An extremely rare, early, collectible, and charismatic rose gold perpetual calendar wristwatch of the Swiss watch brand De Bethune, founded in 2002 by the Italian vintage watch dealer David Zanetta and French watchmaker Denis Flageollet. Reference introduced in 2010–2011. Case in 18k rose gold, diameter 44mm, 12.5mm thick, lugs of a hollowed design, sapphire caseback. Matt silver-plated dial with central zone decorated by ‘lotus’ guilloché motif, raised chapter ring with dark-blue pad-printed Roman numerals, leaf-shaped blued steel hands, spherical moonphase indicator in palladium and flame-blued steel on a blued steel sub-dial inlaid with yellow gold stars. Caliber DB2324 QP, self-winding, De Bethune patented 4-spoke titanium balance with platinum ogival weights, De Bethune patented self-compensating free sprung hairspring with flat end-curve, double barrel and 5-day power reserve. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, perpetual calendar indicating date at 6 o’clock, days of the week in an aperture at 9 o’clock, months in an aperture at 3 o’clock and leap-year in an aperture at 12 o’clock, De Bethune spherical moonphase indicator at 12 o’clock. Black leather strap with De Bethune pin buckle in 18k rose gold. Numbered edition. De Bethune recently reported only 23 pieces made since 2011.
The timeline of De Bethune’s perpetual calendars started in 2004, just two years after its founding, when the young brand launched the ground-breaking DB15 perpetual calendar, embedded with an impressive list of unique features. Its most notable asset was the one-of-a-kind combination of perpetual calendar and the astronomical moonphase indicator, accurate to one lunar day every 122 years, with a lunar sphere made of platinum or palladium and blued steel that rotates around its axis representing the evolution of the moon phase. This complication is supplemented by a ‘hidden’ leap year indicator, which is installed in the largest star of the decorative sub-dial of the moonphase indicator at 12 o’clock – directly below the spherical moon.
The present lot dates back to the early reference production period, as evidenced by the low case number.
At the end of 2010, at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, De Bethune introduced the DB25 Perpetual Calendar in white and rose gold (the present reference) as its first self-winding perpetual calendar, featuring a well-established dial design similar to the 2004 DB15 Perpetual Calendar watch. The new caliber DB2324 QP has been developed, based on the self-winding DB2024 movement while maintaining its cutting-edge performance and avant-garde design. This includes a high-inertia titanium/platinum balance, a hairspring with flat terminal curve, an innovative triple shock resistance system with flat steel fixing springs, a blued-titanium flexible horizontal bridge and a double barrel providing 5-day power reserve. The DB2324 inherited a definitely futuristic design of the DB2024 caliber: in addition to the features already mentioned, we should pay attention to the three-quarter plate with matte abrasive blasting and snail-finished (colimaçonnage décor) stiffeners, the central openworked rotor with a shock-resistant mount with 12 jewels on four shock-absorbing petals, and an abundance of details made from titanium.
The present reference with only 23 pieces made since 2011 is one of the rarest De Bethune wristwatches, and almost impossible to find at the present time. The vast majority of models in the DB25 collection are classic time-only references or watches with an additional moonphase indication with a De Bethune spherical bi-metallic moon, while much more complex perpetual calendars only occasionally appear on the secondary market.
Reasons to bid
The present lot dates back to the early reference production period, as evidenced by the low case number. Therefore, the DB25 Perpetual Calendar Ref. DB25QPARS1 appears to be a fine opportunity for the collector and De Bethune watchmaking expertise aficionado to obtain an extremely rare, early, collectible, and charismatic perpetual calendar wristwatch from this famous independent watch brand, one of the undoubted leaders in the modern haute horlogerie watch market. The distinctive combination of the traditional classic look of the dial with the avant-garde-futuristic design of the caliber, exposed through the sapphire caseback, definitely adds to the appeal of this lot.