It’s been quite a long time since I have featured independent watchmaker De Bethune on Total Design Reviews. Certainly, they are one of the leading lights in the watch industry and an inspiration to many. Presently their headquarters are located at L’Auberson, in the picturesque Jura mountain region of the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Impressively, they have developed 27 calibres, numerous patents and created around 150 unique pieces. That is why collectors around the globe are enticed by their innovative designs. Their latest collection (comprising 4-pieces) called the Maestri ‘art series is absolutely sensational and epitomes why I love writing about horology.
The DW5 Cempasúchil is inspired by the work of legendary Mexican engraver José Guadalupe Posada. For this exciting version of the Dream Watch, De Bethune has employed the talents of contemporary Swiss Art engraver Michèle Rothen to interpret his stylised decorative techniques. Using a new technology De Bethune have constructed case from blue titanium and 18K gold. The theme is the beautiful Cempasúchil blossoms and this model is a revelation.
The DW5 Armilia draws inspiration from cartoonist Francois Schuiten’s series of graphic novels called ‘Obscure Cities’. To recreate this artwork in miniature, form De Bethune employed the talents (once again) of Swiss engraver Michele Rothen. He’s expertly translated Schuiten’s sharp lines onto the 58mm x 47mm x 16mm – delta-shaped 18-karat pink gold case. Certainly, this is a sensational piece which will appeal to absolute connoisseurs.
Maestri ‘Art I
The Maestri ‘Art I is a customised version of the highly acclaimed DB27. However, for this model, Denis Flageollet has forged the 43mm case from dark alloys to replicate the aesthetics of Japanese Tsubas. What makes this watch so special is the complimentary dial which is hand engraved with gold Japanese-inspired motifs like a tiger, dragon and bamboo forests to denote courage, bravery and ferocity.
Maestri ‘Art II
The Maestri ‘Art II is based on the DB25 Starry Varius and has a slightly smaller 42mm diameter than the Maestri ‘Art I. It also has a completely different appearance due to sublime blue titanium architectural case. What makes this timepiece so extraordinary is the meticulously engraved Asian inspired blue gold decorated dial which, portrays a carp and dragon. Other features include delicate hour/minute hands and 12 diamond indexes.