The contemporary expression of a time-measuring instrument
In every new creation by De Bethune, the company’s founders, David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet perform a balancing act. It involves recombining age-old expertise and the styles of the Age of Enlightenment in a contemporary creation of new materials and technical innovations. By imagining what the great watchmakers of the 18th century would have made today, they lay the foundations of tomorrow’s watchmaking. They dismantle preconceptions to extend the frontiers of knowledge. They discover and explore the new horizons of science and technology, yet return to the mechanical and artistic essentials.
The chronograph, the traditional way of measuring elapsed times, joins the contemporary DB28 collection. The result is a creation that combines the old and the new in both its design and technical construction.
The juxtapositions extend to the surprising combination of a round case with openworked floating lugs on springs – a patented system that adapts them precisely to the shape of the wrist and its movements. The rose gold case makes a sharp contrast with the blackness of its floating lugs in hand-polished, oxidised zirconium.
Even the indications are expressed through dichotomies.
Contemporary skeleton hands in polished black oxidised steel tell the time of day. They point to black numerals in a modern typeface, their presence reinforced by their colour and size.
Elapsed times are recorded more conventionally with hands that are shaped, polished and blued in the traditional way over a flame. Numerals borrowed from marine chronometers complete the indications of the chronograph counters.
Yet the DB28 Maxichrono remains a modern chronograph with a button paired with the crown controlling the five hands mounted coaxially in the centre of the dial. Stacked wheels with their shafts fitting inside each other took real technical prowess to realise.
On the back, the window on the calibre DB2030 displays the architectural layout of the movement’s bridges in rose gold and polished steel.
The DB28 Maxichrono, fitted with De Bethune’s absolute clutch system, is a precise and reliable time-measuring instrument where traditional heritage and modern styling coexist in harmony to proclaim a strong identity.
De Bethune total clutch system: a patented chronograph invention
De Bethune’s research and development department has announced the filing of a patent application n° CH00076/14 for the chronograph mechanism.
De Bethune’s absolute clutch aims to improve the performance of chronographs by correcting the faults identified in current mechanisms.
This mechanism makes the most of the advantages of the horizontal and vertical clutch systems while eliminating their faults. It thus benefits from a marked reduction in the friction that affects the movement both when the chronograph is running and when it is functioning without the chronograph engaged.
The absolute clutch operates in a system engaging the two traditional clutch methods to allow the different chronograph counters to function semi-autonomously:
- The chronograph seconds are governed by the new absolute clutch system; - The minutes counter is controlled by a shifting pinion; - The hours counter is engaged by a horizontal clutch.
Three different types of clutch behind three semi-independent systems controlled by three column-wheels thus govern the different chronograph elapsed-time counters.
In this way De Bethune marks a significant technological breakthrough in the history of chronographs, the result of continuous research heralded by the DB21 Maxichrono in 2006. Constant innovation relying on an extensive knowledge of age-old expertise has enabled the brand to simplify and enhance the reliability of the absolute clutch system so that it can be implemented in a movement manufactured by the production workshops in the Swiss village of L’Auberson.
- Hours – minutes – mono-pusher chronograph with 24-hour, 60-minute and 60-second counters
- DB2030 calibre – mechanical hand-wound movement
- Power reserve: 5 days
- 5N rose gold – round-shaped – diameter 45 mm – thickness 11 mm
- Attachments: short or long floating lugs* in mirror-polished blacked zirconium
- Crystal: sapphire crystal, 1800 Vickers hardness with double anti-reflective treatment
- Crown at 12 o’clock – mono-pusher button – setting in 2 positions
- Back: open – sapphire crystal, 1800 Vickers hardness with double anti-reflective treatment – chronograph calibre with rose gold and hand-polished steel bridges
- Dial: silver-toned – the architecture of the dial is constructed on different levels to maximise visibility
- From the centre to the periphery: central hours counter – hours inner ring – minutes ring and minutes counter – outer ring with chronograph seconds indication
- Hands: 5 curved central hands – hand-polished and blacked steel for the hours and minutes hands and flame-blued steel for hours and seconds chronograph indicators – minutes chronograph indicator in rose gold
- Extra-supple alligator leather strap with pin buckle
Movement: mechanical hand-wound Functions: hours – minutes – mono-pusher chronograph with 24-hour, 60-minute and 60-second counters
Diameter 30 mm – 384 parts – hand-crafted finishing and decoration – hand-polished steel – 3 columns wheels
De Bethune absolute clutch * Self-regulating twin barrel * Silicon/white gold balance wheel – balance-spring with flat terminal curve* Silicon escape wheel*
Jewelling: 47 jewels Frequency: 36,000 vibrations per hour Power reserve: 5 days
* Manufacture De Bethune innovations and registered patents