5 Hands, No Waiting, the De Bethune DB29
To title this article, I had the shorten the name a bit, because it is quite a mouthful. The full name of the watch is the DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon, and there is a lot going on with this timepiece. From the name alone, we know that the watch has two complications, a chronograph and a tourbillon. Then looking at those lovely blued hands and the sexy curved dial, we see no subdials, so all the time keeping and chrono functions are built off a single axis.
When you flip the rose gold watch over (if I only I was actually in Basel to flip it over myself, you get a truly exhibition caseback, where the matching rose gold caseback is hinged and opens to revel the very detailed and complicated in-house Calibre DB2039 movement. Hand wound, with a 5-day power reserve, there is no rotor to peer around. But let’s get back to the dial. Five, count them, five hands all moving on a central axis. The Breuget styled hour and minute hands are flame blued and hand polished , as are the stick styled chronograph hour and second hands. The chrono minute hand is finished in rose gold.
The face is 3-dimensional, with curved surfaces to aid reading if the watch is angled away from you. The outer-most ring provides the chronograph minutes and seconds, which the innermost ring is tot track the 24-hour chronograph hand. Standard time is read off the middle ring (though you can peek to the out ring for minutes if you like). A single pusher, coaxial with the crown (of course) operates the chronograph and the package sits securely on your wrist on a extra-supple alligator leather strap.
The movement is, or course, quite impressive, with 3 columns wheels, a self-regulating twin barrel, a silicon/white gold balance wheel – balance-spring with flat terminal curve, a silicon escape wheel, and a silicon/titanium tourbillon beating at 36,000 vph. All of this is packed into a 30mm package, hand crafted, finished and decorated, and sporting a mere 49 jewels. De Bethune.com
- Brand & Model: De Bethune DB 29 Maxichrono Tourbillon
- Price: Heady
- Who we think it might be for: A modern day fan of Ptolemy.
- Would I buy or recommend it just on the photos?: It is a wee bit out of my price range.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Not to ask me for design input.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The flame blued hands and the crazy complications.