A meteorite forged in space lands on the dial of the DB25, protecting the top-of-the-line high-frequency tourbillon equipped with the jumping seconds movement.
The universe holds a special place in the heart of Denis Flageollet, founder and master watchmaker of De Bethune. The starry night sky-inspired watch features De Bethune’s signature blue-titanium element and appears to have been crafted in a galaxy far, far away. The DB25 is the brand’s more classic look, with more compact dimensions and a reverence for traditional watchmaking, most notably the Starry Varius. The brand’s latest DB25 made in L’Auberson is the Starry Varius Aérolite, a stunning variant of the award-winning Chronomètre Tourbillon, now with a meteorite dial. Equipped with an equally striking high-frequency tourbillon and a movement without jumping seconds, the mechanical fireworks are hidden on the back of the case.
Forged in space
Flageollet is fascinated by meteorites and claims that “no other metal is as full of pure energy and emotion as iron meteorites formed in the forge of stars”. This DB25 isn’t the first model to show off a meteorite dial, several models, including the dial of the DB28XP, have been treated with space rock. The meteorite used for the model is called Muonionalusta, and it is one of the oldest to hit Earth more than a million years ago, on the banks of the Muonio River between Finland and Sweden. Consisting mostly of iron and nickel, this meteorite is distinguished by the geometric lines of its cross-hatched Widmanstätten pattern. discount cheap watch
Since Flageollet was also a master alchemist, converting base metals to an electric blue color, the meteorite underwent thermal oxidation. The mysterious blue color is the result of a chemical reaction that occurs when the meteorite is heated. Not only is it blue-finished, the meteorite is also polished and adorned with a starry sky consisting of tiny white gold stitches hand-inserted into the dial and 24k gold leaf representing the Milky Way. But there’s more, and owners can customize the night sky to reflect a specific day, time, and location, as they wish.
A blue meteorite disc sits below the dial and is surrounded by a curved silver chapter ring with classical Roman numerals and a minute track at 5-minute intervals. Breguet-style hour and minute hands with a slender second hand. It’s worth mentioning that fake De Bethune does it herself. The hands of this watch are made of stainless steel and hand-finished, and the tips of the minute and second hands are slightly bent to rest on the circular chapter rings.
One of De Bethune’s most senior models, the DB25 features a beautifully polished grade 5 titanium case measuring 42mm in diameter and 10.3mm thick. Unlike other models like the DB28XP, which have floating hinged lugs that wrap around the case, the lugs are one-piece, skeletonized and tapered. While the functions on the dial may seem simple and straightforward, the reality is far more than it appears on the surface.
Full of innovations and patents, the DB25 Starry Varius Aérolite is equipped with the same hand-wound movement as the 2018 GPHG Chrono Awards winner – calibre DB2109V4. Designed, developed and produced by De Bethune’s workshop in L’Auberson, from the case back The view is as captivating as the dial, with mirror-polished triangular bridges taking over the view. The bridges sit above two self-adjusting manual snailed barrels, providing a 4-day power reserve. To enhance the timekeeping performance, the Flageollet uses a high-frequency tourbillon movement that rotates for 30 seconds under a blue titanium triangular bridge. Running at 36,000vph (5Hz), the titanium and silicon tourbillon is suspended in an ultra-light frame weighing only 0.18 grams (a De Bethune innovation in 2008, and the lightest frame in the industry).
The balance wheel is also made of blue-titanium alloy, inlaid with white gold and optimized for temperature differences and air penetration (De Bethune 2016 patent). The balance spring is homemade, with a flat end curve (patented in 2006) to maintain a perfect center of gravity, and the escape wheel is made of silicon. Last but not least, the central seconds hand jumps every second thanks to De Bethune’s patented Dead Beat Seconds (2011).
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS – DE BETHUNE DB25 STARRY VARIUS AÉROLITE
Case: 42mm diameter x 10.3mm grade 5 titanium, polished – one piece skeleton lugs – sapphire crystal with AR coating, transparent case back – 30m water resistance
Dial: Meteorite, blue and polished – White gold hands depicting stars, Milky Way in 24k gold leaf – Silver hour and minute rings – Breguet steel hands
Movement: Manufacture movement DB2109V4 – Manual winding – 4 days power reserve – 36,000vph/5Hz – 43 jewels – 260 components – Hours, minutes, central jumping seconds and tourbillon
Strap: Super soft blue alligator leather, alligator leather lining – Grade 5 titanium pin buckle