If you like watches that look a bit different, De Bethune have something to offer you. Their Dream Watch 5.2 has a sort of unsettling sci-fi beauty, with the half-organic, half-mechanical forms of Alien, and the triangular innovation of Hamilton’s triangular watch in Men in Black. The digital time indications hark back to the electric alarm clocks of the 1970s, but it is driven by a mechanical movement of classical Swiss quality, though with an innovative approach.
The watchmakers who, 11 years ago, founded the brand, David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet, are as much artists as micro-engineers, and they have sculpted a wearable piece of art in the form of a shell of blackened zirconium, a metal whose oxidized surface is strong and durable. The only visible indications that this artwork is also a watch are the jumping hours, the minute disc display, and a small two-tone sphere indicating the phases of the moon. At the apex of the shape is the crown used to wind and adjust the watch, with a cabochon-cut sapphire.
The digital display is protected by a sapphire crystal watchglass. The watchback is in grade 5 titanium, with the signatures of David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet. Inside, the DB2144 calibre movement has 355 parts, with twin barrels providing five days’ power reserve. The moon phase indicator is accurate to one lunar day every 1,112 years. The watch is mounted on a supple black alligator strap with a pin buckle. Retail price is CHF 162,000.
You can purchase De Bethune watches at their boutique, 1 Place de Longemalle, Geneva, Switzerland, tel. +41 22 311 22 80. Further info from debethune.com