De Bethune’s latest haute horological addition - the DB Kind of Two Tourbillon DB29 – adds to the indie brand’s very eclectic catalogue. The watch is “endowed with two faces, two dials, and two identities.” Like other double-dial models, the most famous of which are produced by Jaeger-LeCoultre, its two faces feature features starkly different designs.
With the new watch, De Bethune — which is best known for its unique variations on classic watch categories, skeletonized cases, and an iconoclastic approach to high complications — establishes its own take on the classic double-dial timekeeper, the history of which dates back centuries to the first double-faced clock tower.
The timepiece’s polished titanium case makes it recognizable at first glance as a De Bethune creation, with its skeletonized floating lugs, 12 o’clock crown, and 42.8-mm x 9.5-mm sizing. On this model, the lugs seem a bit thicker and feature flatter edges than on other De Bethune models, likely as a result of accommodating the increased size of the reversible dial. Speaking of this last feature, along the center line of the case you can see the turning mechanism that allows the user to position the watch on the front or back side of the wrist.
Underneath a sapphire crystal on the front side of the watch is the recognizable De Bethune dial configuration — one that is both exquisitely modern and reminiscent of classic haute horological design motifs.
On the outer edge of the sectored, partially skeletonized dial is an outer curved minute ring, produced in a silvered style and marked with blue accents for its tick markers and Arabic numerals from 05 to 60. On the dial proper, we find stylized bevelling throughout, “integrating polished, curved shapes, [matte] or glossy components, different thicknesses and levels,” says De Bethune, all working together to create a feeling of “ample space and optimal volume.”
A blue-accented hour ring lay closer to the center of the dial, along with blue hands indicating the passing hours and minutes, while a 6 o’clock tourbillon with a 30-second indication is found overlaps it just below. At the very center of the dial is one of its most notable features, a “new type of deltoid-shaped bridge” meant to provide the face with an “overall sense of harmony” despite the various complicated facets it presents.
Pivoting the watch to its reverse side, via the aforementioned turning mechanism on the case, reveals its more traditional side. On this second dial, a hand-guilloché central aspect is surrounded by Breguet-influenced numerals produced in a classic blue color on a raised matte background. The outermost edge hosts another raised layer, this portion featuring a distinctly styled outer minute ring with what appears to be a hybrid chronograph/railroad-style track, with some additional De Bethune-specific aesthetic elements — like the Arabic numerals that skip each odd-numbered position from 2 to 60. In the center are two more hand-polished, blue titanium hands, while another blued hand counts the seconds — a contrast to the small seconds display of the 30-second tourbillon on the front side.
Powering the watch is a specially produced movement, De Bethune’s in-house Caliber DB2579. The hand-wound luxury tourbillon movement is mostly hidden except for the few features exposed via the skeletonization on the front dial of the model. According to De Bethune, the caliber features a 5-day power reserve, the stamina of which is ensured via a self-regulating twin barrel system.
The De Bethune DB Kind of Two Tourbillon DB29 will be limited to only 10 pieces, which will carry a price tag of $250,000.