Officially revealed earlier this month (the brand will possibly show off the new model at SIHH 2011 event, but don’t quote me on that), this new De Bethune DB28 features a combination of a brilliantly designed mechanism with an outrageous exterior finish. However, outrageous in a good way: compared to many wristwatches that were offered during the last couple of years by many other ‘inspiring’ and ‘ambitious’ brands, the DB28 looks like a hand-made Bugatti Veyron near a bunch of mass-produced sports cars dressed in plastic wide-body kits.
As always, the new hand-wound De Bethune DB28 comes equipped with their trademark three-dimensional moon-phase indicator made of platinum and blued steel. Unlike the usual designs that have a simple disk rotating around its axis, here we have a tiny ball that not only looks way cooler but also emphasizes the visible balance wheel in a good way.
The DB28 is equipped with the Calibre DB 2115 hand-wound movement
Comprising 299 parts, the mechanism sports a ‘self-regulated’ twin-barrel design that gives this timepiece a guaranteed power reserve of more than 144 hours or, roughly, whole six days. For a timekeeper that doesn’t look like a daily beater and is probably supposed to be worn only on special occasions, this is a nice touch, especially because you can’t just put it into an automatic winding box and just forget about it till ‘next time’.
For those disciplined enough to spend a couple of minutes per week caring for most precious members of their collection, there is a handy power reserve indicator on the DB28’s sapphire back that shows remaining energy in a clear and easy to understand way. It will also help you not to overwind this beautifully decorated movement.
By the way, its hand-decorated mainplate with its signature elements also serves as the timepiece’s dial.
Adorned with Geneva stripes, the Delta-shaped mainplate opens a superb view at the silicon/palladium balance wheel.
Although some connoisseurs may find this “open-heart” design somewhat vulgar (a full-fledged tourbillon would look more appropriate here,) the layout with its nicely executed, mirror-polished horizontal “bridge” is still pleasant to look at.
Equipped with open-worked hands that lack even a tiniest bit of Superluminova on their tips, the dial is not very readable in darkness (well, it is not readable at all to be more blunt), but in good lighting, the layout is contrast enough for the piece to be legible without any strain on your eyes.
I also have a feeling that the watch will be comfortable on the wrist.
Equipped with so-called “floating” type lugs that are attached to the 43 mm titanium case at 3 and 6 o’clock, the DB28 will follow the shape of your hand making itself practically “invisible.”
As you can see on the pictures, the crown is removed from its usual position at 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock. Even if you are not particularly accustomed to such a placement, the solution is still comfortable to use.
Build quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
See also: De Bethune DB25 Moon Phase
Photos: De Bethune
De Bethune DB28 Titanium specification
Price: €85,000 (MSRP) / $105,000 (Retail)
Movement: Hand-wound, Calibre DB 2115, twin-barrel, decorated and assembled by hand, in-house, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, moonphase, power reserve
Power reserve: 144 hours (6 days)
Size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 11.30 mm
Hands: Steel, blued
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Extra-supple alligator leather with pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-coated
Back: Solid, hunter-type back with power reserve display