lot 03

De Bethune


This watch was featured at the "Contemporary Independents" auction

Starting bid CHF 35 000
Sold at a fixed price CHF 60 000
Total bids 21


CaseRose gold case 750/1000 with pierced lugs & a sapphire caseback
StrapBlack Alligator strap with original rose gold pin buckle
DialSilvered engine turned dial, with Roman numerals, blued hands, spherical moonphase at 12 o'clock
MovementHand-wound movement with two main spring barrels, 6 day power reserve indication, moonphase indication at 12 o'clock
Movement No.DB21055
Case No.N°151

Condition report

Case:Very good, small signs of wear
Strap:Good, 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 +18 sec/day
Extract from archives:Yes


A very rare, collectible, and charismatic rose gold 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. Case in 18k rose gold, diameter 44mm, 11.2mm thick, lugs of a hollowed design, sapphire caseback. Matte silver-plated dial with central zone decorated by ‘lotus’ guilloché motif, raised chapter ring with dark-blue pad-printed Roman numerals, avant-garde ‘pomme de Breguet’ blued steel hands, spherical moonphase indicator in palladium and flame-blued steel on a blued steel sub-dial inlaid with yellow gold stars. Manual-winding caliber DB2105V1 (marked as DB2105S), double barrel and 6-day power reserve. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, moonphase indicator at 12 o’clock, power reserve indicator on the reverse of the movement. De Bethune black leather strap with De Bethune pin buckle in 18k rose gold. Numbered edition. De Bethune recently reported 60 pieces made since 2010, but concerning the number of pieces issued we should assume slightly largely numbers as the reference is not discontinued. 

Lot essay 

The spherical moonphase indicator, developed by De Bethune for its collection in 2004 and immediately realized in the DB15 series of perpetual calendar watches, is perceived as one of the symbols of the brand’s collection, appearing in a variety of versions. In this reference, this complication is presented in the most modest manner, with the dial carrying only the hands for the time display and a spherical moonphase indicator at 12 o’clock. The latter is three dimensional, consisting of two hemispheres made of palladium and flame-blued steel. The present reference comes with curved hour and minute hands, crafted from blued steel. The curved shape allows the hands to pass over the three-dimensional moonphase indicator unimpeded. Their shape is one of the typical De Bethune designs, a kind of avant-garde reinterpretation of the so-called ‘Breguet hands’ – ‘pomme de Breguet’, introduced in 2005 in the DBS collection. 

The spherical moonphase indicator, developed by De Bethune for its collection in 2004 and immediately realized in the DB15 series of perpetual calendar watches, is perceived as one of the symbols of the brand’s collection

Designed for the DB15 and DB16 models (launched in 2004), the movement’s signature architecture, featuring a central shield-shaped barrel bridge inspired by the Star Trek logo, is revealed through the sapphire caseback of the DB25 Moon Phase watch. The Star Trek design endows the movement with impressive charisma. 

The manual-winding DB2105V1 caliber of the present example, visible through the sapphire caseback, is an entirely in-house caliber. Having a more than sufficient 6-day power reserve, it was developed in 2010 for the DB25 Moon Phase and embedded with patented and exclusive De Bethune innovations such as a silicon annular balance encircled by a white gold ring, a hairspring with flat terminal curve, and a unique triple shock resistance system with flat steel fixing springs and a polished flexible horizontal bridge. The power reserve indicator, located on the reverse side of the movement, is made as a slot, arched along the balance bridge. 

Reasons to bid 

The present lot dates back to the early reference production period, as evidenced by the classic De Bethune round solid-silicon balance wheel, the elastic ‘ladder’ balance bridge, and the “Silicon Balance Wheel” engraving on the mainplate, which corresponds to Mk1 execution. According to our research, for the entire production span, this reference was produced in three execution types: Mk1, Mk2, and Mk3, differentiated by their types of balance, balance bridge and inscription engraved. All this, taking into account the small total production volume, makes this reference even more collectible and promising. Therefore, the De Bethune DB25 Moon Phase Ref. DB25LRS1V1 would be a desirable purchase for the collector and De Bethune watchmaking expertise aficionado, with an opportunity to obtain a very rare, collectible, and charismatic mechanical timepiece from this famous independent watch brand, one of the undoubted leaders in the modern haute horlogerie watch market.