De Bethune, founded in 2002, is known for its unusual shapes and design details that are poles apart from other, historically based Swiss fare. Under the technical direction of Denis Flageollet, the brand has developed a dedication to extreme quality and performance innovation, regardless of cost. The brand was the first to master titanium polishing and has also developed a natural, heat-blued (flamed or oven) treatment for the metal that has since become one of the brand’s signatures.
Countless hours of research and experimentation have been devoted to a fundamental rethink of balance wheel and hairspring designs. The company developed a silicium disc supported by an outer ring of platinum with aerodynamic qualities ideal for the higher frequency of the brand’s new tourbillon, which has quietly accrued collector acclaim as one of the most accurate of its type. A more recent design—this time utilizing titanium and white-gold weights—appears slightly more conventional, but the pattern of masses has been carefully calibrated for aerodynamic efficiency.
Flageollet’s constructions, like the arms of his triple pare-chute shock-protection system, or the decorated shield-shaped upper plate of the brand’s first movement, are the basis for De Bethune’s overall aesthetic. Although these codes do not correspond to the familiar face of traditional horology, the finish and detail are evidently at the highest level, a stance that summarizes De Bethune’s entire approach to watchmaking.