Displaying World Time “Mysteriously” : The De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

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 by Elizabeth Doerr

Yes, you read that title correctly: the 2016 DB25 displays world time and a second time zone in a mysterious manner.

And, yes, “mysterious” is a common technical term in watchmaking for a certain type of indication.

And, no, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill world time watch. It is from De Bethune, after all.

De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

No muss, no fuss

Looking at the DB25 from the front, you see a “simple” display of hours and minutes very legibly shown by blued steel hands. The date is indicated by a small pointer poking out from underneath the hour track, in a ring around the outer circumference of the dial.

De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

The inside dial hosting the names of cities is the world time display; it is easily set by a button located at 8 o’clock on the case band. A three-dimensional sphere, which changes between red gold and cornflower blue and functions as a day/night indicator, indicates the selected world time city indicating the time zone.

World time adjustment pusher neatly set into the case band of the De Bethune DB25 World

World time adjustment pusher neatly set into the case band of the De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

This sphere, which changes color twice a day at 6:00 am and 6:00 pm, is a signature De Bethune design hallmark.

The display of the second time zone (home time) is around the scale in which the day/night sphere tracks.

De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

The hour hand points to the numerals for both time zones simultaneously. Simply ingenious.

View through the display back of the De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

View through the display back of the De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

Unbreakable movement

All of De Bethune’s movements bring something to entirely new to watchmaking, and the new Caliber DB2547 is no exception.

First off, it is important to know that its creator, master watchmaker Denis Flageollet, says it is practically impossible to break anything in the movement as all the settings feature security mechanisms. The user can adjust the settings in both directions without needing to remember another thing.

Close view of the regulator of the De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

Close view of the regulator of the De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

The complexity of this movement, its architecture, and the interactions among the 430 components is simply extraordinary — as we’ve come to know and love from De Bethune.

De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

Turning the watch over, the wearer can see all of this ensconced within the futuristic Caliber DB2547 with its shiny polished titanium components visible right through the transparent case — including the new titanium balance wheel with white gold inserts (patented by De Bethune in 2004), silicon escape wheel (patented in 2005), and blued triple pare-chute shock absorber (also patented in 2004).

De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

De Bethune DB25 World Traveller

This caliber, the twenty-fifth De Bethune has created from the ground up, captures and reflects light, bringing vivacity to the movement and guiding the eye to interesting technical functions.

“To ensure this little sphere runs properly, its micro gears and even the entire mechanism must run discreetly,” says Flageollet. “Consequently, we followed the principles of the ‘mysterious’ clock, which means we needed to use some technical artifices to hide the motion of the sphere.”

Seeing double: the De Bethune DB25 World Traveller times two on the wrist

Seeing double: the De Bethune DB25 World Traveller times two on the wrist

And there you have it.

For more information, please visit www.debethune.ch.

Quick Facts
 
Case: 45 x 13.7 mm, white gold
 Movement: manually wound Caliber DB2547 with five days’ worth of power reserve (twin spring barrels)
 Functions: hours, minutes; date, world time (via city disk), day/night indication (three-dimensional sphere), second time zone
 Limitation: 12 pieces
 Price: 140,000 Swiss francs (excluding taxes)
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Originally published at Quill & Pad.