De Bethune Introduces the DB25GMT Starry Varius with a Thoroughly Modern Complication
by, James Malcolmson. Images courtesy of De Bethune.
As an answer to the popularity of its classically styled DB25 Starry Varius model, De Bethune has added a complication to the model: an eminently practical GMT function for travelers. Its user friendliness and the smooth setting of the GMT movement make it an intelligent and remarkably beautiful watch.
The dial indicates the date on an underlying disc with the help of its jumping date hand, which can be adjusted via a corrector at 6 o'clock. The hours of the first 24-hour time zone (home or reference time) are marked by the microsphere that seemingly floats in its slot. This function can be set in both directions (clockwise/counter-clockwise) via the crown. Local time, i.e. the second time zone, is indicated by the blued hands whose curvature follows the relief of the dial. The minutes hand naturally remains coordinated with the reference time, while the hours hand indicates the local time thanks to the second time zone. Local time can also be set by the crown, in both directions.
The new GMT model incorporates all the inherent codes of the DB25 Starry Varius collection, namely a polished grade 5 titanium case with a 42 mm diameter, perfectly integrated openworked lugs, and a screw-down sapphire caseback providing a glimpse of the movement. Of particular interest is the central dial, which incorporates the brand’s iconic night sky. A polished pink gold sun in the centre of a microlight shines over half the disc, while the celestial vault is delicately outlined on the blued polished titanium section. The stars are created with a multitude of small white gold pins delicately and individually driven into the blued titanium dial.
The three dimensional microsphere day/night indicator also represents De Bethune's technical signature echoing the brand’s famous three-dimensional moon-phase display. In this case, one half is blued and the other is pink gold. It gradually turns at 6am and 6pm, thereby imitating sunrise and sunset.
Visible through the sapphire caseback, the reverse side of the movement reveals the latest titanium balance with white gold inlays. This organ has the ability to neutralise the effects of temperature variations thanks to its interaction with the balance spring featuring the “De Bethune” flat terminal curve. Its aerodynamics have also been worked on so as to ensure minimal air resistance.
The escape-wheel is made of silicon both for the lightness of the material and to increase the power of the calibre.
Despite housing such a complicated movement, it is nonetheless slim and elegant on the wrist, even reinforcing the already greatly appreciated characteristics of the DB25 Starry Varius.
Ironically, the travel watch was developed at the very time when travel had become difficult, if not impossible. Now that life has begun to resume, it is ready to takes its place on the wrists of the most discerning globetrotters. And even if you can't yet spontaneously meet up with your friends and family, this The DB25GMT Starry Varius does indeed offer a simple and effective way to stay connected through time by indicating the time zone in which your loved one lives.
"What on earth was I thinking of in working on a new GMT travel watch while all the countries of the world were entering lockdown?” remarks Denis Flageollet, Founder and Master Watchmaker of De Bethune. “I am pleased that it is now finished and that all the nomads of the planet can finally resume their journey, doubtless with a different view of our world."
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