The new DB28GS “Yellow Submarine” from De Bethune
With complete mastery of the art of thermal oxidation of metals, De Bethune explores all the colour shades resulting from the heat released by the chemical reactions of heat-treated steel and titanium. In De Bethune’s workshops in L’Auberson, the particles become luminous and the metals – titanium in particular – emit a visible light… the material oxidizes, the properties are modified, the surfaces are transformed, new natural colours come to the fore.
True to the natural colours of the four elements – air, water, earth and fire – De Bethune has developed in 2019 a warm colored titanium (as opposed to the cool colour of blue) with natural shades of amber and flame blonde, reflecting the colours of fire, sun, warmth and luxuriance, along with the incomparable clarity that emerges from it, synonymous with energy, joy and vigour.
To create its own fiery, radical, magnetic yellow, De Bethune applies its technique of gently oxidising grade 5 titanium to tint its surface naturally. This ritual conjures a rare and uniform fire brown. This know-how is applied to the case components and to most of the movement’s components. Each element is thus individually examined to ensure the process is properly calibrated to suit shape and mass. This preliminary step is essential to obtain in the end a range of uniform tones.
The DB28GS “Yellow Submarine” was designed and developed to be a resolutely sporty watch. Based on the observation that a sports watch must be perfectly readable in any kind of weather and every possible situation, a very special and ingenious lighting system has been developed.
Therefore, to illuminate the watch and the movement from the inside, a light source is produced by a fully mechanical means that works on the dynamo principle. Visually as simple as the lighting of a bicycle, fully mechanical with no electronics and no battery…but in truth just as complicated as the timbre of a minute repeater… A pusher located at 6 o’clock activates a small gear train driven by the twin barrel. This gear train, by means of a miniature dynamo, provides the necessary energy for lighting the watch. A few seconds of light is more than enough to read the time, even in the middle of the night or in the abyssal depths of the ocean.
The rotating bezel made its first appearance in watchmaking in 1952. It serves to enable accurate calculation of immersion time, as well as the transition through various decompression stops. of the different levels. Generally, all the numerals relating to the minutes counter are indicated on the bezel, which tends to create a more crowded visual effect. For the DB28GS “Yellow Submarine”, these indications appear on the sapphire crystal driven by the bezel. This developed in the workshops of the Manufacture in L’Auberson enables the model to remain elegantly slender and instils a pleasing casual chic aesthetic.
Hand-wound, with central seconds and a five-day power reserve indicated on the dial, the movement is equipped with a state-of-the-art in-house-made balance wheel.
The presence of the titanium / white gold balance wheel and balance-spring with flat terminal curve ensures an ideal mass / inertia ratio for an optimal frequency of 28,800 vph suitable for wristwatches. De Bethune has improved the efficiency of its sprung-balance-escapement ensemble by achieving a 20% increase in power reserve.
The calibre is also equipped with the triple pare chute system. De Bethune designed a bridge symmetrical held on both sides and thus serving to maintain the balance wheel perfectly in position and added two shock absorbers on either end as well as that of the balance wheel itself.
The DB28GS “Yellow Submarine” is water-resistant to 105 metres (10 ATM). Its comfort stems from a combination of the light feel of the titanium case, the softness of its hand-polished finish, the 12 o’clock crown position and above all the presence of the patented system of floating lugs that adapt to wrist size and movements.
The model is delivered with two straps: a canvas version and a striated natural rubber iteration with titanium folding clasp, which also contributes to the practical and pleasant wearer comfort of this timepiece.