Announcing its 31st in-house caliber, De Bethune has introduced the DB Eight with great fanfare. It follows in the footsteps of other classic single-button chronographs like the DB1 and DB8 with its mono-pusher design.
To compose contemporary music, founders David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet of De Bethune said often in the beginning, “you have to have a perfect command of classical music.” This is why De Bethune first set out to make classical watches, perfecting the craft by learning its nuances and applying them consistently. This is the womb from which all new forms of art and technology emerge.
Denis Flageollet, who has been passing on his knowledge and codes to his right-hand person, Claire Wolf, for over 14 years, decided to double down on his research and reread some of the classics after 20 years.
The DB Eight: A Step Forward
The DB Eight represents a new step forward in De Bethune’s investigation of the single-push chronograph. The DB28 Maxichrono may be De Bethune’s most cutting-edge chronograph, but the DB1 was the brand’s first timepiece to feature a chronograph, and it was a traditional two-counter mono-pusher chronograph in the best tasteful 20th-century chronograph tradition.
Twenty years after first proposing the concept, De Bethune has finally released a chronograph that lives up to the brand’s lofty standards.
Elegant simplicity and a delicate sense of balance inspired the creation of the DB Eight. Denis Flageollet and Claire Wolf collaborated to create a new chronograph caliber, positioning the dial’s counter at 6 o’clock so that it could be as large as possible to provide a highly readable 60-minute indication. The dial features an incredibly refined classic guilloché design.
When the chronograph is reset to zero, the minute hand becomes partially obscured by the chronograph hand’s tail.
A remarkably symmetrical and refined end result for a timepiece housing is one of the most difficult mechanisms in all of watchmaking. This 42 mm timepiece exudes undeniable elegance thanks to its perfectly designed maxi dial, which is surrounded by a slim bezel and a delicate railway-type outer seconds track.
DB3000, the 31st calibre
Inside is a brand new mono-pusher chronograph base caliber, making this the fourth mono-pusher chronograph base caliber produced by De Bethune after the DB1, DB8, and Maxichrono. Claire Wolf and Denis Flageollet opted to create a traditional column-wheel mechanism.
Included a minute counter that updates instantly, an impressive technical feat for a single-pusher caliber with a 60-minute counter. The extremely fine teeth of the wheel present a significant technical obstacle. Although the caliber is still classic, the functions’ technology represents the cutting edge of the Manufacture’s knowledge. The silicon escape wheel, titanium balance, and white gold inertia blocks are all inspired by components found in De Bethune calibers. The watch also features a patented balance spring with a flat terminal curve.
Grade 5 Titanium
The DB Eight is a flawless demonstration of how technological advancement, cutting-edge materials, a refined design, and a harmonious movement can coexist with the deepest respect for the traditions of Manufacture De Bethune and the history of classical watchmaking. All visible parts, such as the case middle, case back, bezel, and hands, are made of lightweight titanium to maintain the watch’s minimalist aesthetic. This creates a sensation of lightness for the wearer that is unprecedented in a conventional timepiece.
Back to the roots
Denis Flageollet still regularly sports his original platinum DB8, so his 20-year-later return to form was perhaps inevitable. The goal was to maximize efficiency and thrill dedicated car owners. The new DB Eight is an expression of the pursuit of performance and beauty characteristic of all De Bethune watchmaking; it is both an update of a beloved classic and a versatile new timepiece well suited for everyday wear.