Mankind has always looked to the skies in wonder, even as we contemplate the meaning behind our existence. Faced with the infinite nature of space, one cannot help but feel small and insignificant. Yet at times, it is this same feeling of fragility that spurs us towards greatness; to leave our mark in the annals of history in the hopes that those who come after us may bear witness to our deeds.
De Bethune's DB28XP Meteorite is born out of a similar passion – a fervent desire to realise the full artistic potential of a specific material. For the maison's founder and Master Watchmaker Denis Flageollet, no other material fascinates him as much as meteorite. The dial of the DB28XP Meteorite is derived from a source of particular historical import: the Muonionalusta Meteorite. Estimated to have impacted Earth more than one million years BCE, it is probably the world's oldest known meteorite to date.
The hue of the DB28XP Meteorite is made possible through De Bethune's expertise with thermal oxidisation of metals.
Joining the likes of De Bethune's Dream Watch 5 and the DB28 Kind of Blue Meteorite, the DB28XP Meteorite once again benefits from the maison's expertise with the thermal oxidisation of metals. Careful heating of the meteorite allows the dial to achieve its azure hue, highlighting the unique naturally-formed geometrical patterns on the surface. In addition, small white gold pins are carefully inserted into areas of the dial, mimicking the appearance of constellations and giving the dial an impression of a sky map.
The DB28XP Meteorite also features a zirconium chapter ring indicating hours and a discreet De Bethune signature above the 12 o'clock index – emblematic of the maison's house codes. These are in turn complemented by a set of pink gold hands, all of which are ensconced within a 43-millimetre-wide polished black zirconium case with De Bethune's patented floating lugs. Adding to the DB28XP Meteorite's distinctive appearance is the presence of a "unicorn" azure crown located at 12 o'clock and a hunter-type (hinged) case back – both of which are reminiscent of traditional pocket watch design.
The balance wheel and balance spring of the calibre DB2115v7 can be observed via the 6 o'clock aperture.
Driving the DB28XP Meteorite is De Beuthue's in-house hand-winding calibre DB2115v7, a twin-barrel movement boasting a six-day power reserve. The DB2115v7 comes equipped with the De Bethune balance, which features a titanium construction and white gold balance screws for improved regulation. Combined with the manufacture's proprietary balance spring featuring a flat terminal curve, the DB2115v7 allows the DB28XP Meteorite to attain chronometer-like precision – all expressed in a resolutely avant-garde spirit and readily observable via the aperture located at 6 o'clock.
De Bethune's DB28XP Meteorite sees a limited production of 10 numbered examples, each one bearing a unique appearance due to the individualised dials. A bona fide instance of rarity, De Bethune's latest timepiece succeeds in conveying imagination through horology with its use of uncommon materials and cutting-edge design.
The combination of a blue meteorite dial and a black zirconium case make for an unusual yet visually pleasing timepiece.
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