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June 21, 2024

De Bethune: DB25 Starry Varius Aérolite

When it comes to meteorite, one cannot but think of De Bethune and its founder and master watchmaker Denis Flageollet. Yes, because if up to yesterday we thought that this material was difficult to use, there are those who have managed to work it like no other, creating real contemporary works of art such as the Dream Watch 5, the DB28 Kind of Blue Meteorite and the more recent DB28XP Météorite.

Today De Bethune unveils its latest feat, the new DB25 Starry Varius Aérolite, an evolution of the DB25 Starry Various in the collection since 2018in a limited edition of only 5 units per year.

De Bethune DB25 Starry Varius Aérolite

Denis Flageollet, is passionate about meteorites, a passion that he nurtures by regularly trialling iron ore reduction processes with a view to one day making his own metal. His deep-felt interest in the material and his numerous attempts with Russian and Egyptian meteorites have led the Maison to work with a new kind of meteorite: Muonionalusta Meteorite. Believed to have struck planet Earth more than one million years BCE, somewhere between Finland and Sweden on the banks of the Muniono river, this is probably the world’s oldest known meteorite to date. The first fragment was discovered in Sweden, in 1906. Composed mainly of iron and nickel, it is distinguished by the perfectly geometrical lines of its 60° angle cross-hatched “Widmanstätten” pattern. The dial of the DB25 Starry Varius Aérolite is adorned with an ancestral stone forged in space. A metal alloy that endows the dial with a distinctive texture, along with geometrical patterns aligned in a precise way that makes each timepiece special and unique

De Bethune DB25 Starry Varius Aérolite

De Bethune’s mastery of the thermal oxidation of metals has once again enabled it to raise the level of complexity by creating a starry sky accompanied by its Milky Way on a previously blued meteorite dial. This azure shade results from the heat released by the chemical reactions of the heated meteorite. Dotted across this blue dial surface is a multitude of small white gold pins, delicately driven in between the different shapes and thicknesses of the octahedral geometrical structures. Like tiny, suspended marbles, these glittering flashes of light endow the celestial vault with its aura of timeless depth. In addition to bringing a unique fragment of space to the wrist, each sky is different: the customer can choose a given constellation, according to a precise sky map, at a specific date, time and place.

De Bethune DB25 Starry Varius Aérolite

Inspired by the classic round shape, the ultra-light 42mm polished titanium case of the DB25 Starry Varius Aérolite with its perfectly integrated openworked lugs nevertheless asserts De Bethune’s contemporary expression of the art of watchmaking.

Taking up the graphic codes of the Manufacture, the new reference features a Roman numeral hour circle and an Arabic numeral minute track on a silvered disc, complemented by hand-polished steel handsidentical to those already featured on the dial of the DB25 Starry Varius. 

De Bethune DB25 Starry Varius Aérolite

Thanks to the double anti-reflective treatment of the sapphire crystal, the caseback of the watch reveals the mechanical manual-winding tourbillon DB2109V4 calibre, entirely developed and produced in-house, with4 days of power reserve ensured by a self-regulating twin barrel.

An outstanding movement that benefits from the latest De Bethune technologies. Gravity is one of the greatest enemies of mechanical watches. Based on the tourbillon invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet, De Bethune has sought to optimize it on today’s wristwatches. The equation? To be more efficient on a wrist engaged in rapid and disordered movements, the tourbillon must have the highest possible frequency and fastest rotation speed. In creating a titanium and silicon tourbillon with a frequency of 36,000 vibrations/hour, an extraordinarily light carriage (only 0.18 grams) spinning on its axis every 30 seconds, comprising a total of 63 components. A jumping seconds display ensures an accurate reading above the ultra-light tourbillon cage visible through the caseback.

De Bethune DB25 Starry Varius Aérolite

The balance wheel, also visible on the back of the watch, is of the latest generation. It is the result of a constant physical and mathematical approach by De Bethune to improve its functioning. It benefits from the latest advances, with an adapted diameter, made of titanium, equipped with small white gold weights placed on the outside, which gives it a remarkable quality of inertia, reliability and regulation. 

De Bethune has equipped this model with its very own balance spring, the extremely thin component regarded as the soul of the mechanical watch. Its centre of gravity is maintained in the very centre by means of a flat curve affixed to the outside of the balance spring. Differences in the thickness of the blade further enhance the almost perfect precision of its concentric development. The numerous advantages include reduced thickness, improved adjustment of the concentricity quality, finer adjustment of the index (regulator) and no more need for its pins, while the shape of the curve even acts as a shock absorber in case of impacts.  (Price CHF 250.000 + Tax)

De Bethune DB25 Starry Varius Aérolite