Like most De Bethune creations, the DB25 Perpetual Calendar is a unique blend of old and new. Contemporary details like the raised curved hour track, hollowed lugs, titanium case and spherical moon phase—with a black rather than conventional blue background—make it hard to categorize it as classic. But the Roman numerals, hand guilloché and classic high complication are reliable hallmarks of traditional watchmaking.
De Bethune is a high-end/low-volume independent brand, so this new variation of the DB25 QP represents another rare opportunity to own one of these models at all. In fact, the others are now discontinued, so going forward, this will be the only version. We have already seen a rose gold/black dial/gold numeral edition, and a white gold/salmon dial/blue-numeral version, but the titanium/green dial option is so unlike the others, it seems like an entirely different watch. The reflection of light on the light-green surface brings the subtle textures and layers of the dial in greater relief. And although green dials are not exactly unique to watchmaking, this particular shade is an interesting variation on the hue. Not quite military green and not quite evergreen, it stands out in the forest.
The undulating sunray guilloché pattern on the inner dial is divided into 12 sectors, which creates the illusion of a tufted pillow or the surface of a finely decorated cake. The raised curve of the hour track adds to the cushion-y effect, and the contrasting cord-like patterned guilloché on the flange completes it with a nice border. Discreet day and month apertures leave the focus where it belongs on this dial—the exquisite guilloché finish. The leaf-shaped hands and silvered Roman numerals are a nice match for the 44 mm x 12.7 mm titanium case which, like all BD25s, is drum shaped, with a slighted domed crystal. De Bethune’s signature spherical moon phase globe is executed here in palladium and black oxidized zirconium.
Beneath the hood is the brand’s in-house caliber DB2324, a perpetual calendar enhanced with twin barrels for a 120-hour (5-day) power reserve. Both the balance wheel and rotor combine elements of white gold and titanium, and the escape wheel is made of silicon. The open caseback offers a view of the movement, with its modern blue finish on the rotor and balance bridge. You can also see the cap on the rotor that functions as a shock absorbing system, something patented by the brand in 2006. Time and date are adjusted through the crown, with the remainder of the calendar indications adjusted through correctors on the case band. It comes on an olive green textile strap or a cognac brown leather strap. De Bethune will make just 10 pieces per year, priced at $135,000.