The new De Bethune DB25T Tourbillon Regulator (ref. DB25TWS3) manual-wind watch features a self-regulating twin-barrel movement and a feather-light tourbillon escapement with jumping seconds. Powered by the Caliber DB2109 hand-wound movement that features “dead-beat” central seconds hand (a fairly rare by today’s standards complication mainly due to the proliferation of inexpensive quartz wristwatches that have their seconds hand move at the same default frequency of 1/60Hz,) the watch sports an ultra-light (the company claims that it is in fact the lightest of its type) silicon/titanium tourbillon carriage, which is made of fifty parts and tips the scales at impressive 0.18 gram.
How light is it, exactly? Well, it’s just 0.006 oz or, if that makes things even more impressive, that is how much a liter of helium gas weighs. And that is even lighter than a standard 6 mm airsoft bullet, which is made of plastic!
You may also ask why did they go into all the troubles of creating the piece? Well, besides the obvious bragging rights, De Bethune‘s engineers invested so much effort into creating this literally feather-light device in order to reduce inertia and, combining it with antimagnetic properties of titanium and silicon, make the mechanism not only more durable and energy-efficient, but also more precise.
According to the watchmaking specialist, the movement features twin-barrel design and has a power reserve of 100 hours, which makes it one of the most long-playing tourbillon watches on the market even despite its relatively high-beat frequency of 36,000 vph that makes the mainspring unfold twice as fast as that on a more archaic timekeeper that has a cadence of balance of just 18,000 vph (it may sound surprising, but there are still a number of ultra-expensive timekeepers based on calibers designed half a century ago.)
Of course, like it is always the case with De Bethune watches, the DB25T Tourbillon Regulator not only impresses with its technical specs, but is also a real pleasure to look at. The timekeeper’s dial is made of two parts: a blued steel disk bespangled with gold stars, and hours and minutes ring made of sterling silver. The Breguet-style hands made of hand-polished steel don’t draw to much attention to themselves and are contrast enough to tell time in good lighting conditions.
Like most vintage-style jobs, they lack any lume whatsoever, so their night-time legibility remains ahem questionable. On the other hand, absence of Superluminova or any other luminous compound is considered normal for a modern high-end watch whose design is influenced by vintage timekeepers, so I don’t see a real problem here.
And where is the tourbillon, you may ask? Well, the tiny gadget is hidden from envious glances and is placed on the back side of the watch right below the Delta-shaped bridge, which is made of fired-blue titanium.
It is worth noting that the movement’s layout somewhat mimics that of the De Bethune DB28 model’s dial. The movement, which is perfectly seen via a transparent display back, is further adorned with De Bethune stripes and, frankly speaking, leaves stunning impression.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
See also: De Bethune DB25 Moon Phase
Photos: De Bethune
De Bethune DB25T Tourbillon Regulator (ref. DB25TWS3) manual-wind watch specification
Price: CHF 243,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber DB2109, in-house, twin-barrel, thermocompensated and antimagnetic silicon/platinum balance wheel, Swiss Made
Winding: Manual (hand-wound)
Cadence of Balance: 36,000 vph
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, seconds, tourbillon with jumping seconds
Power reserve: At least 100 hours
Case material: White gold OR Rose gold, 18-carat
Bezel material: White gold OR Rose gold, 18-carat
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.60 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 10.80 mm
Dial: Blued steel and Sterling silver
Hands: Steel, hand-polished
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Extra-supple alligator leather with pin buckle in white or rose gold
Crystal: Sapphire, double anti-reflective
Case back: Sapphire