De Bethune follows the tradition of constant innovation and excellency as practiced by the great masters in the horology industry and for the Only Watch 2017, the brand introduces the unique DB1318-OW2017 piece which is a reinterpretation of a traditional horological creation using the latest in mechanical engineering techniques and innovative aesthetic designs. The unique piece also takes inspirations from the emblematic architecture of the Yacht Club de Monaco by Foster and Partners – a symbolic centerpiece of Monaco’s remodeled harbor front. If you have seen the harbor, then associating it with the piece would mean some serious expectation thus raising the question whether the DB1318-OW2017 unique piece truly delivers. Honestly, we are excited and based on the pictures, the chronometer is truly a mechanical work of art infused with architecture. It is not something you wear on your wrist but you and your guests would be glad to look at it from the comforts of your living room.
The chronometer is a very unique object dedicated to the mechanics and architecture and is the definitive result of the combination between know-how, art, and technology. Having this mastery of both sciences applied to the traditional watchmaking is such a wonderful idea. It practically bridges the universality of time and the bond between people and their environment.
The mineral glass and titanium case is lovely and framed inside it is the amazing Calibre 1318–020 mechanical calibre with manual winding, ratchet-free winding wheel. It features Constant-force escapement and 260 components with 24 jewels. There are also 18 micro ball bearings. The powerhouse provides 8 days of power reserve. As for the hands, the hours and minutes in flame-blued steel offers that calming feeling. We can also see the spherical moon-phase indication in titanium polished and flamed-blued titanium, superb. Moving on, there is De Bethune starry sky in mirror-polished blued titanium set with white gold stars. Additionally, the chronometer adds a region that celebrates Research and Discovery with a unique mirror game in bronze, the same material that Galileo used for his night observations. Finally, the spiral design seen on the object symbolizes the emblematic stairs of the harbor. Without question, this unique piece is an exceptional piece of contemporary design and a perfect demonstration of precision craftsmanship.
The lucky buyer of the DB1318-OW2017 pièce unique also gets a bonus which is an incredible experience package. It is not just your typical tour as it involves a unique journey into the heart of watchmaking art, an experience us watch enthusiast can only dream about. The buyer can practically ask many things such as the know-hows of chamfering, flame blueing and of course, watchmaking. These are top secret ideas and for the buyer, it is really a big win. Mr Denis Flageollet will also be present together with the best craftsmen of the Manufacture revealing their secrets and techniques. Adding more comfort and an even more immersive experience is a night in the historical Grand Hotel des Rasses with a room offering a spectacular view on the valley.
The DB1318-OW2017 pièce unique for Only Watch 2017 is estimated to net between 62,000 USD to 93,000 USD.