*** De Bethune

Jan 31, 2009,22:33 PM


I am undecided about what I like best of the new De Bethune products. The Dream Watches One and Two were unveiled, but so was the De Bethune roadster. While other companies are making watches with car keys, De Bethune has built its own car.


The car was parked across the river from the Four Seasons so we braved the rain to see it and it was worth every raindrop. David Zanetta designed the body while Denis Flageollet designed the interior; all the dashboard indicators are reminiscent of De Bethune dials. Both the bucket seat (only seat was ready in time for SIHH) and body are carbon fibre; the body is finished in a pale matte blue similar to the trademark De Bethune blue titanium.


The engine is a modified 8.25 L V10 from a Dodge Viper producing 1000 bhp, yes one thousand. David started up the car for us and the engine sounds like it will suck up small children and animals – amazing! He has taken the car up to about 280 km/h but he expects it should be able to do 400 km/h or so.


David told me the reason for building his own car is that many watch companies are collaborating with carmakers to create watches; since he was already making watches, he decided to build his own car! He will make a handful of these and sell it to friends only. This is surely one of the most brilliant products of 2009.


Unfortunately I did not take pictures of the car, but you can find Francois-Xavier’s pictures here .


Now on to more sedate matters. De Bethune finally launched production versions of the Dream Watches One and Two. The Dream Watch One is a time-only, hand-wound watch with 6 day power reserve and De Bethune’s signature 3-dimensional moonphase. Both watches are available with either a grey dial or the trademark blue titanium guilloche dial. I love the blue titanium dial; when I buy a De Bethune, and I will, it will have a blue dial.







Dream Watch One with grey dial


Above the moonphase you can see the De Bethune silicon-platinum balance, a disc of silicon ringed with platinum that oscillates at 28,800 bph. Because the disc and ring are perfectly smooth, you can barely see the vibrations. Unlike the super-fast AP escapement, observing this gives one a feeling of calm. It’s housed in a 42.8 mm ‘Millennium Falcon’ case and it is incredibly well finished. Incredibly.



Caseback of Dream Watch One with pushers for adjusting rate of movement  


What is unique about it is the smiley face on the back. The two pushers allow the owner to adjust the rate of the movement. I don’t know how exactly it works or what is adjusted, but the press material notes it works via a series of “reduction arms and levers”. I will post more on this when I have the info. 50 pieces will be made.


The Dream Watch Two possesses the lightest tourbillion in the world. This anorexic tourbillion is a slim, U-shaped silicon cage and a platinum ring surrounding the balance wheel, weighing a total of 0.18 grams. The tourbillion is extremely interesting but I have little technical details. Again, this watch is incredibly well finished. Incredibly. 10 pieces will be made each year.














Dream Watch Two tourbillon 


Both the Dream Watch One and Two are breathtaking, the colours and polish are beyond reproach. A handful of brands just radiate quality when you look at any of the watches they make, Lange and Grand Seiko come to mind, and De Bethune is definitely one of them. Neither watch has any branding at all on the front, a conscious design decision; each can stand on its own and is instantly recognisable.


In my previous fair report of 2007 I noted that De Bethune was one of the highlights of the year, this year is no different. David and Denis have my utmost admiration.


I leave you with photos of the Dream Watch Two with grey dial.





This message has been edited by SJX on 2009-02-01 03:29:06 This message has been edited by SJX on 2009-02-02 22:46:17

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My comprehensive SIHH and Geneva 2009 report

 By: SJX : January 31st, 2009-20:10
SIHH and Geneva 2009 By Su JiaXian © January 2009 Here is my comprehensive report on the watches presented at SIHH and Geneva two weeks ago. A couple of things to note. This is a long report, comprising 656 photos and 13,121 words, but it is divided into ...  

*** A. Lange & Söhne

 By: SJX : January 31st, 2009-20:20
Each year Lange typically debuts one new complication, plus as assorted number of existing models with new dials or cases. This year continued that tradition but Lange did it better than before. 1815 in platinum - 500 pieces limited edition Two new moveme...  

I believe it has a flat hairspring

 By: SJX : February 1st, 2009-22:56
only the Lange complications have overcoils, but I will double check with Lange. - SJX

Some info on the new balance from Lange

 By: SJX : February 2nd, 2009-02:36
The new balance in the L051.1 of the new 1815 has 4 long screws for regulation of the balance, while the other screws in the balance are used to poise it. It uses a flat hairspring. - SJX

Cool, thanks! (nt)

 By: ei8htohms : February 2nd, 2009-02:47

Thank you so very much...................

 By: Topcat30093 : February 2nd, 2009-19:22

No Overcoil ?

 By: NJ : February 22nd, 2009-14:01

Clarification about the stops seconds on the RL PLM

 By: BluNotte : February 2nd, 2009-01:50
Hello SJX, Thanks for the great photo reports for the brands, much appreciated ! I have a question though about the stop seconds function on the RL PLM. I have read and heard from various sources different opinions, and i'd thought maybe you could help me... 

Hack seconds only, no zero reset

 By: SJX : February 2nd, 2009-02:26
My mistake. Apologies! - SJX

SJX, what do you mean?

 By: Mech : February 2nd, 2009-02:19
when you said "....no cut-off Roman numerals..."?

That was in reference to...

 By: SJX : February 2nd, 2009-02:25
the Cabaret tourbillon which has Roman numerals that are cut off by the subdials. - SJX

not PLM?

 By: Mech : February 2nd, 2009-02:32
The roman 6 is cut off in PLM or am I mistaken?

But PLM has printed numerals

 By: SJX : February 2nd, 2009-02:35
which do not disturb me as much as cut-off applied numerals. - SJX

I see

 By: Mech : February 2nd, 2009-02:50
where you're coming from, but the sub dial truncating at 6 still is a 'flaw' to me. It's disappointing given such a beautiful movement introduced.

The new 1815 is beautiful !

 By: Kong : February 7th, 2009-03:12

*** Audemars Piguet

 By: SJX : January 31st, 2009-21:05
Each year the new products from AP can be neatly split into two groups – Royal Oaks and Others. Fortunately, this year Others are numerous and impressive. But let’s get the difficult part out of the way and first run through the new Royal Oaks. The grand ...  

Thanks for the good coverage and...

 By: nasty204 : February 4th, 2009-05:40

Brilliant stuff!

 By: Davo : February 25th, 2009-01:02

*** Cartier

 By: SJX : January 31st, 2009-21:48
Cartier’s collection this year is typical in the fact that its entry- and mid-level stuff will likely be commercial hits. But it is atypical because its haute horlogerie watches are numerous and are a declaration of Cartier’s goals to push itself upmarket...  

*** Cvstos

 By: SJX : January 31st, 2009-22:19

*** De Bethune

 By: SJX : January 31st, 2009-22:33
I am undecided about what I like best of the new De Bethune products. The Dream Watches One and Two were unveiled, but so was the De Bethune roadster. While other companies are making watches with car keys, De Bethune has built its own car. The car was pa...  

Thank you SJX

 By: moc : February 1st, 2009-10:27

*** Franck Muller

 By: SJX : January 31st, 2009-22:40

*** Girard-Perrregaux

 By: SJX : January 31st, 2009-22:50

*** IWC

 By: SJX : January 31st, 2009-22:55
True to form, IWC showcased a big collection with strong mass market appeal. Two traits that have made IWC what it is – an accessible price point combined with high quality cases and bracelets – are evident in the flagship collection for 2009, the revampe...  

*** Jaeger-LeCoultre

 By: SJX : February 1st, 2009-00:03
Jaeger-LeCoultre presented numerous new products in many directions, which it always does. The number of models and lines verge on being confusing, but some of the new products are worthy of note. There was also a rumour of a ultra-grande complication, on...  

The integrated straps

 By: Dje : February 2nd, 2009-01:37
Hi JiaXian, Thank you for your report and superb pics (much better than mine). AFAIK the integrated straps on the Grande Reverso models are Squadra straps used for the show but they are not supposed to be used for production watches. That's what i've unde... 

I was given to understand they will be delivered with integrated straps...

 By: SJX : February 2nd, 2009-02:28
Not specifically the straps shown at SIHH, but integrated straps of some sort. - SJX

So let's wait! nt

 By: Dje : February 2nd, 2009-03:58

*** Maximilian Büsser & Friends

 By: SJX : February 1st, 2009-00:32
Only one model was officially launched by MB&F during the SIHH period, the HM2 in ceramic. In a couple of months, a variant of the HM1 using the last handful of HM1 movements will be unveiled, followed by the HM4 later in the year. From now on, Max will u...  

Thanks a lot for these brilliant pics of the HM2.

 By: foversta : February 1st, 2009-05:29
But are you sure that the HM4 will be released this year ? Because I'm not. I think we will have to expect it till 2010. Fr.Xavier

The Titanium HM2 is beautiful!!

 By: Z3 : February 1st, 2009-06:09

*** Montblanc

 By: SJX : February 1st, 2009-00:41
When Montblanc first launched its watch collection several years ago, I visited one of the few Montblanc boutiques (there were much less pervasive then) to check out the range. Only a handful of watches were available, all contained ETA movements and poss...  

Most impressive! [nt]

 By: Davo : February 25th, 2009-01:05

*** Panerai

 By: SJX : February 1st, 2009-01:27
I will begin with the comical Egiziano before discussing the proper watches unveiled at SIHH. It is a limited edition of only 300 pieces (whew) and is 60 mm in diameter like the original, but it is cased in titanium whereas the original was steel. And the...  

SJX , your Egiziano shots are perfect!

 By: BluNotte : February 2nd, 2009-03:16

Fantastico! [nt]

 By: Davo : February 25th, 2009-01:03

*** Piaget

 By: SJX : February 1st, 2009-01:33

*** Urwerk

 By: SJX : February 1st, 2009-01:34
The new product launched by Urwerk was the 103T, or ‘Tarantula’. While it is different from the existing 103 with regards to construction and motion of the satellite arms, it is not that different. The 103 is getting long in tooth and the derivatives of t...  

Outstanding! [nt]

 By: Davo : February 25th, 2009-01:03

*** Vacheron Constantin

 By: SJX : February 1st, 2009-01:34
Vacheron Constantin’s collection this year, whilst small, is probably the best in a long time. No exotic complications unveiled at SIHH; instead VC presented a series of classical watches that are uniformly fine-looking (save for the Overseas which I neve...  

Architecturally relevant

 By: Wees : February 7th, 2009-05:20

*** Van Cleef & Arpels

 By: SJX : February 1st, 2009-01:34
I only really took notice of Van Cleef et Arpels when they launched the Midnight in Paris astronomical watch a year or two back. Prior to that VC&A had some fairly interesting small complications like alarm watches and chronographs, as well as a unique la...  

Great stuff Jiaxian.

 By: tony p : February 1st, 2009-09:48


 By: jjm788 : February 1st, 2009-16:19

S J X You did an amazing job

 By: Geo : February 2nd, 2009-01:00

OMG, this is one serious report.

 By: JPSF : February 2nd, 2009-01:03

Thanks a lot Jiaxian!

 By: Wooster : February 2nd, 2009-03:06

Comprehensive indeed. A...

 By: Rob : February 1st, 2009-04:06

Thanks for the incredible post

 By: akashjain_del : February 1st, 2009-05:22

Thanks a lot SJX !

 By: foversta : February 1st, 2009-05:22


 By: kkhazen : February 1st, 2009-06:23
thank you SJX for this amazing post and all the time u've put to prepare it. Really amazing. I liked ur critics also. The SIHH should award u a VIP pass for next year salon K.


 By: lien : February 1st, 2009-07:18

Fantastic coverage, Jsx.

 By: jimsbk : February 1st, 2009-06:48
Thanks for sharing a very comprehensive pictorial eports and candid remarks of the 2009 SIHH/Geneva novelties. Great stuff indeed. Cheers, Jim

This is a VERY impressive report

 By: SteveH : February 1st, 2009-10:27

Impressive Work, SJX

 By: amanico : February 1st, 2009-11:55

WOW SJX, Fantastic report! [nt]

 By: DRMW : February 1st, 2009-12:51

This is not a Post, it's an ENTIRE WEBSITE

 By: numerobis : February 1st, 2009-13:15
Great Job, thanks a lot !

It's like a mini SIHH :)

 By: Mech : February 1st, 2009-15:44

Serious reporting!

 By: nacelle : February 1st, 2009-14:18
A very thorough presentation full of beautiful pictures and insights!

Super stuff and simply outstanding!

 By: decksurgeon : February 1st, 2009-17:08

SIHH 2009

 By: VPREGULATOR : February 1st, 2009-17:30

Thanks for taking us through the journey in an awesome way!

 By: matrix : February 1st, 2009-20:05
I would have to say JLC and Panerai were my favs. Be healthy, Matrix.

Thx for sharing with us.

 By: ALEPOS : February 1st, 2009-21:36

Very well written

 By: wil_moresby : February 1st, 2009-20:40


 By: Ares501 - Mr Green : February 2nd, 2009-01:18

Amazing report SJX!

 By: iFunky : February 2nd, 2009-01:42


 By: VPREGULATOR : February 2nd, 2009-03:39
Jia Xian Anything on Pateks?

Brilliant, brilliant report - sumptuous photos and great reporting. Worthy of a

 By: 219 : February 2nd, 2009-03:58
publication and lecture tour in its own right. Greatly enjoyed reading and viewing. I hate to think of the accumulated time that has been spent on this. Many thanks for all your endeavours. Andrew H

Lecture tour

 By: SJX : February 2nd, 2009-04:27
Someone else is already doing it, and he does a better job than me, his includes video. - SJX

Video? Of what?

 By: tony p : February 2nd, 2009-06:48
Watch hands going around dials, perhaps. Or CEOs getting drunk and sleazing onto models at after-fair parties. Where can I get tickets? Cheers Tony P

Oh. OK. Anyway, I know who you're talking about

 By: tony p : February 2nd, 2009-07:20
and, accomplished though he is, I doubt he could do a better job with video than you just did with words and pictures. Cheers Tony P

(AA) Absolutely Amazing

 By: CK68 : February 2nd, 2009-05:45

Outstanding report. Thanks so much! nt

 By: J_Warden : February 2nd, 2009-07:43

Thanks for that extensive set of reprots. (nt)

 By: Ronald Held : February 2nd, 2009-10:55

Very impressive report SJX...

 By: SLPW : February 2nd, 2009-11:46
a very nice read with excellent pictures and It was a pleasure meeting you on the Tuesday @ Lange ! Best regards, Stefan

Great to meet you too SLPW

 By: SJX : February 2nd, 2009-18:18

Fantastic report [nt]

 By: Massi : February 2nd, 2009-16:47

Best report I've read for a long time...

 By: yw wong : February 4th, 2009-02:14