De Bethune
DB28 Steel Wheels | Titanium

Unique Piece

Regular price


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De Bethune
DB28 Steel Wheels | Titanium

Unique Piece

Regular price


This unique De Bethune DB28 Steel Wheels sets itself apart with its distinctive monochromatic design, executed in various shades of grey. Completed in October 2020, it is accompanied by its box and papers, as well as a letter from De Bethune confirming its unique status.

The Origin Story

In 2002, David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet joined forces to establish De Bethune, united by their shared vision of what contemporary watchmaking could look like. Zanetta was an enthusiastic collector, with a passion for art and history, whilst Flageollet was an accomplished fourth-generation watchmaker. Like many independants before him, Flageollet had spent time restoring antique and vintage timepieces, including at the prestigious Watch Museum in Le Locle, as well as developing prototype movement for other manufactures.

De Bethune was named after the Chevalier de Bethune, a French nobleman credited with inventing an escapement mechanism for pocket watches and clocks in 1727. Making a limited number of watches a year, the brand has combined time-honoured skills with cutting-edge technology, to carefully craft each piece entirely within the watchmaker’s atelier in the Swiss town of Sainte-Croix. Flageollet in charge of the technical and mechanical side of things, whilst Zanetta brings his input to the design and aesthetics.

A Unique DB28 Steel Wheels

The DB28 is a fitting demonstration of De Bethune’s desire to push the boundaries of 21st century horology. This unique piece Steel Wheels variant was completed at the request of a private collector in October 2020, with the aim of creating a monochromatic, grey version of the original. Building on the design of the first Steel Wheels, which was already limited to 25 pieces, its unique details include a grey spherical moon and grey chapter ring.

It is impossible to describe the DB28 Steel Wheels without first looking at the movement, which forms a core part of the design and aesthetics. The manually-wound DB 2115V4 displays finishing of the highest quality, with the components showing a remarkable level of hand-finishing - from De Bethune's sharp interpretation of Côtes de Genève found on the triangle-shaped bridge to the concentric graining and sharp, polished-bevels found at the back. Unlike other DB28 models, the triangular bridge and parts of the dial are skeletonised on the Steel Wheels, revealing the gears underneath. The barrels and ratchet wheels are also open-worked, further exposing the inner mechanics. Through the two self-regulating barrels, the DB28 Steel Wheels achieves six days of power reserve.

By way of protection, the DB 2115V4 calibre also boasts a triple-parachute shock-absorbing system, which is unique to De Bethune calibres. The bridge of the triple parachute is secured by a spring-based system, protecting the heart of the movement. The various architectural elements are connected by three jewels, thereby absorbing shocks and ensuring precise re-positioning of the bridge after displacement. Bringing a touch of colour to the monochromatic design, the balance wheel is a blued titanium web, set with individual white gold masses. This design helps to achieve as much thermal stability as possible, with minimum aerodynamic drag.

The grey chapter ring features spherical hour indices, made out of polished titanium, which provide an intuitive reference to read the time. Above this, the skeletonised hands build on the futuristic styling of the DB28, creating depth and preserving legibility. A spherical moon is subtly placed at six o’clock - two halves of metal comprise the sphere, both of them in contrasting shades of grey. With a design which speaks for itself, the De Bethune name is nowhere to be found on the dial.

Sized at a contemporary 42.6 mm in diameter, the distinctive drum-shaped case of the DB28 is made from titanium. The manufactures’ smaller sized articulated, hollowed lugs are spring-loaded, neatly forming around the wrist when it is worn. The entire watch is given this same high-polish finish, while the screw-down crown is located at the 12 o’clock position.

The Set

This unique De Bethune DB28 Steel Wheels is accompanied by a letter from the CEO of De Bethune confirming that it is a unique piece, completed October 2020. It also comes with its leather box, manual, Certificate of Origin and Warranty and two additional grey De Bethune straps. The watch is fitted to a grey fabric strap, with a matching titanium buckle.

Brand: De Bethune
Model: DB28 Steel Wheels Unique Piece
Movement: manually-winding Cal. DB 2115V4
Functions: power-reserve display, hours, minutes
Features: display back, skeletonised dial, titanium case, dial and movement
Case: 42.6 mm titanium
Crystal: sapphire front and back
Bracelet: 3 grey De Bethune straps, titanium buckle
Box & papers: original box, papers, accompanying literature
This unique DB28 Steel Wheels is in very good condition, with a few superficial marks on the case consistent with lighter wear (most visible on the bezel, especially at 8 o'clock). It comes with the remainder of its 24-month warranty from De Bethune and a lifetime guarantee of authenticity from A Collected Man.

All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough mechanical inspections, including being ultrasonically cleaned, serviced and resealed if appropriate and tested for at least four days, to ensure they meet our highest timekeeping standards. Our pre-owned and vintage watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. For example, due to their age, some vintage watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when they were new. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information. 

All of our new watches are covered by the warranty from the original manufacturer. Please contact us for further information.

We offer complimentary worldwide delivery on our watches. If ordering from overseas, delivery will depend on the value of the timepiece and the destination. All import taxes and duties are the responsibility of the buyer.

If ordering from the UK before 1 PM, your watch will be sent the same working day. The courier will depend on the value of the watch, with all watches delivered the next working day.

Please note that pre-owned goods (in the United Kingdom) are subject to a marginal rate of VAT, which can not be reclaimed. For further information, please see here

You can cancel your order without giving any reason, within 14 days from the day the watch has been delivered to you.

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