De Bethune Updates its Best-Known DB28 Model with a Trilogy of Ultra-Thin Adaptations
by Victoria Gomelsky
When it was introduced in 2010, the DB28 by De Bethune — with its free-floating lugs, electric blue titanium frame and crown at 12 o’clock — offered a glimpse of the future of watchmaking. Now, a decade on, the contemporary Swiss brand is honoring its devotion to forward-thinking horology with a trio of tribute models that reinterpret the DB28 for the 2020s.
All three models — the Ultra-Thin DB28XP, the DB28XP Starry Sky (both at $79,900) and the DB28XP Tourbillon ($198,000) — are housed in the same 43 mm titanium case measuring just 7.8 mm thick. The savings in space, while maintaining the essential—and original—technical characteristics of the DB28 was no easy feat. The new profile offers improved wearability as well as a certain space-age elegance that could only come from De Bethune.
Despite their shared roots, each of the 2020 editions is equipped with idiosyncratic features. In the case of the Ultra-Thin model, these include a delta-shaped mainplate with a mirror-like polish and spherical indexes designed to evoke small satellites. The Starry Sky model boasts a titanium dial with a “microlight” firmament that can be personalized to depict the night sky at the exact date, hour and location of the wearer’s choosing. And the Tourbillon juxtaposes the space-age aesthetic of the case with the classic “barley grain” guilloche pattern on its minimalist white dial.
Equipped with hand-wound mechanical movements — visible through the dial opening at 6 o’clock on both the Starry Sky and Tourbillon models — the tenth anniversary editions of the DB28, like their decade-old inspiration, are bound to be classics of 21st century watchmaking. The futurists at De Bethune wouldn’t have it any other way.