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"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." - Confucius

De Bethune just presented a fabulous new DB28 model – the DB28xs Starry Seas, in 39mm case. It is the smallest case ever produced at the manufacture but no less astonishing than other DB28 pieces. 

The DB28 timepiece of De Bethune has a great reputation for years – it was also named ‘Best Watch of the Year’ in 2011 and was awarded the Aiguille d’Or prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). All DB28 watches have a very recognisable case with the innovative floating lungs designed for an added wearing comfort and the crown at 12 o’clock – inspired by pocket watches.

In 2020 the manufacture celebrated the 10th anniversary of the DB28; maybe their most diverse collection. On the occasion, new watches were released, all bearing the signatures of the DB28 in different interpretations, like the DB28 XP Starry Sky, the DB28 XP Tourbillon, the DB28 XP (on these models the XP refers to ‘extra plat’ meaning extra flat) or the DB28 Steel Wheels Sapphire Tourbillon. 

Beside the ingenious technical solutions and distinctive design De Bethune is also known for very original artistic interpretations. Over the past few years, star-studded dials depicting the infinite blue sky have become an integral part of the history of the Maison. DB28 Starry Sky is in titanium with white gold stars – the stars are studded with a whole host of tiny gold pins individually; the DB28XP Meteorite with a very special blued meteorite dial or the DB25L Moon Phase Starry Sky with an exceptionally accurate spherical moon at 12 o’clock. 

DB28xs Starry Seas

Now De Bethune released the DB28xs Starry Seas. A model intended to mark a new chapter for the company and a further step in the initiation story that Denis Flageollet – Master Watchmaker and Founder of the Manufacture De Bethune – has been telling for the past 20 years. 

DB28xs Starry Seas has a 39mm (more precisely 38,7mm in diameter and 7,4mm in thickness) titanium case and the mechanical hand-wound Calibre DB2005 has been adapted to this smaller size without losing its chronometric quality. 

De Bethune DB28xs Starry Seas
De Bethune DB28xs Starry Seas

“It is the culture and understanding of techniques and objects that enable the birth of such a project. For the creation of the DB28xs Starry Seas, the creative process that impelled me evokes the Japanese spirit of Wabi-Sabi, a Japanese concept that is virtually an art form and aims to bring individuals, objects and the environment into harmony.” – says Denis Flageollet about the creative process. 

The novelty has a face in the signature De Bethune blue – a symbolic reference to skies and seas – with random guilloché pattern (which is a world’s first) creating a dial featuring a blued titanium wave reflecting a starry sky. Silver-plated hours and minutes ring with transferred Arabic numerals are framing the blue sea.

De Bethune DB28xs Starry Seas
De Bethune DB28xs Starry Seas

Many meaningful concepts are part of the Japanese culture, religion and philosophy. These are often connected with the ideology of beauty and the perception of beauty and aesthetics – which the Western world tries to understand and interpret or simplify somehow. Derived from the principles of Zen Buddhism (a Chinese twelfth century monk, Eisai brought the school of Zen Buddhism to Japan), wabi-sabi is an aesthetic ideal, a philosophy, an art or a way of life. Seven aesthetic principles are underlined for achieving wabi and sabi, but these could be slightly different; depending on the sources: fukinsei (asymmetry and irregularity, represented by nature), kanso (simplicity, eliminating the useless), kokou (austerity – or shibumi – beauty in the understated), shizen (naturalness, based on natural principles), yugen (subtle grace, suggestion rather than revelation), datsuzoku (freedom from habits, biased views) and seijaku (tranquillity, solitude). 

Source: press release. Photo credits: De Bethune, Loupiosity.com
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