Highly regarded for its original and inventive watches that blend high tech and classical, De Bethune’s latest personifies the brand’s twin personalities – literally. Based on its signature DB28, the Kind of Two Tourbillon is De Bethune’s innovative take on the reversible watch.
The trademark “floating” lugs of the DB28 have been reengineered to incorporate a compact pivot for the case, allowing it to swivel in either direction, creating a sleek, symmetrical double-sided watch unlike any other.
While the brand got its start with traditional, Breguet-inspired watches, its raison d’etre quickly evolved into pushing the boundaries of watchmaking – both technically and visually – typified by the Kind of Two Tourbillon.
Reversible watches aren’t novel, having been around since the 1930s – the iconic Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso was patented in 1931, and the most expensive watch ever is also double-faced – and are often classically styled. Most notably, Bovet has a diverse offering of highly-complicated, double-faced watches, but all executed in the Baroque style its favours. In contrast, the Kind of Two Tourbillon is clearly contemporary – and one of its face is definitely sci-fi – illustrating the technical prowess of De Bethune while expressing its avant-garde house style.
But because it is essentially a variant of the DB28, the Kind of Two Tourbillon will be actually wearable despite its mechanical complexity and size. It’s a relatively wide 42.8 mm, but just 9.5 mm high, while the spring-loaded lugs allow it to cling to the wrist, giving it a flat, sleek profile.
Priced at 215,000 Swiss francs, the Kind of Two Tourbillon is one of the priciest watches in De Bethune’s line up. That said, it is quite a lot of watch for the price. Not only is it a double-faced watch, but the movement also incorporates De Bethune’s patented, high-speed tourbillon. The fact that the tourbillon regulator isn’t the highlight speaks volumes about the ingenuity of the Kind of Two.
Jekyll and Hyde
On its front, the Kind of Two Tourbillon is stylish and modern, looking very much like a typical DB28. With a tourbillon at six, it has stepped, delta-shaped bridge against an expanse of polished titanium. All are recurring elements in De Bethune design, but subtly tweaked. The delta-shaped barrel bridge has been scaled down and engraved with a linear motif, a theme echoed by the trio of stepped triangles that frame the corners of the dial.
On the reverse is a more formal dial that resembles those found on De Bethune’s earliest watches like the DB8 and DB10, which were heavily inspired by 19th century pocket watches of Abraham-Louis Breguet and his peers. With the tourbillon hidden, this dial has an exquisite, guilloche centre with Breguet-style hands and italicised Arabic numerals, along with a finely-scale minute track.
The dual-faces are the result of the newly-developed DB2579, an in-house calibre engineered to display the same time on two dials. It’s a hand-wind movement with a five day power reserve, as well as many of De Bethune’s technical innovations.
The tourbillon, for instance, is a lightweight construction making one revolution in 30 seconds, travelling at twice the speed of conventional tourbillons. The lightest tourbillon assembly in watchmaking according to De Bethune, it’s made up of a titanium and silicon cage containing a silicon and platinum balance wheel that oscillates at a high frequency of 36,000 beats per hour.
Key facts and price
De Bethune Kind of Two Tourbillon
Diameter: 42.8 mm
Height: 9.5 mm
Crystal: Sapphire, both sides
Water resistance: 30 m
Functions: Dual front and back display of the time, with a 30-second tourbillon
Frequency: 36,000 beats per hour (5 Hz)
Power reserve: Five days
Strap: Alligator strap, with titanium pin buckle
Availability: From De Bethune or its authorised retailers
Price: 215,000 Swiss francs; or 316,700 Singapore dollars
For more, visit Debethune.ch.
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