Introducing the De Bethune DB28 Steel Wheels Open-Worked

A skeletonised front on De Bethune's signature timepiece.

Characterised by spring-loaded lugs and lots of mirror-polished titanium, the DB28 is De Bethune‘s best known wristwatch. It’s been iterated into dozens of variations, from a jumping hours to a meteorite dial. Now the DB28 gets a skeleton dial that reveals the mainsprings and gear train of the DB2115V4 movement.

The very first watch introduced by De Bethune’s new owners, the DB28 Steel Wheels combines several well-known design elements favoured by the brand.

De Bethune’s trademark delta-shaped barrel bridge has been open-worked into a “V” and Côtes De Bethune, an engraved motif that resembles Geneva stripes. And below that both barrels re also open, revealing the two large mainsprings responsible for the six day power reserve.

De Bethune DB28 Steel Wheels 2

Unusually the hour hand is clear sapphire with a blued steel border, while the minute hand is spear-shaped blued steel. They point to spherical titanium hour markers on a blued titanium track, both recurring motifs on De Bethune watches.

The rest of the watch is largely identical to the standard DB28. It has a spherical moon phase at six o’clock, and just above that, the brand’s proprietary balance wheel in titanium with white gold masses. It’s just in place by a tubular balance bridge that features De Bethune’s triple pare-chute shock absorber.

De Bethune DB28 Steel Wheels 1

The case is titanium and 42.6mm in titanium, with the option of long or short “floating” lugs.

Price and availability  

The DB28 Steel Wheels is a limited edition of 25 watches, priced at SFr83,000 before taxes.


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F.P. Journe Introduces the Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante

The Line Sport split-seconds debuts.

Equipped with almost the same movement (actually it’s more complicated) as found in the US$1.15m “Only Watch” split-seconds, the lineSport Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante is the first of F.P. Journe‘s face-lifted sports watch line.

Larger and intended to replace the Centigraphe Sport, the new chronograph is a split-seconds chronograph with an oversized date at six o’clock. The case is a larger 44mm in diameter, but just 12mm high. Notably, it is available in titanium, but also 18k red gold or platinum, all with matching metal bracelets.


The platinum model has a silver dial with hobnail guilloche and a “blue-mauve colour”,  silver registers and applied markers in matte white gold. In red gold the dial is guilloche solid silver coated dark grey with silver sub-dials, and in titanium the dial is made of aluminium finished dark grey, along with clear sapphire chronograph counters, just like the Centigraphe Sport.

FP Journe Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante titanium dial

All three models have rubber inserts on the case, crown and bracelet, along with a ceramic bezel insert that has a tachymetric scale modelled on the “Only Watch” split-seconds.

FP Journe Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante red gold side

FP Journe split seconds chronograph 1518

The cal. 1518 inside has 18k red gold bridges in the gold or platinum models, and aluminium for the titanium version. Materials aside, it is otherwise identical across models, being hand-wound with an 80-hour power reserve.

FP Journe Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante aluminium

FP Journe split seconds chronograph 1518 aluminium

Just 6.8mm high, the movement uses the pusher at two o’clock for start, stop and reset – hence monopoussoir – while the second button at four controls the split-seconds. The chronograph mechanism features a column wheel as well as a horizontal coupling with rocking pinion that eliminates seconds hand stutter when starting the chronograph.

FP Journe lineSport split seconds chronograph 1

FP Journe Chronograph Monopoussoir Rattrapante red gold 1

Price and availability 

The lineSport Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante costs SFr58,000 in titanium, SFr78,000 in red gold, and in platinum it costs SFr106,000. It will be available later in 2018.

Update January 13, 2018: Additional stock images included.

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Business News: Richemont’s Watch Sales Stay Flat Ahead of SIHH 2018

Strength in jewellery and retail, while watches and wholesale numbers move little.

Just days before the upscale SIHH trade fair opens its doors in Geneva, Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont – which has all its brands exhibiting at the fair – has just announced its results for the third quarter ended December 31, with the numbers continuing a positive trend.

The group’s overall performance was strong, with third quarter revenue rising 7% at constant exchange rates. Sales in the Asia Pacific rose 11%, driven mainly by demand in China, Korea, Hong Kong and Macau. Also noteworthy was the 8% rise in revenue from the Americas.

Sales at Richemont’s own stores, otherwise known as retail sales, rose 13% globally. But wholesale, meaning sales to third party retailers or distributors, showed a mixed performance. Wholesale revenue fell 3%, due to cuts in the distribution network as well as trimming of inventory in retail partners. While wholesale in Asia Pacific rose, it declined in other markets.

The starkest difference lay between the performance of Richemont’s jewellery division – the majority of which is Cartier, followed by Van Cleef & Arpels – and its watch brands, which include A. Lange & Söhne, IWC and Panerai.

Jewellery sales rose 11%; most of which was done through Richemont’s own retail network. The watch brands, on the other hand, rely largely on third party partners, and saw sales rise just 1%. Although retail sales for watch brands rose, they fell in wholesale.

Richemont’s watch brands will no doubt work to fix the soft numbers, but in a varying number of ways, from aggressively priced entry-level watches to new management (which is the case for Panerai). All will be revealed once SIHH 2018 opens it doors on January 15.


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