The Swiss watch manufacture De Bethune was established only seven years ago and has already acquired enough R&D potential not only to make their mechanisms solely in-house, but also make them quite sophisticated and high-tech in order to achieve the level of accuracy that most watchmakers can only dream of. This new Caliber DB2105si hand-wound movement that animates the De Bethune DB25 Moon Phase that is briefly reviewed here, for example, features a non-magnetic balance wheel made of silicium (a chemical element, which is widely used not only in metallurgy, but also in the microelectronics industry as a key component for creating semiconductors that work inside you mobile phone, desktop computer, you name it.) The choice of the mineral not only makes the watch less susceptible to strong magnetic fields, but also reduces the part’s overall mass while increasing the mechanism’s efficiency.
De Bethune initially introduced its silicium balance wheel with platinum weights and bimetallic compensation for temperature variations almost four years ago at the Baselworld 2006 trade show.
The Swiss manufacture hopes that some day the new technology will allow for creation of automatic watches as precise as today’s quartz movements.
Back to the DB25 Moon Phase, though.
This classic-looking 44.6 mm watch is powered by the Caliber DB2105si hand-wound in-house movement featuring a self-adjusting double spring barrel and a silicon angular balance with flat terminal curve.
Decorated by hand, the movement is good enough to provide the watch with 6 days (144 hours) of power reserve.
The movement is packed into a 44.6 mm drum case, which is available either in rose or gray gold and features a silvered gold dial with hand applied solar guilloche pattern.
The moon phase indicator is displayed at 12 o’clock. It features De Bethune’s signature spherical moon and a heat-blued “sky” with nine applied gold stars. The moon, which consists of two hemi-spheres –one in blued steel and one in platinum– is rotating on its own axis, always showing you the actual phase of the moon.
The moon phase indication mechanism is so accurate that you won’t have to correct it in your lifetime, unless you plan to live another 122 years. While definitely not something out of the ordinary, it is still nice to know that the watchmaker decided not to cut corners offering you something more “traditional,” yet less accurate as some other luxury brands are often guilty of.
De Bethune is expected to show the DB25 Moon Phase in all its polished glory next spring at the upcoming Baselworld 2010 event in Switzerland.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: De Bethune
De Bethune DB25 Moon Phase watch specification
Price range: $50,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber DB2105si, in-house, non-magnetic silicium balance wheel, Swiss Made
Winding: Manual (hand-wound)
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Complications: Moon phase, power reserve
Power reserve: 144 hours (6 days)
Case material: Rose gold or Gray gold
Case shape: Round
Case size: 44.60 mm
Case height: 11.10 mm
Dial: Silvered gold
Hands: Flame-blued steel, hand-polished
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Hand-crafted authentic black leather with pin buckle in rose or gray gold
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-coated on both sides