enis Flageollet, the founder and master watchmaker at De Bethune, has always said he takes his inspiration from classic, high-end horology while reinterpreting it in a wholly contemporary way. As a result of this dual inspiration, his watches are not only technically and scientifically innovative, but also aesthetically sophisticated, instantly recognisable, and unlike anything else.
With this latest iteration of the DB28, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, he has taken this aesthetic to its ultimate limits, adding transparency, luminosity and a playful approach to reflections and light. Its famous trademark bridge with its delta shape is for the first time executed in sapphire crystal, as are the barrel covers.
- The DB28 Steel Wheels Sapphire Tourbillon has a polished grade 5 titanium case mounted on two new floating lugs unveiled this year, entirely redesigned and of intermediate size. Alligator strap with a titanium buckle.
While the sapphire of the bridge is 1mm thick to ensure functional rigidity, the sapphire of the barrel covers is just 0.3mm thick. Moreover, these components are encircled by polished titanium, adding a contemporary touch.
Among its other technical features, the tourbillon, in titanium and silicon with a frequency of 36,000vph, has a carriage weighing 0.18 grams – the lightest ever made – and made up of 63 components, the lightest of which weighs 0.0001 gram.
This exoskeleton is a feat of miniaturisation that has allowed Denis Flageollet to optimise the function of the tourbillon – initially designed for pocket watches – for the wristwatch, which is subjected to numerous movements, shocks and position changes.