lot 01

De Bethune

DB 10

This watch was featured at the "Contemporary Independents" auction

Starting bid CHF 25 000
Hammer price CHF 38 000
Total bids 14


CaseYellow gold case 750/1000 with a sapphire caseback
StrapBlack crocodile strap with a original yellow gold pin buckle
DialSilver-plated engine turned dial with Arabic numerals, inner concentric date display, blued hands, rose gold date hand, signed: "De Bethune"
MovementRhodium-plated automatic movement with 3/4 plate, skeletonized rotor, regulator with excenter
Movement No.1024.623
Case No.11/20
D=42 mm

Condition report

Case:Good, signs of wear
Strap:Very, small signs of wear
Dial:Mint condition
Movement:All functions working properly
Amplitude (Dial on top/Lift angle 52):Approx 260°
Accuracy (Dial on top):Approx +2 sec/day


An extremely rare, charismatic and collectible rose gold limited-edition self-winding wristwatch of the Swiss watch brand De Bethune, founded in 2002 by the Italian vintage watch dealer David Zanetta and French watchmaker Denis Flageollet. Limited edition launched in 2011. Case in 18k rose gold, diameter 42mm, 10.1mm thick, with ogival lugs, sapphire caseback. Matte silver-plated dial with central zone decorated by ‘lotus’ guilloché hand-made motif and peripheral zone by ‘grain d’orge’ guilloché motif, chapter ring with dark-blue pad-printed Arabic numerals, leaf-shaped blued steel hands, gold pointer for the date. Caliber DB1024, self-winding, double barrel, 6-day power reserve. Functions – indication of time in hours, minutes and seconds, date indication by central hand. De Bethune black leather strap, De Bethune 18k rose gold pin buckle. Limited edition of 20 pieces. 

Lot essay 

The earliest De Bethune watches, from the DB1 of 2002 to the DB17 of 2005, were offered in distinctive and charismatic cases. Traditional classical features such as the round case shape, polished domed bezel, silver-plated dial with hand-made guilloché decoration and blued leaf-shaped hands were combined with unusual, provocative and noticeable bullet-shaped lugs – the brand describes them as ‘ogival’ lugs. This design is the DNA of the brand’s early stage. This is a valuable asset, and from time to time De Bethune reminds us by again using this charismatic design. 

De Bethune launched the DB10 Réédition Spéciale in 2011 as a re-release of the brand’s early models with characteristic lugs, namely the DB10 of 2003. The DB10 Réédition Spéciale watch was offered in three versions – in rose gold (the present reference, released as a limited edition of 20 pieces), in white gold (20 pieces), with some sources also talking about the release of a model in platinum (10 pieces). 

This special re-edition, limited to only 20 pieces, celebrates the early years of De Bethune activity. 

For the DB10 Réédition Spéciale, the brand developed a special version of its automatic movement, the caliber DB1024. In the early days, De Bethune had only just begun to develop its own calibers, and watches issued in 2002 and 2003 were equipped with calibers purchased from suppliers. These were then, as a rule, significantly upgraded. This also applies to the De Bethune caliber 2072 of the DB5 and DB10 watches. It was based on the vintage AS 2072 caliber of A. Schild S.A. (also known as ASSA), a Swiss movement and movement-blank supplier, operating to the 1970s. The caliber was entirely reworked by Dennis Flageollet. 

The caliber DB1024 of the DB10 Réédition Spéciale is an in-house caliber. This is a tuned down version of caliber DB2024, with a few of the typical De Bethune innovations left out to reduce costs and to offer an entry level watch. This means the absence of De Bethune high-tech balance versions, of a De Bethune hairspring with a flat terminal curve and also of the triple ‘pare-chute’ shock absorbing system. All of them were replaced by more affordable components, produced by the brand or purchased from third party suppliers. However, the watch does not look cheap, even by De Bethune standards. The DB1024 self-winding caliber has a 6-day power reserve thanks to the double barrel installed, a reliable self-winding system, a stabilised two-point balance bridge, and an index-adjuster with flat spring and fine-tuning snail-eccentric. The latter feature reads as a tribute to the excellent precision pocket calibers of the early 20th century, when similar index-adjusters were used by top brands. 

In 2011, caliber DB1024 was perhaps seen as a compromise, but now, after 11 years, this movement is perceived as an interesting sign of those years and one of the possible ways to develop the brand’s collection, albeit one which was eventually rejected. This is what makes the DB10 Réédition Spéciale watch especially attractive. 

In addition to the features already described, undoubted bonuses are the high-end finish and the undeniably futuristic design of the DB1024 caliber, featuring a double-barrel bridge with matte abrasive blasting and stiffeners with a snail textured finish, and a central open-worked rotor that leaves almost a completely open view of the caliber parts underneath. We are sure that all this further improves the collectible prospects of the DB10 Réédition Spéciale. 

Reasons to bid 

The De Bethune DB10 Revision Speciale Ref. DB10RS1 would be a desirable purchase for the collector and De Bethune watchmaking expertise aficionado, with an opportunity to obtain an extremely rare, collectible, and charismatic watch from this famous independent watch brand, one of the undoubted leaders in the modern haute horlogerie watch market. This special re-edition, limited to only 20 pieces, celebrates the early years of De Bethune activity. It exhibits all the signs of style characteristic of the early period of the brand, including a round case with characteristic ogival lugs, and a light cream-toned matte silvered ‘lotus’ and ‘grain d’orge’ guilloché dial with leaf-shaped blued steel hands, making this extremely rare and desirable example even more attractive.