It’s time to take replica De Bethune‘s fantastic Greenwich Mean Time again.
With a unique watchmaking method that combines classic watchmaking specifications and complications, avant-garde case, innovative technology and beautiful cosmic scenery, it can be said with certainty that no one does this like De Bethune. The latest watch to join the DB25 series is the DB25GMT Starry Varius, a practical GMT model that joins the ranks of its more complex sibling, the DB25 World Traveler in 2016. Denis Flageollet marks the brand’s 29th in-house movement and adds a second time zone complication in the fantastic DB25 Starry Varius watch. Fascinatingly, the “mysterious” Greenwich Mean Time display signals the time by a rotating sphere, which can also be used as a day/night indicator.
The Starry Varius sub-series of DB25 includes Starry Varius, which can customize the night sky, and Starry Varius Chronomètre Tourbillon, which won the GPHG 2018 Chronometry Award. Like the two Starry Varius models in the series, the 42mm case is made of polished grade 5 titanium, the lugs are made of one-piece hollowwork, the sapphire case back reveals the movement, and the dial is decorated with stars and a hazy Milky Way belt Although the movement below is more complicated, the case height of 11.8 mm is relatively slim, only 3 mm thicker than the simpler limited-time Starry Varius.
Obviously different from most dual-time dial layouts, DB25GMT Starry Varius relies on three concentric rings to convey the local time, home time and date. However, it is worth noting that De Bethune has achieved an impressive depth on the dial due to the different height, decoration and theatrical stage.
The local time is depicted on the raised and round silver flange on the periphery (almost like a donut), hovering over the deep well. Flame blue steel hands with curved tips follow the arc of the ring to read the black Arabic numerals of the hours; the minutes represented by the blue dots are located on the outermost rose gold ring. The crown in both directions sets the local time.
The bottom layer of the dial is a 24-hour silver track, used to display home time or reference time, which can be set in both directions through the crown. The numbers in the daytime are in gold, and the numbers in the night are in black (except at 6 am and 6 pm, which are white and outlined in black). However, what is interesting is the function of the small spheres made of rose gold and blue titanium. The time and day/night functions are indicated by rotating spheres instead of regular GMT hands. In the photo, the sphere is hovering over the 6 am mark and shows the same part of gold and blue titanium. During the day, over time, the microspheres showed more rose gold; after the 6pm mark, the spheres showed more blue. In fact, the technology behind the 3D rotating moon was developed and patented by De Bethune for earlier models, such as the DB28 with a spherical rotating moon phase and the impressive DB25QP perpetual calendar.
A raised platform in the center of the dial indicates the date on an arc-shaped ring with a flame blue jumper. The center of the platform is decorated with De Bethune’s iconic electric blue night sky, which represents the poetic sky of day and night. Made of blue and polished titanium, and dotted with gold pins-hand-inlaid one by one to depict the stars-the Milky Way pattern and its characteristic mist are laser milled and plated with 24k gold foil. The upper part of the central dial represents the day, and the polished rose gold sun shines on a silver shimmering background. Low-light engraving is an updated interpretation of traditional guilloche decoration techniques, cleverly using light and shadow effects. To correct the date, there is a corrector at 6 o’clock in the case.
The 29th in-house movement
The manual winding Calibre DB2507 is the 29th movement of De Bethune, which can be appreciated through the sapphire crystal caseback with a double anti-reflective coating. De Bethune’s iconic triangular main bridge has an extensive mirror-polished surface, with smaller areas decorated with Côtes de Bethune (Côtes de Bethune) enhanced by low-light engraving. The ruby’s polished bevels and polished grooves, and the handmade snail decorations on the two barrels, highlight the high-level horology of this watch.
The two self-regulating main barrels use De Bethune patented technology and innovation to ensure 5 days power supply (DB Innovation 2004). The titanium alloy balance wheel with platinum weights (DB patent 2016) interacts with a balance wheel with a flat end curve (DB patent 2006) to counteract the effects of temperature changes. The escape wheel is made of silicon, and the triple chute damping system fixes the adjuster through a titanium bridge (DB Innovation 2005). Last but not least, the movement is also equipped with a rotating spherical day/night indicator (DB Patent 2004).
De Bethune DB25GMT Starry Varius uses a soft black alligator leather strap with an alligator leather lining and a titanium pin buckle.
Technical Specifications-Bethune DB25GMT STARRY VARIUS
Case: 42 mm diameter x 11.8 mm high-titanium, polished-skeletonized lugs-sapphire crystal glass with double anti-reflective coating on the dial and case back-30 meters water resistance-for setting local and reference time Crown, date corrector at 6 o’clock, clock on the case
Dial: Local time outer ring with hours and minutes-24-hour GMT reference time track, indicated by a rotating day/night ball-Date, jumping hands centered-Flame blue hands-Iconic De Bethune night sky and day, low light Carved rose gold sun in the center
Movement: Caliber DB2507-the 29th self-made movement-manual winding-368 parts-40 jewels-30 mm-28,800vph-5 days (120 hours) power reserve-titanium alloy balance wheel with gold inserts- Hairspring flat-end curve-silicon escape wheel-rotating day/night sphere-parachute damping system-hours, minutes, GMT, day/night indicator, jump date
Strap: black crocodile leather, crocodile leather lining-titanium pin buckle