Hands-On: De Bethune Dream Watch 5 in Rose Gold

An incredible, expensive object.

De Bethune’s brand of watchmaking has spawned many avant-garde watches, ranging from the Urwerk collaboration for Only Watch to the East Asian-inspired Maestri Art. But its most outstanding sculptural creation is unquestionably the Dream Watch 5, an extraterrestrial seashell that tells the time.

Originally launched in 2014 in mirror-polished titanium, the original Dream Watch 5 was extremely expensive, but also tiny, having the proportions of a lady’s watch. Fortunately, it was later enlarged to its current size of just under 60 mm at its widest, from crown to pointed tip, though it remains just as expensive.

The Dream Watch was then iterated into several one-off examples, with the most incredible being the Dream Watch 5 in heat-blued meteorite; its extraordinary nature matched by the US$450,000 price tag.

The Dream Watch 5 in meteorite

More recently, a custom version of the Dream Watch 5 in 18k rose gold was delivered last year. Even though the design is exactly the same as the other variants, the rose gold specimen has a distinctly more classical look that dials back on the sci-fi feel.

Like the other versions of the watch, the Dream Watch 5 in rose gold is entirely mirror polished, but also accented by an insert of polished, heat-blued titanium on the case back that extends to the crown, which is also made of the same material and then topped with a 1 carat ruby.

Despite its aesthetics, the Dream Watch 5 is actually functionally simple: it indicates the hours and minutes on discs that sit beside De Bethune’s trademark spherical moon phase, all visible through a tiny window at three o’clock.

The movement inside is the DB2144V2, a hand-wound calibre that boasts several of De Bethune’s innovations, including a silicon and gold balance wheel, silicon escape wheel, and triple pare-chute shock absorbers for the balance. Most of them are visible through the window in the case back that reveals the balance and blued steel balance bridge.

And the spherical moon phase is not just an unusual display, it is also accurate to a day in 1112 years, as compared to a day in 112.5 years for most moon phase displays.

The balance wheel is a silicon disc rimmed in white gold that shimmers as its oscillates

Like the other versions of the Dream Watch 5, this custom creation is extremely expensive for a watch that is relatively simple in terms of mechanics. But it boasts radical design and gorgeous case work, all of which comes together to create a truly unique watch.

This example in rose gold has been sold, but De Bethune will create other custom versions of the Dream Watch 5 on request.

De Bethune produces its own watch cases, along with most of the components within, so its cases are stamped with its own “DB” hallmark

Key facts and price

Dream Watch 5 unique piece

Diameter: 58 mm
Height: 16 mm
Material: 18k rose gold
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: DB2144V2
Functions: Jumping hours, minutes, and spherical moon phase
Winding: Hand-wound

Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 5 days

Strap: Alligator with pin buckle

Limited edition: Unique piece
Price: Approximately 200,000 Swiss francs before taxes

For more, visit Debethune.ch.


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