a very well balanced piece. Great watch.

DB24: This is a much more sporty version and also much larger than the DB25 yet thankfully it remains relatively thin. The dial has no paint/enamel since that blue color is achieved through heat and finished by various polishing methods. Like Richard's RM010 you have three positions to adapt the speed of the winding rotor to your lifestyle. However, here you can actually set them yourself at anytime without having to open or send the watch for service.

The setting can be seen from the front of the watch as well as from the back. I would have done without the front display since both indications are redundant. One would have suffused and having it in the back only would make the dial a bit cleaner. The power reserve at 12 o'clock looks hot yet a bit hard to see and the hour hand is easily confused with the minute hand or even dial. It is a possible option for those that want something modern yet just don' like the RM's tonneau shape.

I still think that prices such as these are no longer justifiable through "exclusivity" alone. With De Bethune I get hight prices but also more than others if compared at the same price range. De Bethune is a niche, a complicated one at that but one that has been growing strong especially during this crisis. The question remains if they will manage to get on that boat. Personally, I hope so.

De Bethune...

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